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Sports Biomech. 2007 Jan;6(1):59-70.

Identifying the optimal resistive load for complex training in male rugby players.

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Department of Physical Education and Sport Sciences, University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland.


Alternating a resistance exercise with a plyometric exercise is referred to as "complex training". In this study, we examined the effect of various resistive loads on the biomechanics of performance of a fast stretch-shortening cycle activity to determine if an optimal resistive load exists for complex training. Twelve elite rugby players performed three drop jumps before and after three back squat resistive loads of 65%, 80%, and 93% of a single repetition maximum (1-RM) load. All drop jumps were performed on a specially constructed sledge and force platform apparatus. Flight time, ground contact time, peak ground reaction force, reactive strength index, and leg stiffness were the dependent variables. Repeated-measures analysis of variance found that all resistive loads reduced (P < 0.01) flight time, and that lifting at the 93% load resulted in an improvement (P < 0.05) in ground contact time and leg stiffness. From a training perspective, the results indicate that the heavy lifting will encourage the fast stretch-shortening cycle activity to be performed with a stiffer leg spring action, which in turn may benefit performance. However, it is unknown if these acute changes will produce any long-term adaptations to muscle function.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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