Physical Demands of Multimodal Training Competitions and Their Relationship to Measures of Performance
Jagim, AR, Rader, O, Jones, MT, and Oliver, JM. Physical demands of multimodal training competitions and their relationship to measures of performance. J Strength Cond Res 31(5): 1212–1220, 2017—The purpose of this study was to identify the physical demands of multimodal training (MMT) competitions and to determine the extent of their relationship to select measures of performance. Eighteen (>1.5 years of strength training experience) men (n = 10) and women (n = 8) (mean ± SD; age: 37.8 ± 10.6 years, height: 172.8 ± 8 cm, weight: 77.4 ± 13.2 kg, 16.6 ± 6% body fat) with experience performing MMT participated in a simulated MMT competition. All participants were assessed for body composition, countermovement vertical jump, and aerobic capacity during baseline testing. All participants then participated in a simulated MMT-style competition on a separate day within 10 days of baseline testing. The simulated MMT-style competition consisted of 3 events with 90 minutes of recovery allowed in between events. During the events, changes in blood lactate (La), heart rate (HR), and estimated V[Combining Dot Above]O2 were recorded. Bivariate (Pearson) correlations were computed to determine if a relationship existed between traditional measures of performance and those of the MMT-style competition. Significance was set at p ≤ 0.05. Mean change in La ranged between 9 and 12 mmol·L−1 during the events. Mean HR and estimated V[Combining Dot Above]O2 values ranged from 145 to 172 b·min−1 and 24 to 35 ml·kg−1·min−1, respectively, during the events. A strong correlation was observed (r = −0.722; p < 0.001) between aerobic capacity and time to completion for event 1. There was a strong correlation between lean body mass and lower-body strength performance (r = 0.882; p < 0.001) and time to completion for event 3 (r = −0.792; p < 0.001). A strong correlation was observed between lower-body power and time to completion for event 1 (r = −0.755; p < 0.001) and event 3 (r = −0.818; p < 0.001). Based on the results of this study, MMT-style competitions appear to be physically demanding activities performed at a high intensity with a great involvement of the anaerobic energy system and that some measures of aerobic capacity and power correlate with performance. When training for MMT-style competitions, it may be beneficial to focus on improving lower-body power and/or aerobic capacity.