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Int J Sports Med. 1997 Oct;18(7):516-20.

Changes in upper body power following heavy-resistance strength training in college men.

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  • 1Human Performance Laboratory, Truman State University, Kirksville, Missouri 63501, USA.


The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of heavy-resistance strength training on measures of bench press power (BPP) using absolute loads and seated shot put (SSP) performance. Twenty-four college men were measured for 1-RM bench press, BPP, and SSP before and after weight training twice weekly for 12 weeks. BPP was measured with free weights using a digital timing system and randomly assigned loads equivalent to 30%, 40%, 50%, 60%, 70% and 80% of the 1-RM. Post-training tests used the same absolute loads as during the pre-training test to assess BPP. Following training BPP increased significantly at each load, shifting the power curve upward by an average of 13.6%. The 1-RM bench press increased significantly by 9.1%, but the SSP increased nonsignificantly by only 1.8%. Peak power was produced at approximately 40-50% of the 1-RM before and after training. Changes in SSP distance were nonsignificantly correlated (r=0.27-0.20) with the increases in BPP. Resistance training shifts the power curve in a positive direction when the measurements are determined with absolute loads, but the increased power may not be transferred to an absolute performance task like the SSP.

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