Stephen Bird | Publications & Media
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Publications & Media

PUBLICATIONS

Triphasic multi-nutrient supplementation during acute resistance exercise improves session volume load and reduces muscle damage in strength-trained athletes. Nutrition Research, 33(5), 376-387, 2013
ABSTRACT

Bird, S.P., Mabon, T., Pryde, M., Feebrey, S., & Cannon, J. (2013). Triphasic multinutrient supplementation during acute resistance exercise improves session volume load and reduces muscle damage in strength-trained athletes. Nutrition Research, 33(5), 376-387.

We hypothesized that triphasic multinutrient supplementation during acute resistance exercise would enhance muscular performance, produce a more favorable anabolic profile, and reduce biochemical markers of muscle damage in strength-trained athletes. Fifteen male strength-trained athletes completed two acute lower-body resistance exercise sessions to fatigue 7 days apart. After a 4-hour fast, participants consumed either a multinutrient supplement (Musashi 1-2-3 Step System, Notting Hill, Australia) (SUPP) or placebo (PLA) beverage preexercise (PRE), during (DUR), and immediately postexercise (IP). Session volume loads were calculated as kilograms × repetitions. Lower-body peak power was measured using unloaded repeated countermovement jumps, and blood samples were collected to assess biochemistry, serum hormones, and muscle damage markers at PRE, DUR, IP, 30 minutes postexercise (P30), and 24 hours postexercise (P24h). The SUPP demonstrated increased glucose concentrations at DUR and IP compared with at PRE (P < .01), whereas PLA demonstrated higher glucose at P30 compared with at PRE (P < .001). Session volume load was higher for SUPP compared with PLA (P < .05). Cortisol increased at DUR, IP, and P30 compared with at PRE in both treatments (P < .05); however, SUPP also displayed lower cortisol at P24h compared with at PRE and PLA (P < .01). The total testosterone response to exercise was higher for PLA compared with SUPP (P < .01); however, total creatine kinase and C-reactive protein responses to exercise were lower for SUPP compared with PLA (P < .05). These data indicate that although triphasic multinutrient supplementation did not produce a more favorable anabolic profile, it improved acute resistance exercise performance while attenuating muscle damage in strength-trained athletes.

Sleep, recovery and athletic performance: Brief review and recommendations
Strength and Conditioning Journal, 35(5), 43-47, 2013.
ABSTRACT

Bird, S.P. (2013). Sleep, recovery and athletic performance: A brief review and recommendations. Strength and Conditioning Journal, 35(5), 43-47.

Sleep has been identified as an important factor contributing to optimal athletic performance. However, the psychosociophysiological (psychological, social and physiological) stresses placed on elite athletes often results in an increased stress/fatigue state and presents a phenomenon which may result in an inability to gain appropriate sleep. Improving an athlete’s sleep hygiene is seen as a key strategy that could have powerful implications for athletic performance. Aside from direct physiological implications associated with improved sleep hygiene, an athlete’s sleep perception may influence psychological factors including confidence, anxiety and motivation, and thereby influence performance indirectly through such factors. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to (i) overview the impact of sleep on recovery and athletic performance; (ii) outline sleep hygiene strategies; and (iii) provide sleep recommendations for athletes and coaches. The sleep hygiene strategies presented in this paper represent a practical approach to improve sleep perception in elite athletes.

PODCAST
Exploring the front squat.
Strength and Conditioning Journal, 34(2), 27-33, 2012.
ABSTRACT

Bird, S.P., & Casey, S. (2012). Exploring the front squat. Strength and Conditioning Journal, 34(2), 27-33.

This article explores the ‘‘front squat’’ (FSQ) and its variations as part of the ‘‘big three’’ (deadlift, power clean, and squat) exercises prescribed by strength and Conditioning coaches to develop total body strength, targeting the hip extensors (gluteus maximus), knee extensors (quadriceps), knee flexors (hamstrings), and core musculature (erector spinae, quadratus lumborum, obliques, rectus, and transverse abdominis). More specifically, the purpose of this article is to introduce strength and conditioning coaches to the FSQ teaching progression, with specific emphasis on developing the correct body positioning required for execution of the FSQ.

Integrating balance and postural stability exercises into the functional warm up for youth athletes.
Strength and Conditioning Journal, 34(3), 73-79, 2012.
ABSTRACT

Bird, SP., & Stuart, W. (2012). Integrating balance and postural stability exercises into the functional warm up for youth athletes. Strength and Conditioning Journal, 34(3), 73-79.

The goal of the functional warm up is to stimulate sensory and motor components related to preparatory (feed-forward) and reactive (feed-back) systems through functionally integrated movement patterns. This column presents balance and postural stability exercises that are easily implemented into the functional warm up as a movement preparation strategy for youth athletes.

Implementation of recovery strategies: 100-point weekly recovery checklist.
International Journal of Athletic Therapy and Training, 16(2), 16-19, 2011.
ABSTRACT

Bird, SP. (2011). Implementation of recovery strategies: 100-point weekly recovery checklist. International Journal of Athletic Therapy and Training, 16(2), 16-19.

