Commentary on the 2007 ACSM Annual Meeting
Sportscience 11, 37
Having also made the
• I have to agree with Will that most of the posters present nothing new, so vigilance is required to spot the novel studies. Not sure what the solution is here. Students need projects and every project cannot be a groundbreaker. But, hopefully we as advisors do encourage creative thinking and filter the totally mundane from the ACSM meeting.
• Nutritional supplement studies reporting massive improvements in a primary measure like maximal force or power without offering a serious stab at a physiologically plausible mechanism are more exasperating than exciting, at least for those of us who like thinking about physiology more than statistics.
of time to exhaustion (TTE) at constant load as an outcome measure in supplement
and training studies remains popular, but personally I don’t like the
measure, (a) because the changes in TTE just do not give physiological
meaning without conversion to a primary measure like power, and (b) because
the literature suggests that this measure has lower reliability than a time
trial. In response to (b),
• The fine lectures by Priscilla Clarkson (Muscle Soreness: Cause, Consequence, and Cure) and Ron Maughan (Use of Legal Ergogenic Aids Through the “Gray Zone” onto Doping) both highlighted the very important issue that normal statistical treatment of group responses masks the often large individual differences in response/adaptation to a training or supplement regimen. Clarkson drove home the point with her case studies of rhabdomyolysis (massive muscle damage and pain) after eccentric exercise. Hospitalization and even death have resulted from hard strength-training workouts that would normally just have an untrained person groaning and walking down stairs backwards for two or three days. Maughan highlighted the same issue in terms of responders and non-responders to supplements like creatine. So, bottom line: performance studies should always report individual response data. Then we can argue the underlying physiology and genetics responsible for the variation.
• It sure would be nice to attend this meeting and see more studies of the long-term training process itself (and not just the effect of the latest pill, powder, or pulsating platform) and how the organization of those variables influences performance. Hard to do I know, but there would be nothing illegal about training smarter, if only we knew what that was.
I must take exception with Dr. Hopkins on one point.
Published June 2007.