Research of the Week: Pre-Competition Lifts
Research of the week is something I am very excited about going forward as I think a lot of softball players and coaches simply do not have time to keep up with most current research in strength and conditioning. The purpose of this section of the blog is to provide current players and coaches with science based training and preparation practices to enhance performance on the field.
The first article of research I am reviewing was recently published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. If you are interested in reading the fun article, you can click the link at the end of the post. The purpose of this study was to investigate how power-type training enhanced neuromuscular performance of the legs in the following 24-48 hours. The practical applications of this particular study could provide scientific insight in how you should prepare 1 or 2 days before a game.
Training in the weight room in a competition season is crucial to preventing injury and maintaining optimal power outputs, especially for softball players. This study in particular analyzes what kind of training should be done in the 1-2 days leading up to competition.
The Protocol: 4 sessions (2 experimental and 2 control) 1 week apart. All subjects performed 2 experimental sessions (power based resistance training) and had 2 control (rest) sessions. Subjects were tested 24 and 48 hours after both conditions, respectively to assess neuromuscular performance.
Who They Tested: 17 trained athletes (10 years sport experience, 6 years training experience).
What They Tested: Vertical jump, reactive strength index (RSI) from a drop jump, max leg press isometric force, and Rate of Force Development (RFD). The athletes performed baseline measurements of jump, the 1-rep max half squat, drop jumps to assess RSI, and max iso force and RFD and were tested again 24 and 48 hours after a certain condition (either rest or training).
The Results: Low-volume, power type resistance training lead to moderate to large improvements in explosive neuromuscular performance 1 and 2 days later. The researchers saw significant increases in vertical jump and increases also in RSI and RFD after 24 hours (more than 48) in the group that did power based resistance training.
What This Means for You: Adding in some low-volume resistance training 24-48 hours before a game will likely benefit your performance. The vertical jump is a standard test for how powerful an athlete is on any given day, meaning the fact that there was a significant increase in those numbers tells you that a physiological adaption was present. If you play Friday, get a light and fast lift in on Thursday with sport specific movements. Keep the reps low, the speed high, and the weight light to moderate. This will help you feel more explosive and powerful on the field, boost your performance, AND prevent injuries from occurring. Happy lifting!
For the full article: Click here Article: DELAYED EFFECTS OF A LOW-VOLUME, POWER-TYPE RESISTANCE EXERCISE SESSION ON EXPLOSIVE PERFORMANCE: ATHANASIOS TSOUKOS, PANAGIOTIS VELIGEKAS, LEE E. BROWN, and GERASIMOS TERZIS,1 AND GREGORY C. BOGDANIS