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Journal Title: Journal of sports medicine and

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ro ~ Article Author: SCHMIDT MN, GRAY P, TYLER Gaithersburg, Maryland 20878
E ~ S United States
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Selected fitness parameters
of college female lacrosse players
(from the Department of Physical Education, University of Maryland,
College Park, Maryland, U.S.A.)

INTRODUCTTON The purpose of this study was to de-

termine selected fitness parameters of
There are an increasing number of in- college female lacrosse athletes before
vestigators ' 5 B 12 researching the physical
and after a competitive season of lacrosse.
and physiological characteristics of fe-
In addition, the investigation endeavored
male athletes. Many of these investiga- to compare the responses of these sub-
tions have shown that differences in these jects with data reported for female ath-
athletes vary depending on the sport. letes in related research.
Since training is specific to a sport," the
physiological responses of females parti-
cipating in a particular athletic event SUBJECTS

should be useful information to coaches Seventeen members of the University

of that same activity. Coaches should be of Maryland, College Park, women's in-
aware of the potential work capacity, tercollegiate lacrosse team volunteered
muscular strength, muscular endurance, as subjects. At the time of final testing,
power, flexibility and other related varia- these subjects had won the Maryland
bles of the female athletes under their State intercollegiate lacrosse champion-
guidance. They should also be aware of ships and were ranked second nationally.
the worth of their conditioning prog- The subjects ranged in age from 18 to
rams, especially since women are beco- 22 years. The subjects were screened on
ming more involved in competition. the basis of a physician's approval, a nor-
Lacrosse appears to be one of the most mal medical history, normal resting and
strenuous team sports for women. A game walking ECG recordings, and informed
consist of 25 minute halves, with substi- consent. Descriptive data for the subjects
tutes allowed only in case of injury. are summarized in Table 1.
Teams are not allowed time outs. The 12
players comprising a team compete on a
110X 60 meter field that has no lined
boundaries. With the possible exception Immediately following a pre-test, the
of the goalie, the players are almost con- subjects began a training program de-
stantly moving as they attempt to ma- signed to improve their ability to play
neuver the ball into the goa!." lacrosse. The program is outlined in

282 1. Sports Med., 21, 1981


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J. Spans Med., 21, 1981 283


TABLE 2.-Trail1ing program for the 15 week lacrosse season.

Frequenc Duration of
Week k
(scsstcn/w ) workout/session Type of conditioning

1-4 2 '>I Flexibility, Apollo. stickwork an sprints.

continual run, flexibility and warm down
4 '>I Flexibility, Apollo, continual run, weight
training, flexibiilty
5-9 2 '>I Flexibility, Apollo, continual run, weight
training, flexibility
4 2 Flexibility, Apollo, continual run, stickwork
and sprints, 30 minutes of scrimmaging,
continual run, flexibility and warm down

Table 2. Training was conducted six days equipment used in acqumng maximal
a week for nine weeks prior to the first oxygen uptake, heart rate, and blood
tournament game. In addition, each sub- pressure.
ject kept a daily log of all physical acti- The testing was conducted on three
vities performed outside of the formal separate days, each separated by a rest
program. Conditioning average one and day, immediately before and after the 15
one half hours per session. Throughout week lacrosse season. The lacrosse pla-
the nine week period, the Apollo isoki- yers refrained from strenuous exercise
netic machine was used five days per for a minimum of 12 hours before test-
week, the Universal gym was used three ing. They also refrained from eating,
days per week, and running was per- smoking, taking medication, or drinking
formed six days per week. The first four anything but water for at least three
weeks of running stressed cardiorespira- hours before measurements were ob-
tory endurance with approximately 20 tained.
per cent of the running devoted to On the first day of testing, the sub-
sprints. The last five weeks before the jects' height (ern), weight (kg), skinfolds
tournament stressed fast interval train- (rnrn), and cardiorespiratory parameters
ing in the running phase. were assessed. Cardiorespiratory para-
During the six week tournament, the meters obtained during a graded tread-
Apollo machine was used an average of mill test included maximal oxygen up-
four days per week, weigh ts were used take (VO, max, l/rnin and ml/kg min),
three times per week, wi th no weigh t ventilation (VE, l/min at VO, max), oxy-
increment, and running consisted of a gen pulse (0, pulse, ml/beat at VO, max),
two mile and a five mile run per week. respiratory exchange ratio (R at VO,
There were a 'total of 20 scrimmages and max), resting and one minute recovery
12 tournament games. A more detailed heart rate, and resting and submaximal
explanation of the training program may blood pressure (BP, mmHg).
be obtained from the authors. Skinfolds were measured to the near-
Two days prior to the collection of the est .5 mm with a Lange caliper on the
data, subjects became familiar with the right side of the body. Specific sites were
graded exercise test. During this proce- located as described by Behnke and Wil-
dure, each person exercised on ,the tread- more.' The selected sites were the abdo-
mill at various speeds and angles and minal, triceps, subscapular and supra-
experienced the mouthpiece and other iliac. The sum of the four sites were

