University of Hertfordshire

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The physiological demands of elite epée fencers during competition

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Original languageEnglish
Number of pages14
Pages (from-to)76-89
JournalInternational Journal of Performance Analysis in Sport
Journal publication date2 Jan 2019
Volume19
Issue1
Early online date2 Jan 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2019

Abstract

The aim of this study was to determine the physiological demands of epée fencing performance. Eight elite male epée fencers competed in a competition consisting of 7 Poule and 7 Direct Elimination (DE) fights. Core temperature (TC), heart rate (HR), movement patterns, training load, and differentiated ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) were collected for all Poule and DE fights. Expired gas, and energy expenditure (EE) were measured using breath-by-breath gas analysis during selected fights, along with blood lactate concentration. Maximal HR and RPE were greater in DE than Poule fights. There was a tendency for greater increases in
TC in DE compared to Poule fights (p = 0.052). Blood lactate concentration
decreased during the competition from Poule to DE suggesting reliance on phosphocreatine and aerobic energy sources during fencing. High oxygen consumption (~50 ml.kg−1. min−1) and EE (~13 kcal.min−1) were recorded in both Poule and DE. Fencers covered 3 times more distance in DE than Poule fights.
High training load scores were also recorded. This is the first study to show an increased physiological strain, with high aerobic and anaerobic demands, as fencing competition progressed from Poule to DE. Additionally, there was a considerable energy demand exhibited during epée competition.

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© 2018 Cardiff Metropolitan University.

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