Title

Higher- Versus lower-intensity strength-training taper: Effects on neuromuscular performance

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance

PubMed ID

30817785

Publisher

Human Kinetics Publishers Inc.

School

School of Medical and Health Sciences

Comments

Originally published as: Pritchard, H. J., Barnes, M. J., Stewart, R. J., Keogh, J. W., & McGuigan, M. R. (2019). Higher- versus lower-intensity strength-training taper: Effects on neuromuscular performance. International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, 14(4), 458-463. Original article available here.

Abstract

Purpose: To investigate the effects of strength-training tapers of different intensities but equal volume reductions on neuromuscular performance. Methods: Eleven strength-trained men (21.3 [3.3] y, 92.3 [17.6] kg, relative 1-repetition-maximum deadlift 1.9 [0.2] times bodyweight) completed a crossover study. Specifically, two 4-wk strength-training blocks were followed by a taper week with reduced volume (∼70%) involving either increased (5.9%) or decreased (−8.5%) intensity. Testing occurred pretraining (T1), posttraining (T2), and posttaper (T3). Salivary testosterone and cortisol, plasma creatine kinase, a Daily Analysis of Life Demands in Athletes questionnaire, countermovement jump (CMJ), isometric midthigh pull, and isometric bench press were measured. Results: CMJ height improved significantly over time (P < .001), with significant increases from T1 (38.0 [5.5] cm) to both T2 (39.3 [5.3] cm; P = .010) and T3 (40.0 [5.3] cm; P = .001) and from T2 to T3 (P = .002). CMJ flight time:contraction time increased significantly over time (P = .004), with significant increases from T1 (0.747 [0.162]) to T2 (0.791 [0.163]; P = .012). Isometric midthigh-pull relative peak force improved significantly over time (P = .033), with significant increases from T1 (34.7 [5.0] N/kg) to T2 (35.9 [4.8] N/kg; P = .013). No significant changes were found between tapers. However, the higher-intensity taper produced small effect-size increases at T3 vs T1 for isometric midthigh-pull relative peak force, CMJ height, and flight time:contraction time, while the lower-intensity taper only produced small effect-size improvements at T3 vs T1 for CMJ height.

Conclusions: A strength-training taper with volume reductions had a positive effect on power, with a tendency for the higher-intensity taper to produce more favorable changes in strength and power. © 2019 Human Kinetics, Inc.

DOI

10.1123/ijspp.2018-0489

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