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J Strength Cond Res. 2011 Apr;25(4):896-902. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e318208afb9.

Influence of upper-body external loading on anaerobic exercise performance.

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Department of Exercise Science, School of Public Health and Health Services, The George Washington University Medical Center, Washington, DC, USA.


The purpose of this study was to assess the threshold where simulated adipose tissue weight gain significantly affects performance in common anaerobic tasks and determine whether differences exist between men and women. Forty-six subjects (men = 21; women = 25) were tested for vertical jump, 20- and 40-yd dash, and 20-yd shuttle tests under 6 different loading conditions (0, 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10% of added body weight). Results were compared to each subject's baseline values (0% loading condition). Results demonstrate significant decrements in performance, starting at the 2% loading condition, for both genders, in every performance test (p < 0.05). On average, subjects jumped 4.91 ± 0.29 to 9.83 ± 0.30 cm less, increased agility test times from 5.49 ± 0.56 to 5.86 ± 0.61 seconds, and increased sprint times from 7.80 ± 0.96 to 8.39 ± 1.07 seconds (2-10%, respectively; p < 0.05). When lower-body power was corrected for total body mass, men exerted significantly more power than women did in every loading condition. Conversely, when lower-body power was corrected for lean body mass, men exerted significantly more power than did women only at the 2% loading condition. This study demonstrates that for the specific anaerobic performance tests performed, increases in external loading as low as 2% of body weight results in significant decreases in performance. Moreover, for these specific tests, men and women tend to express the same threshold in performance decrements.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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