Comparing the effectiveness of a short-term vertical jump vs. weightlifting program on athletic power development
Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
School of Medical and Health Sciences / Centre for Exercise and Sports Science Research
Efficient training of neuromuscular power and the translation of this power to sport-specific tasks is a key objective in the preparation of athletes involved in team-based sports. The purpose of this study was to compare changes in center of mass (COM) neuromuscular power and performance of sport-specific tasks after short-term (6-week) training adopting either Olympic-style weightlifting (WL) exercises or vertical jump (VJ) exercises. Twenty-six recreationally active men (18–30 years; height: 178.7 ± 8.3 cm; mass: 78.6 ± 12.2 kg) were randomly allocated to either a WL or VJ training group and performance during the countermovement jump (CMJ), squat jump (SJ), depth jump (DJ), 20-m sprint, and the 5-0-5 agility test–assessed pre and posttraining. Despite the WL group demonstrating larger increases in peak power output during the CMJ (WL group: 10% increase, d = 0.701; VJ group: 5.78% increase, d = 0.328) and SJ (WL group: 12.73% increase, d = 0.854; VJ group: 7.27% increase, d = 0.382), no significant between-group differences were observed in any outcome measure studied. There was a significant main effect of time observed for the 3 VJs (CMJ, SJ, and DJ), 0- to 5-m and 0- to 20-m sprint times, and the 5-0-5 agility test time, which were all shown to improve after the training (all main effects of time p < 0.01). Irrespective of the training approach adopted by coaches or athletes, addition of either WL or VJ training for development of power can improve performance in tasks associated with team-based sports, even in athletes with limited preseason training periods.