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Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)


Sport Sciences

First Advisor

J. Mark VanNess

First Committee Member

Jolene Baker

Second Committee Member

Tenisha Tevis


This study analyzed the changes in performance and anthropometric characteristics in collegiate male club rugby athletes following an unsupervised 4-week winter academic break. Fourteen athletes completed this study utilizing a within-subjects model. All measures were collected prior to, and after the winter academic break. Prior to testing each subject was acclimated to the protocols to reduce associated learning effects. Performance measures included V02max, vertical jump, 1 0-yard sprint, squat max, and bench press max and body composition was assessed by measuring body weight and hydrostatic weighing. During the Break no structured workouts were provided for athletes and participants were required to complete a self-report on activity and nutritional habits during this unsupervised period. Surprisingly, post-break performance measurements did not decrease. In fact, some measures showed improvement. There were increases in V02max (4.95%), squat max (14.33%), and vertical jump (6.75%). Anthropometric characteristics showed significant increases in body fat percentage (increase of 19.33%) as well as total body weight (1.01 %). Self report data collected over the break indicate > 3 days of moderate to intense physical activity per week but subjects rated dietary habits on the lower end of the subjective scale. These results indicate that athletes may not need prescribed exercise routines during academic semester periods as self-reports indicated adequate levels of activity to prevent detraining effects. Furthermore, it may be more beneficial to provide structured nutritional advice during unsupervised phases.



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