Strength and Conditioning Research the TL;DR (too long didn’t read) version – April 2014

Concentric Hamstring and Quadricep strength of american football players in the NFL scouting combine.


  •  Large study with an elite population! 1.252 players tested.
  • Strength ratio for hamstring to quadriceps was measure at 68-69% for all players with very little deviation.
  • For quadriceps 47.2% of players had a bilateral deficit greater than 10% (one quad stronger than the other).
  • For hamstrings 57% of players had a bilateral deficit greater than 10% (one quad stronger than the other).
  • Strength was related to bodyweight and position.

TL;DR – Bilateral deficits are the rule not the exception in american football athletes.


Relationships between Performance tests for high level Soccer players.


  • 57 high level norwegiean soccer players where exposed to a battery of field tests – Yo-Yo intermetent recovery test stage 1 and 2, Maximal sprinting speed (10m, 20m and 35m), Repeated sprint ability (7x35m test).
  • They performed a matrix of co-relation tests to try to establish any relationships.
  • All tests co-related to an extent with yo-yo 1 and 2 co-relating the closest.
  • 2 and 4 minute heart rate tests co-related with yo-yo results and where reproducible so could be used as a non invasive monitoring tool for fitness.

TL;DR – Authors suggested the use of one Yo-Yo test and Repeated sprint ability tests for in season testing, they also suggest that 2-4 min heart rate tests could be a good monitoring tool. 

Small sided games improve athletic performance in Elite Rugby League players. 


  • 10 elite rugby league players underwent an 8 week small sided game block of 2x per week.
  • Sessions consisted of 4 x 10 minutes games interspersed with 3 minutes of recovery.
  • At the start and finish of the programme players had their – Intermitent fitness (shuttle test), speed (10,20 and 40m) and repeated sprint ability (8x20m) tested.
  • Players realised a -2% improvment on 40m time and -3% improvment on 10m time.  They also showed improvements in intermittent fitness and repeated sprint ability.

TL;DR – conditioning games produce fitness and speed gains in rugby league players while also playing rugby at the same time. 

Effects of strength and power training on the physical performance of elite water polo players.


  • 27 player where split into 2 groups water only training and water and strength training.
  • Water training was 5x a week for control group and strength training groups whilst only the strength training group performed 2x a week strength training.
  • Programme lasted for 18 weeks and consisted of – Bench Press, Full Squat, Military press, pull ups and counter movement jump.
  • Control group didn’t improve in any measures whilst the experimental strength group improved in counter movement jump (+6.9%), bench press (+10.5%), Full squat (14.2%), thorwing velocity (+2.8%) and 20m swimming sprint (-2.25%).

TL;DR – If your a water polo player and want to be stronger, faster and throw the ball harder lift weights and do loaded jumps 2x per week.

Effects of grip width and strength and muscle activation in the lat pulldown 


  • 15 men performed a 6rm using a wide, medium or narrow grip on the latpulldown.
  • On average narrow and medium grip where stronger by +3kg when compared to wide grip.
  • Narrow and Medium grip activated biceps more than wide grip (especially on concentric phase)
  • Wide grip activated lats and infraspinatus more than close and medium (especially on eccentric phase)
  • Overall muscle activation was fairly homogeneous (similar).

TL;DR – Grip width has small effects on the involvement of muscles on this exercise and on strength, if you want to be anal about it you can change your grip for the lols.

Static Stretching does not affect bench press performance


  • 15 men performed two conditions a-bench press and b- bench press with static stretching.
  • During condition a they performed 4 sets of bench press till concentric failure with 80% of their 1RM with 150 sec of rest between sets
  • During condition b they performed the same protocol but stretched pecs and triceps for 30 sec at peak stretch.
  • No significant difference was found between conditions.
  • Of small interest the stretching condition performed slightly better than control 21.3 reps vs 20.5 reps (although not significant).

Stretching does not effect upper body strength in bench press in fact if you want to maybe squeeze one more rep out at 80% get your stretch on.