To maximize performance potential athletes require a delicate balance between training stress and recovery. An expansive review, titled A framework for understanding the training process leading to elite performance, highlights that peak athletic performance is a multi-dimensional phenomenon, with key factors identified as the balance between stress, fatigue, and recovery, termed the stress/fatigue state. The stress/fatigue state has been described as a psychosociophysiological phenomenon. Therefore, identification of the source of stress (psychological, social, and/or physical) and the type of resultant fatigue (psychological, physiological, and/or neurological) will allow athletic trainers to develop appropriate recovery strategies and assist the athlete with implementation of such strategies. This suggests that as athletic trainers we must monitor our athletes to determine their current stress/fatigue state and implement strategies to maintain balance between stress, fatigue, and recovery. However, despite the importance of optimizing recovery on athletic performance, recovery is often inadequately addressed and/or overlooked. The “time devoted to planning the training is often far disproportionate to the time spent planning the recovery”. As such, trainers are continually searching for ways to implement practical recovery strategies that can optimize recovery from training and competition, as this will benefit the subsequent training session and performance period.

  1. Optimal training adaptation requires balancing training stress and recovery.
  2. Athletes must be proactive in the recovery process.
  3. Self-initiated, proactive recovery strategies assist athlete compliance.
  4. 100 point weekly recovery checklist is a useful athlete education tool.
Exploring the deadlift.
Strength and Conditioning Journal, 32(2), 46-51, 2010.
ABSTRACT

Bird, S.P., & Barrington-Higgs, B. (2010). Exploring the deadlift. Strength and Conditioning Journal, 32(2), 46-51.

The deadlift (DL) and its variations are widely accepted by strength and conditioning coaches as one of the ‘big three’ exercises prescribed to develop “total body strength”, specifically the hip and knee extensors, spinal erectors, quadratus lumborum, core abdominal musculature, back, and forearm muscles. While there are several reports addressing correct teaching technique, few provide clarification surrounding specific terminology and explanation of the different DL styles employed by coaches. Typically, the term DL is associated with both conventional and non-conventional styles (i.e., sumo), commonly used by athletes, with these two styles the basis of all other DL variants. A comprehensive review by Piper and Waller presents 11 variations of the DL, highlighting the vast manipulation of this fundamental exercise. This is an important consideration, as explanation of DL variations is often lacking, adding to the confusion surrounding DL terminology. Therefore, the purpose of this ‘From the field: exercise highlight’ is to provide strength and conditioning coaches with a brief overview of the application for common DL variations used in strength training program design. Specific emphasis will be placed on the Romanian deadlift (RDL), as it is critical in the teaching progression of the power clean.

Strength nutrition: Maximizing your anabolic potential
Strength and Conditioning Journal, 32(4), 80-83, 2010.
ABSTRACT

Bird, S. P. (2010). Strength nutrition: Maximizing your anabolic potential. Strength and Conditioning Journal, 32(4), 80-83.

This article introduces coaches and strength/power athletes to the concept of strength nutrition and provides a brief overview of mechanisms that promotes an athlete’s anabolic potential after resistance exercise and carbohydrate, protein, and/or amino acid ingestion through the pathway of adaptation model.

Pre-season strength training for rugby union: The general and specific preparation phase.
Strength and Conditioning Journal 31(6): 66-74, 2009.
ABSTRACT

Corcoran G.A., & Bird, S.P. (2009). Pre-season strength training for rugby union: The general and specific preparation phase. Strength and Conditioning Journal 31(6): 66-74.

The field of strength and conditioning has seen the rapid development of new training methods to enhance sport performance. while the training techniques and strategies may have changed, the cornerstone of athletic development has not, in that strength training during the general preparation phase remains an integral component in athletic conditioning for sport. it is the purpose of this article to present preseason strength training during the preparation phase implemented for the 2009 rugby season for senior, amateur, first- and second-grade players competing in the domestic central west rugby competition, New South Wales, Australia.

Designing resistance training programmes to enhance muscular fitness: A review of the acute programme variables.
Sports Medicine, 35(10), 841-851, 2005.
ABSTRACT

Bird, S. P., Tarpenning, K. M., & Marino, F. E. (2005). Designing resistance training programmes to enhance muscular fitness: A review of the acute programme variables. Sports Medicine, 35(10), 841-851.

The popularity of resistance training has grown immensely over the past 25 years, with extensive research demonstrating that not only is resistance training an effective method to improve neuromuscular function, it can also be equally effective in maintaining or improving individual health status. However, designing a resistance training programme is a complex process that incorporates several acute programme variables and key training principles. The effectiveness of a resistance training programme to achieve a specific training outcome (i.e. muscular endurance, hypertrophy, maximal strength, or power) depends on manipulation of the acute programme variables, these include: (i) muscle action; (ii) loading and volume; (iii) exercise selection and order; (iv) rest periods; (v) repetition velocity; and (vi) frequency. Ultimately, it is the acute programme variables, all of which affect the degree of the resistance training stimuli, that determine the magnitude to which the neuromuscular, neuroendocrine and musculoskeletal systems adapt to both acute and chronic resistance exercise. This article reviews the available research that has examined the application of the acute programme variables and their influence on exercise performance and training adaptations. The concepts presented in this article represent an important approach to effective programme design. Therefore, it is essential for those involved with the prescription of resistance exercise (i.e. strength coaches, rehabilitation specialists, exercise physiologists) to acquire a fundamental understanding of the acute programme variables and the importance of their practical application in programme design.

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