Volume 2(5): February, 1997
THE FEMALE ATHLETE
This fifth issue, The Female Athlete, of Volume 2 of Coaching Science Abstracts relates a number of studies which show distinct characteristics of female and differences between male and female athletes. This compilation proposes that there is a unique science of coaching female athletes. The popular notion of applying similar training principles and content to both males and females is often erroneous and places female athletes in such situations at a disadvantage.
Coaches who train females seriously for sports need to be aware of the distinct nature and response features of post-pubescent, adolescent, and adult females. It is often dubious to assert that research findings on male athletes can be applied to females without evidence to support such a generalization.
It is common knowledge that female athletes differ from males hormonally and structurally. That has promoted an assumption that the female training response is only modified in terms of magnitude when compared to males. As is shown in numerous abstracts in this issue, that limited assumption can be seriously questioned and/or refuted.
The female athlete is worthy of distinct study even if only to assess the cross-validation of general training principles derived from studies involving male subjects. The procedure of combining male and female subjects into a single experimental group for research purposes should be questioned on an individual study basis. There no doubt is validity in having mixed-gender experiments in some domains but equally, there is validity in separating the sexes in others so that differences will not be obscured.
The content of several studies reported here are not necessarily the main findings of the investigation. If a research project reported significant differences between gender groups or if significant correlations were reported for one sex but not the other those findings were reported.
As with all issues of Coaching Science Abstracts, the content of The Female Athlete is not exhaustive of the topic. However, its content is powerful enough to warrant a specialization in the female athlete.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
MENSTRUAL DYSFUNCTION IN SWIMMERS Constantini, N. W., & Warren, M. P. (1995). Menstrual dysfunction in swimmers: A distinct entity. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology Metabolism, 80, 2740-2744.
BONE MINERAL DENSITY Heinonen, A., Oja, P., Kannus, P., Sievanen, H., Haapasalo, H., Manttari, A., & Vuori, I. (1995). Bone mineral density in female athletes representing sports with different loading characteristics of the skeleton. Bone, 17, 197-203.
BONE MINERAL DENSITY IN SPORTS Fehling, P. C., Alkel, L., Clasey, J., Rector, A., & Stillman, R. J. (1995). A comparison of bone mineral densities among female athletes in impact loading and active loading sports. Bone, 17, 205-210.
BONE MINERALIZATION IN TRAINED FEMALE RUNNERS Okano, H., Misunuma, H., Soda, M., Matsui, H., Aoki, I., Honjo, S., & Ibuki, Y. (1995). Effects of exercise and amenorrhea on bone mineral density in teenage runners. Journal of Endocrinology, 42, 271-276.
EXERCISE AND BODY COMPOSITION IN WOMEN Ullrich, I., Bryner, R., Toffle, R., & Yeater, R. (1993). The effects of exercise intensity on body composition in women. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 25(5), Supplement abstract 316.
THE GROWTH OF PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS IN MALE AND FEMALE CHILDREN Borms, J. (1986). The child and exercise: an overview. Journal of Sports Sciences, 4, 3-20.
FEMALE SWIMMERS AND SOMATOTYPE Siders, W. A., Lukaski, H. C., & Bolonchuk, W. W. (1993). Relationships among swimming performance, body composition and somatotype in competitive collegiate swimmers. The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, 33, 166-171.
LACTATES AND COMPETITIVE PERFORMANCES Bonifazi, M., Martelli, G., Marugo, L., Sardella, F., & Carli, G. (1993). Blood lactate accumulation in top level swimmers following competition. The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, 33, 13-18.
LACTATE LEVELS DiCarlo, L. J., Sparling, P. B., Millard-Stafford, M. L., & Rupp, J. C. (1991). Peak heart rates during maximal running and swimming: implications for exercise prescription. International Journal of Sports Medicine, 12, 309-312.
ANAEROBIC FACTORS Hawley, J. A., & Williams, M. M. (1991). Relationship between upper body anaerobic power and freestyle swimming performance. International Journal of Sports Medicine, 12, 1-5.
