Erickson, K.A. & Wilding, P. (1993).
Evaluation of a novel point-of-care system, the i-STAT Portable
Clinical Analyzer. Clinical Chemistry, 39, 283-287.
Jacobs, E., Vadasdi, E, Sarkozi, L., & Colman, N. (1993). Analytical evaluation of i-STAT Portable Clinical Analyzer and use by nonlaboratory health-care professionals. Clinical Chemistry, 39, 1069-1074.
Rehab programs for the back focus on strengthening the abdominals. But in an item in the previous issue, we read that scores for bent-knee sit-ups and in the sit-and-reach tests did not correlate with low back pain. A recent paper by Juker et al. (1998) helps resolve this issue. They found substantial electrical activity in the psoas major muscle in all sit-up exercises, while curl-ups had minimal effect on these hip flexors. Activity in the psoas increases compressive and shear forces on the joints in the lower back, which is not good for people with bad backs. Fit individuals should be able to handle them, though.
The authors concluded that there is no single best exercise to train all the abdominal muscles. The safest exercises that maximize abdominal activation and minimize hip flexor activation are probably curl-ups, cross-curl-ups, and isometric side support.
Juker, D., McGill, S., Kropf, P., & Steffen, T. (1998). Quantitative intramuscular myoelectric activity of lumbar portions of psoas and the abdominal wall during a wide variety of tasks. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 30, 301-310.
Contributed by Duane Knudson.
UP TO WIN
Where will it end? In the 1920s, 100 kg (220 lbs) was considered enormous. By the 1960s the average football player's weight was 113 kg (250 lbs). Today many of these guys weigh around 135 kg (300 lbs). Some tip the scales at 158 kg (350 lbs), all in the interest of knocking down opponents. Ferret might eat more than his Wheaties and if it meant earning $15 million, like some of these guys. But is it worth the risk to health?
Katch and Monahan (1998) have now tracked changes in the build of offensive linemen in the National Football League in terms of their "BMI" (body mass index: weight in kilograms divided by the square of height in meters). From 1920 to 1996, their average BMI increased from 27 to 35. Advanced training techniques, diet, and recruitment of ever bigger individuals have probably all contributed to this increase in size.
Today these football players are muscular, not obese. But if that mass of muscle turns to fat when they retire, their high BMIs will put them in a high-risk category for many diseases. Some loss of muscles mass is inevitable when they quit the challenge of the football field. Not replacing it with fat mass will be their new challenge.
Katch, F.I. and Monahan, K.D. (1998). Changes in Body Size of Offensive Players in the National Football League: A 76 Year Review of 27,744 Players. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 30, S239 (Abstract 1359).
Contributed by Frank Katch.
COACH, NEW PLAN?
Ferret received word that Loren Seagrave is the new coach of Olympic Champion and World Record Holder for the 100 meters, Donovan Bailey. Seagrave replaces Dan Pfaff from the University of Texas at Austin. Loren was the Head Women's Track Coach at Louisiana State University, winning five NCAA team championships while Dan Pfaff was an Assistant Track Coach at the same university.
Seagrave has coached many top athletes including three of the top six American women in history over 100 meters. He is currently a speed consultant to the Atlanta Falcons and is co-author of the Speed Dynamics training system and instructional video series. He has served as consultant to Athletics Australia and the Swiss National Athletics Federation and has been editor of the sprint and hurdle events for the IAAF Level II World Coaching Education Program.
Bailey had a competitive event shortly after Seagrave took over. When asked if he planned any changes before that time, Seagrave said no, he needed to get a feel for how things are going. Are changes in store? Chile's Sebastian Keitel shocked everyone by beating Bailey on April 26 at the São Leopoldo meet in Brazil. Keitel ran 10.10 seconds to Bailey's 10.13. Bailey's 1996 world record was a 9.84 for the 100 meters.
Contributed by Mary Ann Wallace.