Performance Changes of Elite Paralympic Judo Athletes During a Paralympic Games Cycle: A Case Study with the Brazilian National Team

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Irineu Loturco, Lucas A. Pereira, Ciro Winckler, Jaime R. Braganca, Roger A. da Fonseca, Ronaldo Kobal, Cesar C. Cal Abad, Katia Kitamura, Fabio Y. Nakamura, Emerson Franchini

The aim of this study was to describe the variations in power performance of elite Paralympic judo athletes across three consecutive training cycles of preparation for the ParaPan American Games, the World Championship and the Paralympic Games. Eleven Paralympic judokas from the Brazilian National team participated in this study. They were repeatedly assessed using squat and countermovement jumps, mean propulsive power (MPP) in the jump-squat (JS), the bench press and prone bench pull at several moments of the preparation. Training supervision based on the optimum power zone (range of loads where power production is maximized) was provided in the final cycle, prior to the Paralympic Games. Magnitude-based inference was used to compare the repeated measurements of power performance. Lower and upper limb muscle power gradually increased throughout the cycles; however, the best results in all exercises were observed prior to the Paralympic Games, during which the team won four silver medals. As an illustration, prior to participation in the Paralympic Games the MPP in the JS was likely to very likely higher than prior to the World Championship (effect size [ES] = 0.77) and ParaPan American Games (ES = 0.53), and in January and March 2016 (ES = 0.98 and 0.92, respectively; months preceding the Paralympic Games). Power performance assessments can provide information about the evolution of Paralympic judokas, and training at the optimum power zone seems to constitute an effective method to improve lower and upper limb power in these athletes.
DOI: 10.1515/hukin-2017-0111
Key words
martial arts, blind athletes, Olympic sports, strength-power training, long-term training

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