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Enhancing sprint and strength performance: Combined versus maximal power, traditional heavy-resistance and plyometric training

      Abstract

      Objectives

      This study compares the effect of five different training stimuli on sprinting ability and strength production.

      Design

      Sixty physical education students were randomly assigned to five experimental groups: all types of training (A), full-squat (B), parallel-squat (C), loaded countermovement jumping (D) and plyometric training (E). Participants in each group trained three days a week for a total of seven weeks.

      Methods

      Sprint performance (30 m), maximal dynamic strength (1RM) (kg) and velocity of displacement in the concentric phase of full-squat (m/s) were measured before and after seven weeks of training.

      Results

      Pre-training results showed no significant differences among the groups in any of the variables tested. After seven weeks no significant improvement in sprint performance was found, however, significant improvement in maximal dynamic strength, velocity of displacement were observed in all the groups: combined methods group A (20%), heavy-resistance group B (11%), power-oriented group C (17%), ballistic group D (14%) and plyometric group E (6%).

      Conclusions

      A combined training approach using full-squat, parallel-squat, loaded countermovement jumping and plyometric training results in a light improvement in maximal strength, velocity of displacement and sprint performance and the resemblance between movement patterns and the velocity of displacement common to the training and testing methods also contributes to greater performance improvement.

      Keywords

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