Optimal Load and Power Spectrum During Jerk and Back Jerk in Competitive Weightlifters

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Abstract

Flores, FJ, Sedano, S, and Redondo, JC. Optimal load and power spectrum during jerk and back jerk in competitive weightlifters. J Strength Cond Res 31(3): 809–816, 2017—Although the ability to develop high levels of power is considered as a key component of success in many sporting activities, the optimal load (Pmax load) that maximizes power output (Pmax) remains controversial mainly during weightlifting movements. The aim of the present study was to determine Pmax load and optimal power spectrum (OPS) required to elicit Pmax by comparing jerk and back jerk exercises in competitive weightlifters. Thirteen male competitive weightlifters participated in 2 testing sessions. The first session involved performing one repetition maximum (1RM) in the back jerk and jerk and the second session assessed a power test across a spectrum of loads (30–90%) of each subject's 1RM in the predetermined exercises tested. Relative load had a significant effect on peak power, with Pmax load being obtained at 90% of the subjects' 1RM in both exercises assessed. There was no significant difference between the power outputs at 80% of 1RM compared with 90% of 1RM. Furthermore, Pmax load and OPS were the same for jerk and back jerk, whereas peak power in the back jerk demonstrated no significant increases in every load of the power-load curve. We can conclude that it may be advantageous to use loads equivalent to 80–90% of the 1RM in jerk and back jerk in competitive weightlifters when training to maximize power.

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