This study examined the post-activation potentiation (PAP) effects on squat jump (SJ) performance and on peak rate of force development (RFDpeak) in preadolescent (10–12 y), adolescents (14–15 y) and adults (20–25 y) males and females. All participants performed a SJ with and without prior conditioning stimulus (PAP and control protocol, respectively), consisting of 3 × 3-second maximal isometric squats. Jump height and RFDpeak of the vertical ground reaction force during SJ were assessed before, and at 20 seconds and at 4 minutes following the conditioning stimulus. The results revealed a different pattern of age-effect on SJ performance within males and females. The RFDpeak significantly increased as a factor of age in both males and females (P < .05). Increase in SJ performance after conditioning stimulus occurred only in men (P < .05), with no effects in teen-males, boys, and female groups. There was a significant PAP effect on RFDpeak in both adult groups (P < .05) and teen-males, with no effects in children. In conclusion, the PAP effects on SJ performance and RFDpeak are age- and sex-dependent; that is PAP appears as a viable method for acutely enhancing SJ performance in men but not in pediatric population.
Arabatzi, Patikas, Zafeiridis, and Kannas are with the Dept. of Physical Education and Sport Science at Serres, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece. Giavroudis and Gourgoulis are with the Dept. of Physical Education and Sport Science, Democritus University of Thrace, Greece. Kotzamanidis is with the Dept. of Physical Education and Sport Science, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece. Address author correspondence to Fotini Arabatzi at firstname.lastname@example.org.