284 J. Sports Med. 21, 1981


used to calculate the specific gravity of dioxide analyzer. The MMC was cali-
the body. Relative body fat was com- brated before each testing session using
puted according to the regression equa- reference gases valida ted by gas chroma-
tion developed by Sloan, Burt and Blyth.'" tography and infrared spectroscopy.
Before the graded exercise test, the The above arrangement was utilized to
subject rested in a seated position for collect a gas sample during the last 10
five minutes. Resting HR and BP were seconds of the 5 minute walk and dur-
recorded during the last 30 seconds of ing the last 10 seconds of each 2 min-
this period. The treadmill was set at 0% ute graded exercise stage. HR was re-
grade and the subject walked for 1 min- corded during the last 10 seconds of rest,
ute at 2 mph. The grade was then set the 5 minute walk, each 2 minute exer-
at 2-lI,% and the subject walked for 5 cise stage, and during the last 10 seconds
minutes at 3-lI, mph. The subject then of the first minu te of recovery while
ran continuously on the treadmill at a walking on the treadmill. BP was recor-
constant speed of 7 mph. The run began ded during the last 30 seconds of rest,
at a 0% grade and the grade was in- S minute walk, and after the first min-
creased every 2 minutes by 2-lI,% until ute of recovery.
the subject was unable to continue. The On the second day of testing, subjects
grade was not increased after a subject participated in a 1.5 mile walk-run on
signaled that she could only run 1 more a 440 yard outdoor track, as described
minute. Once a subject had signaled, she by Cooper- On the ,third day of testing.
was encouraged to go beyond this min- the subjects were measured on specific
ute in order to determine whether vo, body circumferences 28 using an anthropo-
had leveled off. The main criterion for metric tape, and physical fitness items
V02 max was an increase in vo, of less including grip strength," standing broad
than 2 ml/kg-rnm resulting from a jump," vertical jump,' one minute bent
2-lI,% grade elevation at a constant speed knee situps," layout position pushups,"
of 7 mph. Other criteria were an R grea- bent arm hand," and trunk flexion from
ter than 1.0 and a subjective feeling of a seated posi tion."
exhaustive effort. The subjects cooled A multivariate analysis of variance
down by walking at a 0% grade at 2 mph with two factors (treatments by sub-
until the heart rate recovered to 120 jects) was employed in order to detect
bpm. if significant changes in the data occur-
The subjects were measured as they red within the 15 week lacrosse season.
walked and ran on a Quinton model The data were analyzed in homogeneous
18-60 treadmill. Heart rate was recorded groups, but with weak intercorrelations
by use of a Model 623A ECG monitoring in order to eliminate testing redundent
system. Blood pressure was measured by information. The P value < .05 was used
auscultation of the left arm, using a for all tests of statistical significance.
Baum sphygmomanometer. Expired air
was collected using a noseclip, mouth-
piece and Collins Hans Rudolph high-
velocity respiratory valve attached to a Table 1 presents the selected charac-
I Beckman Metabolic Measurement Cart teristics of each subject measured at the
l (MMC). The MMC analyzed the expired
air through a Beckman OM-ll oxygen
completion of the 15 week lacrosse sea-
son. Only the major aspects of the data
analyzer and a Beckman LB-2 carbon in this table are discussed.
J. Sports Med., 21, 1981