DIFFERENT ANAEROBIC TESTS FOR FEMALES Rohrs, D. M., Mayhew, J. L., Arabas, M. S., & Shelton, M. The relationship between seven anaerobic tests and swim performance. Journal of Swimming Research, 6(4), 15-19.
AN ENERGY METABOLISM DIFFERENCE IN WOMEN Esbjornsson, M., Bodin, K., & Jansson, E. (1995). Muscle metabolism during a 30-s sprint test (Wingate Test) in females and males. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 27(5), Supplement abstract 448.
SEX DIFFERENCES SHOWN IN ANAEROBIC RUNNING POWER TESTS Nummela, A., & Rusko, H. (1995). Gender differences in the determinants of maximal anaerobic running power. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 27(5), Supplement abstract 776.
DIFFERENCES IN STRENGTH FACTORS IN ADOLESCENT BOYS AND GIRLS Clapp, A. J., Murray, T. D., Walker, J. L., Rainey, D. L., Squires, W. G., & Jackson, A. S. (1995). The effect of six weeks of resistance training on isometric and isotonic strength in adolescents. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 27(5), Supplement abstract 118.
SERUM FERRITIN AND INJURIES Loosli, A. R., Requa, R. K., & Garrick, J. G. (1993). Serum ferritin and injuries in female high school cross country runners. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 25(5), Supplement abstract 129.
HEART RATES AND THRESHOLDS IN FEMALE ROWERS Vukovich, M. D., & Alton, M. (1996). Comparison of lactate threshold, ventilatory threshold, and heart rate deflection point in female rowers. Medicine and Science in Exercise and Sports, 28(5), Supplement abstract 403.
RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN HEART RATE AND LACTIC ACID Howat, R. C., & Robson, M. W. (June, 1992). Heartache or heartbreak. The Swimming Times, 35-37.
TYPES OF WEIGHT TRAINING SESSIONS AND STRENGTH IMPROVEMENTS Calder, A. W., Chilibeck, P. D., Webber, C. E., & Sale, D. G. (1996). Comparison of whole and split weight training routines in young women. Canadian Journal of Applied Physiology, 19, 185-199.
BASKETBALL PLAYERS' RESPONSES TO STRENGTH TRAINING OVER A SEASON Hakkinen, K. (1993). Changes in physical fitness profile in female basketball players during the competitive season including explosive type strength training. The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, 33, 19-26.
MALES AND FEMALES JUMP DIFFERENTLY Lee, E. J., Etnyre, B. R., Poindexter, H. B., Sokol, D. L., & Toon, T. J. (1989). Flexibility characteristics of elite female and male volleyball players. Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, 29, 49-51.
FEMALES BETTER AT LONGER DISTANCES Speechly, D. P., Taylor, S. R., & Rogers, G. G. (1996). Differences in ultra-endurance exercise in performance-matched male and female runners. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 28, 359-365.
FEMALES RESPOND NORMALLY TO LONG-TERM TRAINING Raglin, J. S., Kocjea, D. M., Stager, J. M., & Harms, C. A. (1996). Mood, neuromuscular function, and performance during training in female swimmers. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 28, 372-377.
CROSS TRAINING SUPPORTED FOR GENERAL FITNESS Loy, S. F., Holland, G. J., Mutton, D. L., Snow, J., Vincent, W. J., Hoffmann, J. J., & Shaw, S. (1994). Effects of stair-climbing vs run training on treadmill and track running performance. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 25(11), 1275-1278.
AEROBIC TRAINING IN FEMALES OF VARYING AGES Welsman, J. R., Armstrong, N., Chedzoy, S., & Withers, S. (1996). Aerobic training in 10 year-old and adult females. Medicine and Science in Exercise and Sports, 28(5), Supplement abstract 18.
ENDURANCE TRAINING IN FEMALES Eliakim, A., Renslo, R., Barstow, T. J., & Cooper, D. M. (1996). Effect of endurance training on muscle volume and VO2max in adolescent females. Medicine and Science in Exercise and Sports, 28(5), Supplement abstract 19.
