Optimal Peak Power in Relation to Age, Body Size, Gender, and Thigh Muscle Volume

in Pediatric Exercise Science
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These studies used multilevel modelling to examine optimised peak power (PPopt) from a force velocity test over the age range 12–14 years. In the first study, body mass, stature, triceps and subscapular skinfold thicknesses of boys and girls, aged 12.3 ± 0.3 y at the onset of the study, were measured on four occasions at 6 monthly intervals. The analysis was founded on 146 PPopt determinations (79 from boys and 67 from girls). Body mass and stature were significant explanatory variables with sum of two skinfolds exerting an additional effect. No gender differences were evident but PPopt increased with age. In the second study, thigh muscle volume (TMV) was estimated using magnetic resonance imaging at test occasions two and four. The analysis, founded on a subsample of 67 PPopt determinations (39 from boys and 28 from girls), demonstrated TMV to be a significant additional explanatory variable alongside body mass and stature with neither age nor gender making a significant contribution to PPopt. Together the studies demonstrate the influence of body size and TMV on young people’s PPopt.

The authors are with the Children’s Health and Exercise Research Centre, University of Exeter, UK.