The highest vo, max (ml/kg-rnin) was female intercollegiate track athletes had
58.3 by a second horne who had a 1.5 a range in body fat of from 9% in sprin-
mile run time of 10 :29, below the mean ters to 28% in shot putters," world class
but not the best ,time of 9 :15 by one female pentathletes had a mean of 12%,"
of the centers. These positions require and female gymnasts had a mean of
continual running and would be expected 15%." Since regression equations are
to result in a high aerobic capacity. The population specific," J3 it was difficult to
defense wings also were predictably well determine the accuracy of % body fat
above the mean vo, max of 46 ml/kg- with investigations using different groups
min, while the attack wings, who are and equations. It has been suggested that
also involved in covering a large amount the sum of skinfolds may be more ac-
of territory fell at or below the mean. curate." Several investigators 51520 31 have
These findings suggest the attack wings included individual skinfolds. Maksud,
may need more individualized condition- Cannistra and Dublinski '" found that fe-
ing, stressing the aerobic program. The male college athletes had a mean triceps
lowest vo, max was 30.9 ml/kg-min by skinfold (mrn) of 16.2, subscapular of
the other second home who was not a 10.6, supraiJiac of 9.9 and abdominal
starting player. The highest HR bpm at 13.5. The subjects in the present study
vo. max was 196 by the goalie. This sub- at post training had a mean triceps skin-
ject also had the lowest % body fat of fold of 13.8, subscapular 11.6, suprailiac
14.4. The lowest resting BP (mmHg) was of 15.5 and abdominal of 15.9, higher in
96/60 by both the center and a defense all cases except the triceps.
wing. The highest resting BP was 120/90 In the present study, there was a sig-
by the reserve cover point who also had nificant increase in vo, max (l/rnm and
the highest body fat, 24.1 %. The meas- ml/kg· min) over the training season,
ures used to determine muscular strength from 2.56 to 2.83 l/min and from 41.85
and endurance, speed and flexibility see- to 49.96 ml/kg-rnin. Withers 32 reported
med to vary among the subjects, with that the Australian lacrosse players had
no one player doing extremely well on a a vo, max of 52.9 rnl/kg-rnin. This dif-
number of these tests. ference could be related to the heavy
The results of the multivariate ana- training schedule of these seven players
lysis are presented in Table 3. There was who were part of a national touring team.
a significant decrease in % body fat fol- The three month training period for the
lowing the training season, from 21.6 to Australians was actually shorter than
19.5. There was also a significant de- that of the present investigation, but the
crease in all skinfolds but a nonsignifi- training regimens and the group size
cant increase in body weight and only could be important factors. The U.S.
slight changes in circumference measures. Players included reserves as well as
These findings suggest that the lacrosse starters.
players gained in muscle tone over the The vo, max values obtained in the
season but hypertrophy did not develop, present study compare favorably to the
perhaps due to low levels of androgens." results of world class pentathletes, who
It has been reported that college age had values of 45.9 ml/kg- min 18 and were
female non athletes have a mean of 20 higher than values of 42.9 for field
to 25% body fat,' 15 24 Withers," found that hockey, 41.2 for swimmers, 40.8 for bas-
Australian touring team female lacrosse ketball or 39.2 for female intercollegiate
players had 23% body fat. In contrast, volleyball players." The mean vo, max

286 J. Sports Med., 21, 1981'UIHSRll


TABLE 3.-Descriptive statistics and summary of multivariate analysis.

Pre-training Post-training
Variable ~ Difference F
Mean ±S.D. Mean ±S.D.

