The effect of extra-load conditioning on muscle performance in athletes


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Abstract

BOSCO, C., H. RUSKO, and J. HIRVONEN. The effect of extra-load conditioning on muscle performance in athletes. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc., Vol. 18, No. 4, pp. 415–419, 1986. Fourteen sprinters were assigned to an experimental group (N = 7) and a control group (N = 7) in order to study the effects of 3 wk of extra-load conditioning. The extra-load conditioning was achieved by the athletes wearing special vests containing weights (7–8% body mass). The vests were used from morning to evening and during 3–5 training sessions/wk for 3 wk. No changes in the ordinary training regime were allowed, except the use of the vest by the experimental group. A jumping test battery and short running test on a treadmill were utilized to measure explosive power characteristics and the anaerobic performance of the subjects. While the control group showed no changes in any of the variables studied, the experimental subjects significantly improved their jumping heights in squat jumps with and without extra loads; their jumping heights in drop jumps and mechanical power output in 15 s of jumps. No changes in lactate levels or in running times to exhaustion were observed in response to the extra-load conditioning. The improvement of jumping performances could be due to a fast neurogenic adaptation to the new requirements.

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