Strength and Conditioning Research

Strength and Conditioning Research the TL;DR Version – August 2015

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TL;DR –

  • if you train 2-3x per day you might want to investigate massage to help improve your performance between sessions.
  • Isometrics are still a waste of time for performance training.
  • resistance training that involves similar movements and velocities can improve specific sports performance.
  • If you want to hit hard in rugby league your absolute strength is important

Effect of massage on muscular strength and performance after exercise induced muscle damage.

Shin et al looked at the effect massage had on subjects who had undergone exercise induced muscle damage of the calf after repeated exercise bouts.  Subjects where split into two groups massage (n=11) and control (n=10).  The massage group received 15 mins of massage from a physiotherapist that involved superficial techniques.  Subjects were then tested for muscle strength and function using EMG and for proprioception using a dual inclinometer.  They found that subjects who received the massage had greater proprioception of the ankle joint and better calf muscle function.

TL;DR – if you train 2-3x per day you might want to investigate massage to help improve your performance between sessions.

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The effect of two different interval training protocols on 2000m rowing performance.

20 lightweight male collegiate rowers where split into two groups supramaximal interval training (SIT) and high intensity interval training (HIT) groups.  They tested their 2000m time before engaging in the training study.  SIT training consisted of 10x 30 seconds at 150% of peak power output with 4 mins recovery between intervals whilst HIT involved 8x 2.5 min at 90% peak power output with 3 mins of rest.  After 4 weeks of training and 8 sessions SMIT improved by 5.7 seconds and HIT group improved by 5 seconds.  All other variables improved for both groups although not significantly over each other.

TL;DR – Interval training works.

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Investigating the relationship between maximal isometric strength and vertical jump.

22 collegiate athletes took part in the study.  Researchers looked at the relationship between isometric mid thigh pull and vertical jump height.  Researchers also used the force plate to measure peak force, peak power from the jumps as well as height.  The researchers found no significant relationship between isometric strength and jump height.  They showed moderate relationships between peak power and peak force during the jump.

TL;DR – Isometrics are still a waste of time for performance training.

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Specific resistance training vs a regular throwing programme for performance in elite handball players. 

34 elite male handball players where split into three groups resistance training (throwing with medicine balls) n = 12, regular throwing programme (n = 12) and control (n = 10).  Each group performed their programme (medicine ball throwing, handball throwing or nothing) 3x per week alongside their normal handball training for 8 weeks in season.  After the 8 weeks the medicine ball group showed an improvement in strength, muscle size, throwing velocity and power whereas handball group showed increases in strength, size and power.  Control group showed no significant increases.

TL;DR – resistance training that involves similar movements and velocities can improve specific sports performance.

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Strength and power and tackling ability in rugby league. 

36 semi-professional rugby league players were assessed for maximal strength (bench press and squat) and power (plyo push up and countermovement jump).  The players were then assessed for tackling ability using a standardised one on one tackling drill and video analysis.  The best indicators of tackling ability where squat (r=.67), bench press (r=.58), relative squat (r=.41) and plyo push up (r=.56).

TL;DR – If you want to hit hard in rugby league your absolute strength is important.

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