Weight (kg) 58.56 16.18 61.75 8.18 3.19 .12

Heart Rate, rest (bpm) 73.44 7.67 70.71 10.28 2.7] 1.19

Heart Rate, submax (bpm) 126.82 18.82 127.35 16.64 .53 .01
Heart Rate (bpm at v01max) 188.82 6.44 184.94 8.76 3.88 3.98"

Heart Rate (I min rec, bpm) 140.41 17.70 147.88 14.19 7.47 2.44"

Blood pressure, rest (mmHg) 104/72 27/36 110/62 lOll I 6/10 1.79 /2.03

Blood pressure, submax (mmHg) 135/66 15/10 135/62 12/11 2/5 ,riJ2/ .938

Blood pressure (I min rec, mmHg) 149/65 18/7 158/54 17/13 9/10 2.21 /2.01

vE (lfmin BTPS at v01max) 96.31 14.00 90.92 11.92 5.39 1.37

vOlma.'< (t/min, STPD) 2.56 .41 2.8] .55 .26 6.96"

V01max (ml/kg min STPD) 41.85 5.32 45.96 4.31 4.11 6.13"

O2 pulse (m1/beat at v01max) 13.56 1.75 15.12 16.00 1.49 7.48"

Rat vOlmax 1.08 .08 1.00 .07 .08 10.97"

Abdominal skinfold (mm) 20.18 17.42 15.94 5.01 4.24 14.66'"

Triceps skinfold (mm) 16.74 5.60 13.82 3.67 2.91 6.38'"
Subscapular skinfold (mm) 12.60 5.07 11.61 2.52 .99 3.00'"
Supraillac skinfold (mm) 17.86 8.12 15.53 6.29 2.33 8.00"
Total skinfolds (mm) 64.41 20.22 56.90 16.53 7.51 21.46"
Body fat (per cent) 21.64 5.45 19.47 5.38 2.17 7.02
Neck circumference (em) 30.02 7.13 31.29 2.21 1.28 .41
Biceps circumference (em) 27.20 2.94 27.25 3.40 .05 .01
Calf circumference (em) 34.05 1.93 34.84 1.92 .02 .003
Waist circumference (em) 72.32 6.93 71.10 5.82 1.23 .39
Thigh circumference (em) 55.22 4.88 54.30 3.51 .92 .35
Standing broad jump (in) 74.10 5.43 73.49 5.71 .62 .28
Vertical jump (in) 14.60 1.74 15.57 2.52 .97 5.27
Pushups 1.00 1.25 13.88 7.73 .73 23.96'"
Situps 39.88 5.71 40.88 6.32 1.00 2.13
Bent arm hand (sec) 21.14 8.83 21.77 10.47 .63 .21
Trunk flexion (in) 24.09 2.66 23.66 2.08 .44 3.14
Grip strength, right (kg) 38.94 5.38 41.24 5.99 2.29 7.72
Grip strength, left (kg) 36.55 3.39 38.32 4.49 1.68 7.33
1.5 mile run (min) 11 :22 .19 10.54 .44 .56 19.16"

"Significant at the .05 level.

for college physical education majors mile run in experienced college female
with no special training was 37.2 mil joggers. These investigators found the
kg-min." A significant drop in mean time joggers had a vo, max of 46.2 ml/kg- min
for the 1.5 mile run over the training and a 1.5 mile time of J2 :28, higher in
period, from J J :22 to 10 :54 also offers both cases than the present study.
evidence of the effectiveness of the con- The lacrosse players had a significant
ditioning program on cardiorespiratory decrease in HR (bpm at vo, max) from
endurance. Getchell, Kirkendahl and Rob- pre to post training, going from J88.8
bins 11 found a correlation of (r= .92) be- to 184.9. The Australian lacrosse players
tween vo, max (ml/kg'min) and the 1.5 had a HR max of J88.7 bprn." Other re-

