Strength and Conditioning Research the TL;DR Version – June 2014



Olympic Weightlifting and Plyometric training in children vs Traditional Resistance Training

  • 63 children between the ages of 10-12 took part in the study they where randomly allocated into one of three programmes – Olympic weightlifting, Plyometrics or Traditional resistance training.
  • The children underwent a 12 week training programme.
  • Their Countermovement jump, horizontal jump, 5 and 20m sprints, maximal isokinetic force, BMI, bodyfat and balance.
  • Olympic weightlifting was superior to plyometric training for CMJ, horizontal jump and 5 and 20m sprint times.  Plyometric training was better than traditional RT for balance, isokinetic force and 5/20m sprint times.  Traditional weight training only exceeded plyometrics for BMI and isokinetic power @ 60s

TL;DR – Olympic lifting produces better athletic performance with children than does plyometrics in all measures in the study other than balance.  If you can only choose one intervention for power and speed with a young population according to this study Olympic weightlifting might give you the best bang for your buck.



Muscle Activation during 4 hamstring exercises

  • 12 males took part in the study.  They looked at leg curl, romanian deadlift, good morning and glute-ham raise.
  • Muscle activation was looked at in the Erector spinae, Glute Medius, Semitendinosus, Biceps femoris and medial gastrocnemius.
  • Semitendinosus was more active during all exercises than Biceps femoris and hamstring activation was greatest in the romanian deadlift and glute-ham raise.

TL;DR – If you want to work your hamstrings RDL and glute ham raise are better options than Leg curls or good mornings.


Verbal and practice only coaching vs Verbal, practice and visual feedback coaching when coaching the power clean.

  • 15 novices took part in a 4 week training course.  They were split into 2 groups – traditional coaching (verbal cues and physical practice) and Visual aided coaching (verbal cues, physical practice and watching a video of an expert performer before each set).
  • They performed 4 practice sessions consisting of 3 sets of 5 reps per session.
  • Video analysis and kinematic data was collected and used to assess performance.
  • Visual coaching overserved faster technique improvements, higher peak power outputs and performance improvements where significantly associated with technique improvements.

TL;DR if you want to get better at doing a movement watch experts doing it as often as you can (thanks youtube!)

Long-Term Effect of Whole Body Vibration Training on Jump Height: Meta-analysis

  • 15 studies where included in the meta analysis.
  • Vibration training produces better jump improvements than doing nothing.
  • To get the most out of vibration training you must – have higher frequencies, higher amplitudes, longer exposure, longer training sessions and be a non-athlete.
  • Vibration training produces better jump performance than does cardiovascular exercise.

TL;DR – Vibration training for jump performance is better than doing nothing or cardio for jump performance………..


Relationship with Pec size and Bench press strength and bench throw performance

  • 18 male collegiate athletes took part in the study.
  • Maximal cross sectional area and maximal volume of the pec was looked at.
  • Subjected performed a 1RM test in the smith machine bench press.
  • At a later date they performed bench press throws on the smith machine at various 1RM percentages from 30% to 90%.
  • Muscle size was positively related to performance in both the bench press 1RM and throw performance.

TL;DR version – bigger muscles are stronger and more powerful (pecs in this case).

Beta Alanine supplementation for athletic performance.

  • Beta alanine supposedly acts as a muscle buffer and prevents muscle fatigue in activities that are heavily reliant on ATP anaerobic glycolysis (think efforts 15 to 60 seconds in length such as high rep weights training or HIIT cardio).
  • Research that shows a positive effect using this supplement are typically in untrained individuals in laboratory conditions.
  • Highly trained athletes may receive moderate but perhaps meaningful benefits.
  • Overall evidence for it’s effectiveness in a trained population are equivocal and requires scientific confirmation.

TL;DR – Beta Alanine is a great supplement if you’re an untrained college student taking part in your mate’s dissertation. 

That concludes our late look at June’s JSCR issue.  I will be back in a week or two with this month’s instalment hope you have found this article useful, interesting or at the very least entertaining.