post-activation potentiation

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

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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...

Power Development V: More Tools and Stratgies

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In our last four posts ((http://www.cissik.com/blog/2017/01/power-development-part-i-foundations/ , http://www.cissik.com/blog/2017/02/power-development-part-ii-cautions/ , and http://www.cissik.com/blog/?p=1723&preview=true , http://www.cissik.com/blog/2017/03/power-development-part-iv-tools-and-strategies/ ) we covered background information behind training for power, cautions with it, principles behind program design, and some of the tools involved in power training. With this post we’ll cover more of the tools and strategies that are used in power training.   This post is going to cover: Power lifting Complex training Contrast training   Power lifting: The squat, bench press, and deadlift are used to...

Using Bands and Squats To Improve Sprinting Speed

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The concept of post-activation potentiation (PAP) has been around for a long time under several names. The first few generations of Soviet coaches/sport scientists that came to the west called it complex training. The idea is to use some type of a brief, heavy strength training load to cue the nervous system (i.e. recruit a large number of muscle fibers). That recruitment is then used to enhance performance on a speed/power event. For example, heavy squats followed by a vertical...

Flexibility Training: It’s Not What You Think

Blazevich et al in the most recent issue of the Journal of Applied Physiology have an article that examines what happens on several levels as a result of three weeks of flexibility training for the ankle joint.  In future years, we may be looking back at this study as one of those profound studies that change the way we think and practice.  I wanted to cover this study because it can be read on one level (here’s the study, here’s...

Post-Activation Potentiation: Still No Smoking Gun

The concept of post-activation potentiation (PAP) has been around for a while and has had different labels over the decades. Briefly the idea is to combine a heavy movement with an explosive one. The heavy movement will cue the nervous system and this cueing will create a positive performance effect on the explosive movement. Over the last five to ten years there has been a great deal of research on this with decidedly mixed results. Whelan et al, in the...