RESPONSES OF JUNIOR TRIATHLETES Gibbons, T. P., Mulligan, S. E., Wilber, R. L., & Kearney, J. T. (1996). Physiological responses in elite junior triathletes during field testing. Medicine and Science in Exercise and Sports, 28(5), Supplement abstract 756.
STRENGTH TRAINING HELPS RUNNING ECONOMY Johnston, R. E., Quinn, T. J., Kertzer, R., & Vroman, N. B. (1995). Strength training in female distance runners: Impact on running economy. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 27(5), Supplement abstract 47.
SWIMMING PERFORMANCE DIFFERENTIATORS Kennedy, P., Brown, P., Chengalur, S. N., & Nelson, R. C. (1990). Analysis of male and female Olympic swimmers in the 100-meter events. International Journal of Sport Biomechanics, 6, 187-197.
SEX DIFFERENCES IN CRAWL STROKE SWIMMING Dutto, D. J., & Cappaert, J. M. (1994). Biomechanical and physiological differences between males and females during freestyle swimming. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 26(5), Supplement abstract 1098.
STRENGTH AND ANAEROBIC RESPONSES IN YOUNG FEMALE RUNNERS Thorland, W. G., Johnson, G. O., Cisar, C. J., Housh, T. J., & Tharp, G. D. (1987). Strength and anaerobic responses of elite young female sprint and distance runners. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 19, 56-61.
ROLLER SKI, RUNNING TREADMILL, AND RACE PERFORMANCES Hill, M. R., Osbeck, J. S., Amico, V. J., & Rundell, K. W. (1995). Predictability of roller ski race time in elite female biathletes. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 27(5), Supplement abstract 589.
STRENGTH TRAINING EFFECTS DIFFERENT FOR PREPUBESCENT MALES AND FEMALES Isaacs, L. D., & Pohlman, R. L. (1995). Specificity of strength training modes in prepubescent females. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 27(5), Supplement abstract 1016.
STRENGTH AND ENDURANCE TRAINING TOGETHER DOES NOT IMPAIR STRENGTH DEVELOPMENT Blessing, D. L., Gravelle, B. L., Wang, Y. T., & Kim, C. K. (1995). The influence of co-activation on the adaptive response to concurrent strength and endurance training in women. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 27(5), Supplement abstract 1097.
STRENGTH TRAINING INHIBITS AEROBIC ADAPTATION IN FEMALES Gravelle, B. L., & Blessing, D. L. (1995). Physiological adaptation in women concurrently training for strength and endurance. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 27(5), Supplement abstract 1098.
FEMALE OLYMPIC SWIMMERS DIFFERENT TO MALE OLYMPIANS Rushall, B. S., Jamieson, J., & Talbot, D. (1976). Psychological characteristics of Canadian Olympic Games swimmers. Unpublished research report, Canadian Amateur Swimming Association, Gloucester, Ontario, Canada.
FEMALE NATIONAL TEAM SWIMMERS DIFFERENT TO MALES Rushall, B. S. (1994). Some psychological considerations for US National Swimming Teams. American Swimming, February-March, 8-12.
PERCEPTION OF EFFORT Koltyn, K. F., O'Connor, P. J., & Morgan, W. P. (1991). Perception of effort in female and male competitive swimmers. International Journal of Sports Medicine, 12, 427-429.
MOOD RESPONSES TO TRAINING IN BOTH GENDERS Rohaly, K. A., Pierce, E. F., Hammer, W. L., & Pace, J. (1994). Gender differences in mood state response to training periodization. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 26(5), Supplement abstract 1117.
FALSE FEEDBACK AFFECTS PERFORMANCE Marsden, K., Garske, J. P., & Ogles, B. M. (1994). Effects of feedback, gender, and explanatory style, on mood and performance in collegiate swimmers. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 26(5), Supplement abstract 1114.
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