Entries in Physiological response (2)


150 Years of Rowing Faster - Professor Stephen Seiler

Published on Jun 15, 2015

150 Years of Rowing Faster: What Are the Sources of More and More Speed?

Professor Stephen Seiler discusses how rowing has a 150 yr. + competitive history and that examining results from historic races like Oxford-Cambridge (est. 1829) and the world championships (est. 1893) reveals a linear increase in boat speed by 2-3% per decade. Boat velocity increases if propulsive power is increased and/or power losses are reduced. Over time, the propulsive power capacity of elite rowers has increased. Part of this increase is a result of recruiting athletes from a population that has become taller (1-3 cm per decade) and heavier. 

Speaker Biography
Professor Stephen Seiler (PhD FACSM earned his doctoral degree from the University of Texas, Austin, but has lived and worked in Norway for nearly 20 years as a university teacher and researcher. He is currently Professor in Sport Science and Dean of the Faculty of Health and Sport Sciences at the University of Agder in Kristiansand, Norway. 

Professor Seiler also serves as senior research consultant to the Norwegian Olympic Federation. In 2013, he was elected to the Executive Board of the European College of Sport Science.

His work has influenced and catalysed international research around training intensity distribution and the “polarized training model”. He has published over 70 peer reviewed publications, and written over 100 popular science articles related to exercise physiology and the training process. Professor Seiler has given over 100 scientific lectures around the world and is also a founding editorial board member of the International Journal of Sport Physiology and Performance.

Improving Performance Naturally: Sports Science & Medicine Conference for the World’s Leading Sports Scientists and Medical Practitioners in Rowing

The Sports Science & Medicine Conference was held for the first time at the SAS UK & Ireland company headquarters in Marlow. The conference had delegates attend from a variety of Sports Science and Medical disciplines, who travelled from within the UK and around the world – all attracted by an exciting programme which boasts an impressive list of speakers from the leading edge of research and practice. The event was supported by UK Sport and FISA and proved to be a great success.


Age-Related Changes in Skeletal Muscle

Teet Seene presented on "Age-Related Changes in Skeletal Muscle: Strength Development Through the Lifespan".  Here Teet talked about how skeletal muscular development begins when the baby is born. It was highlighted that at the time of birth, a babies muscular contraction velocity is the same throughout all their muscles. 

However, from this point on, that's where the differentiation between the different fibres starts: Slow twitch and fast twitch. The most intensive developmental phase for skeletal muscular growth is in this first  28 days of life.

Teet has found that this is due to the high levels of anabolic hormones present in the neonatal period. Teet states that protein synthesis rate is higher than protein degradation. Factors like insulin, growth hormone and glucagon play a role here.     

This is due to the high levels of anabolic hormones, which muscle is sensitive to. Seene then went on to explain the structure of muscle fibres, their oxidative capacity and molecular structure. He did however state that the "Human organism is ready for strength development from late puberty".

These sparked questions, which were duely addressed in the slides on the following:

- When should coaches encourage strength development? 

- Does the potential for strength development change?

Teet highlighted that, although adults in their forties can win World or Olympic medals, they experience reduced muscle strength, mass and VO2 from the age of 30. However this can be be maintained if effective strength training is encouraged.

For more on the topic, see Teet Seene's presentation on: Age-Related Changes in Skeletal Muscle: Strength Development Through the Lifespan.