Influence of strength on magnitude and mechanisms of adaptation to power training.Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2010 Aug; 42(8):1566-81.MS
To determine whether the magnitude of performance improvements and the mechanisms driving adaptation to ballistic power training differ between strong and weak individuals.
Twenty-four men were divided into three groups on the basis of their strength level: stronger (n = 8, one-repetition maximum-to-body mass ratio (1RM/BM) = 1.97 +/- 0.08), weaker (n = 8, 1RM/BM = 1.32 +/- 0.14), or control (n = 8, 1RM/BM = 1.37 +/- 0.13). The stronger and weaker groups trained three times per week for 10 wk. During these sessions, subjects performed maximal-effort jump squats with 0%-30% 1RM. The impact of training on athletic performance was assessed using a 2-d testing battery that involved evaluation of jump and sprint performance as well as measures of the force-velocity relationship, jumping mechanics, muscle architecture, and neural drive.
Both experimental groups showed significant (P < or = 0.05) improvements in jump (stronger: peak power = 10.0 +/- 5.2 W.kg, jump height = 0.07 +/- 0.04 m; weaker: peak power = 9.1 +/- 2.3 W.kg, jump height = 0.06 +/- 0.04 m) and sprint performance after training (stronger: 40-m time = -2.2% +/- 2.0%; weaker: 40-m time = -3.6% +/- 2.3%). Effect size analyses revealed a tendency toward practically relevant differences existing between stronger and weaker individuals in the magnitude of improvements in jump performance (effect size: stronger: peak power = 1.55, jump height = 1.46; weaker: peak power = 1.03, jump height = 0.95) and especially after 5 wk of training (effect size: stronger: peak power = 1.60, jump height = 1.59; weaker: peak power = 0.95, jump height = 0.61). The mechanisms driving these improvements included significant (P < or = 0.05) changes in the force-velocity relationship, jump mechanics, and neural activation, with no changes to muscle architecture observed.
The magnitude of improvements after ballistic power training was not significantly influenced by strength level. However, the training had a tendency toward eliciting a more pronounced effect on jump performance in the stronger group. The neuromuscular and biomechanical mechanisms driving performance improvements were very similar for both strong and weak individuals.