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This study was designed to investigate the effect of mechanical vibration on acute power output in the bench press exercise. Ten male subjects who were experienced in resistance training participated in this study. Each subject performed 3 sets of 3 repetitions in the bench press exercise using a load equal to 70% of 1 repetition maximum in each of 2 sessions separated by 3 days. One session served as the experimental (vibration) condition, whereas the other session served as the control (no vibration) condition. The intervention (vibration or control) was applied between sets 2 and 3. The vibration was applied by a vibrating barbell apparatus held by the subjects while lying supine on a bench. The only difference between the 2 conditions was the vibration of the barbell apparatus during the vibration condition. Peak and average power were calculated during each bench press set to determine whether power output differed following vibration compared to control. Average power was significantly higher for the vibration condition compared to the control (525 ± 74 vs. 499 ± 71 W; p = 0.01). There was also a trend toward an increase in peak power in the vibration condition (846 ± 168 by vs. 799 ± 149 W; p = 0.06). In general, peak and average power output were higher following the vibration intervention compared to control. However, the sets prior to vibration application during the vibration condition also demonstrated higher power outputs compared with the control condition, which contributed to the main effect for the vibration condition. These results suggest that factors other than the vibration intervention influenced task performance during the vibration condition. We suggest that psychological factors related to the novelty of the vibration intervention were involved. These factors may partially explain the conflicting results of previous investigations that examined vibration as an exercise intervention.

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