Thesis Final

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  • THE EFFECTS OF AMMONIA INHALANTS ON STRENGTH PERFORMANCE

    IN MALE WEIGHT LIFTERS

    A Masters Thesis

    Presented to

    The Graduate College of

    Missouri State University

    In Partial Fulfillment

    Of the Requirements for the Degree

    Master of Science, Health Promotion and Wellness Management

    By

    Adam Potts

    December 2013

  • ii

    THE EFFECTS OF AMMONIA INHALANTS ON STRENGTH PERFORMANCE

    IN MALE WEIGHT LIFTERS

    Kinesiology

    Missouri State University, December 2013

    Master of Science

    Adam Potts

    ABSTRACT

    Today, athletes and weight lifters are going to extreme measures to gain an advantage in

    performance. As a result, pre-workout supplements have become very popular. Ammonia

    inhalants have been reported to produce a similar effect to pre-workout supplements

    because they are suggested to increase consciousness and physical strength. Still the

    effect of ammonia inhalants on strength performance is unknown. The purpose of this

    study was to examine the relationship between two measures of strength performance

    with ammonia inhalants. The participants in this study were 25 male weight lifters.

    Participants were tested in the back squat and bench press at 85 percent of their

    calculated 1 repetition max (1RM), at two different sessions. The participants inhaled

    either the ammonia inhalant or the placebo prior to performing as many repetitions as

    possible in the back squat and bench press at 85 percent of their 1RM. A paired samples

    dependent T-Test along with an ANOVA was used to analyze any differences between

    the placebo and the ammonia inhalant. The results revealed that there were no significant

    differences in strength testing between the ammonia inhalant, placebo, or no substance at

    all. The results in this study suggest that ammonia inhalants do not increase strength in

    male weight lifters.

    KEYWORDS: ammonia inhalant, ergogenic aid, resistance training, strength training,

    exercise

    This abstract is approved as to form and content

    _______________________________

    Scott Richmond, Ph.D.

    Chairperson, Advisory Committee

    Missouri State University

  • iii

    THE EFFECTS OF AMMONIA INHALANTS ON STRENGTH PERFORMANCE

    IN MALE WEIGHT LIFTERS

    By

    Adam Potts

    A Masters Thesis

    Submitted to the Graduate College

    Of Missouri State University

    In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements

    For the Degree of Master of Science, Health Promotion and Wellness Management

    December, 2013

    Approved:

    _______________________________________

    Scott Richmond, Ph.D.

    _______________________________________

    Gerald Masterson, Ph.D.

    _______________________________________

    Thomas Altena, Ph.D.

    _______________________________________

    Thomas Tomasi, Ph.D.

  • iv

    ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

    First I would like to thank Dr. Scott Richmond for his leadership and cooperation

    with me on this thesis project. Without his knowledge and input, conducting this

    experiment would have never been possible. I am deeply grateful for the counsel that he

    has given me over the semester. I would also like to thank Dr. Jerry Masterson and Dr.

    Thomas Altena for their input and guidance on this project as well. Theyre incite gave

    me new perspectives and ideas while working on this study. My sincere gratitude is also

    extended to Joe Sherman who dedicated a large amount of his time to assist in this

    project. Joes support made the testing portion of this research run very smoothly. I want

    each one of these people to know that I am greatly appreciative of their support and

    assistance!

  • v

    TABLE OF CONTENTS

    Chapter 1: Introduction ........................................................................................................1

    Chapter 2: Review of Literature ..........................................................................................3

    Chapter 3: Methods ..............................................................................................................8

    Experimental Design ................................................................................................8

    Procedures ................................................................................................................8

    Statistics .................................................................................................................11

    Chapter: 4 Results .............................................................................................................12

    Discussion ..........................................................................................................................14

    Data Limitations.....................................................................................................14

    Practical Applications ............................................................................................15

    Summary ................................................................................................................16

    References ..........................................................................................................................17

    Appendices .........................................................................................................................19

    Appendix A. Medical History/Questionnaire ........................................................19

    Appendix B. Informed Consent ............................................................................21

  • vi

    LIST OF TABLES

    Table 1. Subject Characteristics .........................................................................................12

    Table 2. Back Squat Statistics ............................................................................................13

    Table 3. Bench Press Statistics ..........................................................................................13

  • 1

    CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION

    Pre-Workout supplements are very popular in todays fitness realm. Many

    athletes, power lifters, bodybuilders, and recreational lifters use pre-workout supplements

    prior to resistance training to increase training motivation and muscular strength.

    Previous studies have shown that significant benefits in muscular strength and power can

    be acquired from using pre-workout supplements within an hour prior to the resistance

    training session (6,17). Today ammonia inhalants (AIs), also known as smelling salts,

    like other pre-workout supplements are used to enhance performance in competition and

    also in workouts prior to heavy resistance training sets. AI use is widespread among

    athletes and power lifters all over the world to gain an edge (10). AIs are most commonly

    used to increase muscular strength for a short period of time (8).

    Usually AIs are in the form of capsules and composed of ammonium carbonate

    combined with scents or perfumes. According to McCrory (10), AIs are categorized as a

    respiratory stimulant. They were originally utilized to prevent and treat fainting,

    dizziness, and lightheadedness. We now know that AIs do not cure the underlying

    problem of injuries but only provide temporary relief (18). When AIs are sniffed or

    inhaled, the nose, lungs, and mucus membranes rapidly become irritated causing

    involuntary inhalation. This involuntary inhalation is reported to accelerate respiration

    and stimulate a higher degree of consciousness (10). A higher degree of consciousness

    may be responsible for increasing primary attentional focus which allows the weight lifter

    to block out unnecessary distractions and primarily focus on the task of executing the

    exercise; a psychological trait that many expert athletes utilize to perform successfully

    under pressure (13).

  • 2

    AIs are approved in the United States today through the Food and Drug

    Administration for the treatment of fainting, and are offered over the counter. It should be

    noted that ammonia is toxic in large amounts, and should only be administered in small

    doses and given to users without any pre-existing medical conditions (18). Complications

    caused by AIs in athletes have been reported but are rare (8). These complications

    include lung irritation/damage, loss of consciousness, and anaphylaxis. People with

    respiratory issues like asthma should avoid using AIs because the lungs will become

    irritated. It is also recommended that AIs not be used to aid head and neck injuries

    because they can cause a sudden unexpected reflex. The movement of a sudden reflex

    can cause the head and neck to quickly contract which can increase the severity of the

    injury (18).

    Athletes commonly use AIs immediately before or during competition, such as

    prior to attempting a 1-repitition maximum (1RM) attempt in the bench press, back squat,

    deadlift, or power clean. AIs are also used before the opening kickoff of a football game,

    between rounds of a boxing match, or in locker rooms during breaks or intermissions of

    games (18).

    Although AIs have been around and used for many years little is known about

    their effects on athletic performance. The lack of research provides no formal proof that