Training & Conditioning, 11.9, December 2001, http://www.momentummedia.com/articles/tc/tc1109/bboard.htm
Update Your Professional Standards . .
Strength and conditioning professionals today face rapidly changing liability issues. In an effort to help its members reduce the likelihood of claims, the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) has updated its professional standards and guidelines.
The new guidelines identify several potential areas of exposure, along with ideas for minimizing liability risk. Some of the issues covered include screening athletes prior to sport participation, personnel qualifications, program supervision and instruction, equipment inspection and maintenance, emergency preparedness, record keeping, youth participation, supplements, drugs, and ergogenic aids. The updated information is available for download directly from NSCA at
For additional information and commentary on the new standards from the NSCA’s Michael Barnes, MEd, CSCS, and Steven Plisk, MS, CSCS, log on to www.AthleticSearch.com and look under the Bonus Editorial section.
. . . And Continue Learning
As an education-based organization, the NSCA continues its efforts to foster the membership’s professional development. For its most recent endeavor, the NSCA has teamed up with Human Kinetics to offer a Web-based, distance-learning program.
To date, six courses are available: "Pre-Exercise Health Screening," "Muscular Fitness Assessment and Prescription," "Cardiorespiratory Fitness Assessment and Prescription," "Exercise Nutrition," "Weight Management," and "Fitness Through Walking and Running." Tuition for each course ranges from $65 to $100 and includes text material and a CD-ROM. Eventually, the association plans to expand this online curriculum to 37 courses.
Interested? Your first step is to check out http://nsca.hklearningcenter.com or follow the online education link from the NSCA Web site at
Don’t Hold Your Breath . . .
Athletes'practice of hyperventilating before swimming events is a common one that dates back to the days of Johnny Weismuller. Hyperventilating decreases the concentration of carbon dioxide in the blood, which in turn suppresses the body’s urge to breathe. And in a competitive swimming event, breathing less can translate into quicker lap times.
There’s just one drawback to this practice: It can kill you.
During one recently-publicized incident this past August, a Navy swimmer died after hyperventilating and then trying to swim underwater for 75 meters without coming up for a breath. This phenomenon is often called "shallow-water blackout."
To date, there are few rules and regulations regarding competitive swimmers'breathing techniques, although the National Federation of State High School Associations requires some swimmers to break the surface of the water within 15 meters after beginning a race.
Your school may or may not have written manuals about shallow water blackout, but as an athletic trainer, you need to educate your swimmers about this danger.
For more information about shallow-water blackout, check out the United States Navy Safety Center Web site at
. . . Just Breathe Normally
Those little adhesive strips that some athletes tape to the bridges of their noses won’t help them breathe more efficiently or speed recovery from exercise, according to a recent study at Illinois State University.
Many athletes believe that these devices, which are sometimes called "nasal strips," will give them an edge by dilating nasal passages, thus aiding the breathing process. Not so, say ISU researchers David Q. Thomas, Beth M. Larson, Michele R. Rahija, and Steven T. McCaw, who examined the effects of nasal strips on the heart rates, minute ventilation, and oxygen consumption of athletes who were engaged in and recovering from anaerobic exercise.
The researchers examined a small test group of 14 subjects aged 19 to 32. They were put through a modified Cunningham-Faulkner anaerobic treadmill test. During the test, some subjects were given nasal strips, others received placebo nasal strips, and the control group wore no nasal strips. After taking measurements during the test and recovery periods, the researchers found that the strips had no significant effect on heart rate, ventilation, or oxygen consumption.
Interested in learning more about this study? Read the report, "Nasal Strips Do Not Affect Cardiorespiratory Measures During Recovery From Exercise,"in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research: Vol. 15, No. 3, pp. 341–343.