Power-to-strength ratio influences performance enhancement with contrast training
Lippincott Williams and Wilkins
School of Medical and Health Sciences
The effectiveness of contrast training (CST) for improving explosive exercise performance is modulated by various individual characteristics; however, further work is required to define these factors.Subelite male Australian Football players (n = 22; age, 19 ± 2 yr; body mass, 80.4 ± 9.4 kg; one-repetition maximum [1-RM] half squat, 172 ± 18 kg; mean ± SD) completed two experimental trials involving two sets of squat jumps (six repetitions at 30% 1-RM) performed either alone (CTL condition) or after half squats (six repetitions at 85% 1-RM; CST condition).Squat jump peak power was similar between CTL and CST during set 1 (mean change: ±90% confidence interval, 2.8% ± 2.0%; effect size [ES]: ±90% confidence interval, 0.13 ± 0.09; P = 0.079) and set 2 (0.3% ± 1.7%; ES, 0.01 ± 0.08; P = 0.781). Peak power enhancement with CST was not related to maximal (1-RM half squat) strength (r = 0.001, P = 0.884), but was negatively correlated with both baseline peak power (r = 0.44, P < 0.001) and power-to-strength ratio (PSR); that is, the ratio between baseline peak power and 1-RM half squat strength (r = 0.65, P < 0.001). Using a median split, analyses were performed in participants with a low PSR (LPSR group; PSR = 15.4-19.1 W·kg; n = 11) or high PSR (HPSR group, PSR = 19.4-24.7 W·kg; n = 11). Peak power was enhanced with CST for the LPSR (8.1% ± 3.9%; ES, 0.44 ± 0.21; P = 0.004) but not HPSR (-2.1% ± 1.3%; ES, -0.14 ± 0.09; P = 0.010) groups.The PSR appears to influence the effectiveness of CST, with performance enhancement more likely in those with a lower PSR.