Brown, FM, Neft, EE, and LaJambe, CM. Collegiate rowing crew performance varies by morningness-eveningness. J Strength Cond Res 22(6): 1894-1900, 2008-During adolescence and early adulthood, most humans are predisposed developmentally, both biologically and socially, toward evening/night activity. The morningness-eveningness (M-E) tendency to be an evening-preferring (E-type) rather than a morning-preferring (M-type) or intermediate/neither (N-type) "chronotype" may affect athletic performance at various times of day. This study evaluated M-E effects on rowing performance of an intact, experienced, university club crew with near-daily early morning (0500-0700 hours) and late afternoon (1630-1800 hours) training schedules. The hypothesis tested was that chronotype would modify circadian effects during morning and afternoon performances. Eight men and eight women (mean age 19.6 ± 1.5 years) were tested in a randomized, counterbalanced design. A standard qualifying 2000-m ergometer rowing sprint and a nonroutine standing broad jump task were measured during early morning and late afternoon, separated by 3 days of rest. Each subject's chronotype was determined using two standard self-rating M-E scales, resulting in eight E-type (three women/five men), four M-type (two women/two men), and four N-type (three women/one man) subjects. The rowing results show that E-type and N-type subjects did not differ between morning and afternoon rowing performances, whereas M-type subjects rowed significantly faster in the morning. In contrast, the standing broad jump showed no consistent time-of-day or chronotype effect. These findings suggest that basic performance timing in young athletes is determined to some extent by naturally occurring M-E predispositions. Further, modification of time-of-day influences may be possible by routine practice at the same time each day, as was suggested here by the absence of evening superiority in performances. Understanding their personal M-E tendencies could allow young athletes to arrange training schedules at specific times of day to help counteract any natural circadian influences that might work against their performance.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation