Research

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Should Athletes Train Like Bodybuilders?

Bodybuilders and Olympic lifters have very different ways of approaching the volume of their training. Bodybuilders are used to thinking that they need to train to failure (or close to it) in order to maximize the gains in muscle mass from training. Olympic lifters are focused on the speed of their movements and on technique, so training to failure is a negative for them because of how that level of fatigue negatively impacts velocity and technique.   The question is,...

Sprinters Have to be Able to Apply Force Quickly

Over the years I’ve seen a lot about training for sprinting on the internet. There are a lot of gurus and keyboard coaches. Slawinski et al, in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports, had a really interesting article looking at about 30 years of elite sprinting.   In this study the authors analyzed the power, force, and velocity outputs of men and women 100 meter sprinters at the 1987, 1988, 1991, 1997, 1999, 2007, 2009, and 2011...

Post-Activation Potentiation and the Nervous System: It’s Complicated

hexagonal bar

There has been a lot of contradictory research on post-activation potentiation (PAP) over the last five to ten years. Briefly, this is performing a heavy, slow strength training exercise prior to performing an explosive activity (like a jump, throw, or sprint). The idea is that the heavy strength training exercise will increase neuromuscular recruitment, leading to enhanced performance.   In the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports, Thomas et al performed a study to assess whether this approach...

Resisted Sprints: It’s On The Legs!

Resisted sprinting has been around for awhile. The idea is to add resistance, to make the nervous system recruit more motor units during the sprinting motion, in the hopes that it will carry over to unressited sprinting. There are many ways to add resistance to athletes. Macadam et al, in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, look at an interesting way which is to add the resistance to the athlete’s legs.   The authors studied 19 amateur rugby players...

Squats: Form Matters

weightlifter

The squat is one of the most widely used exercises in athletic strength and conditioning. It’s also one of the most controversial. Over the years there’s been a standard in terms of squatting technique; heels on the ground, push the hips back (as opposed to the knees forward), knees aligned with the toes, etc. However, not everyone agrees with this.   The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research has an interesting little study examining the impact of squatting form on...