~SSSSSSPO'lS Med .• 21. 1981 287


search has shown that the predicted the investigation endeavored to compare
maximal heart rate for female athletes the responses of these subjects with data
reported for female athletes in related re-
or nonathletes at this age is 195 bpm." " search. Seventeen members of a women's
The reduction of heart rate with con- intercollegiate lacrosse team, mean age 20.6,
ditioning is a possible explanation for trained for 15 weeks. Tests were conducted
the lower heart rates of the lacrosse before and after this conditioning period
players. In spite of a reducted HR max, and a multivariate analysis of variance with
two factors (treatment by subjects) was ern-
there was a significant increase in the ployed in order to detect if significant chan-
recovery heart ra te from pre to post ges occurred. The Pvalue < .05 was used
training, going from 140 to 148 bpm. for all tests of statistical significance. Re-
Even though it is well established that sults of the analysis indicated that over the
conditioning results in faster recovery conditioning period there was a significant
improvement in means for % body fat (21.6
processes, perhaps the recovery heart to 19.5%), individual and total skinfolds,
rates were affected by intervening factors vo, max (2.6 to 2.8 I/rnin and 41.9 to 46
such as emotions or body temperature. rnl/kg-rnin). HR bpm at vo, max (189 to
Although there were slight improve- 185 bpm) and related measures of cardiores-
ments in many of the muscular strength piratory endurance including the 1.5 mile
run time (11:22 to 10:54). There was also a
and endurance measures of the subjects, significant improvement in pushups but no
the only significant change from the pre significan t change in other tests assumed
to post training was in pushups, going to measure muscular endurance or flexi-
from 7 to 14. These pushups were per- bility.
[I( I. Sports Mcd. », 21, 282-290, 19&1]
formed in the standard "men's" style,
from a layout position. The insignificant M. N. SCHMIDT, P. GRAY, S.TYLER
findings in the other measures could be Parametres selectlonnes de bonne forme
due to the high overall starting level of physique de joueuses universitaires de
these subjects. For example, in a study la crosse.
of a variety of athletes," the mean pre- Le but de cette etude a ete de selectionner
ferred grip strength was 39.3 kg, and des parametres de bonne forme physique
the highest for the lacrosse players in chez des joueuses universitaires de la crosse,
avant et apres une saison de competition.
the present investigation was 41.2 kg. De plus, cette recherche a permis de com-
Mean values for females at this age have parer les reponses de ces sujets avec les
been reported as 31.5 kg." Due to these donnees indiquees pour les athletes fern-
insignificant findings, as well as an in- rues, dans une recherche correspondante.
significant difference in trunk flexion, it 17 sujets de l'equipe feminine universitaire
de crosse, ages en moyenne de 20,6 ans, ont
may also be concluded that more atten- ete entraines pendant 15 semaines. Les tests
tion should be given to these factors in ont ere eflectues avant et apres cette pe-
future conditioning programs if they are riode d'entraincment et une analyse multi.
considered important aspects of lacrosse. var-iee de variance a 2 facteurs (traitement
par sujets) a ete utilisee pour cons tater,
si des changements significatifs se sont pro-
SUMMARIES duits, La valeur P<05 a ete utilisee pour
tous les tests de signification statistique.
M. N. SCHMIDT, P. GRAY, S. TYLER Les resultats de l'analyse ont montre que,
Selected fitness parameters of college fe- pendant la peri ode d'entrainement, it s'est
male lacrosse players. produit une amelioration significative des
The purpose of this study was to deter- moyennes du pourcentage de graisse corpo-
mine selected fitness parameters of college relle (de 21,6 it 19,5 %), des bourrelets iri-
female lacrosse athletes before and after a dividuels et dans leur total, de la VO, maxi
competitive season of lacrosse. In addition, (2,6 it 2,8 limn. et 41,9 it 46 ml/kg·mn.),

I. Sports Med., 21, 1981

• :,;0 ~_ __ _ __


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[Authors' address:
M. N. Schmidt
University of Maryland
Department of Physical Education
College Park, Maryland 20742 (U.S.A.)]
[Code number 826]

29(1 J. Sports Med., 21, 1981