This study examined the acute effects of contrast loading on mechanical power output during bench-press throws in junior volleyball players.
Eleven males (age: 16.5 ± 0.5 years) performed a contrast loading and a control protocol. The contrast protocol included the execution of 3 bench-throws with a 30% load of 1RM, after 3 min a conditioning set of 5 bench-throws with a 60% load of 1RM and after 3 and 5 min two more sets of 3 bench-throws with a 30% load of 1RM. The control protocol included the execution of 3 sets of 3 bench-throws with a 30% load of 1RM at the same time points as in the contrast protocol without the execution of the conditioning set.
Mechanical power with a 30% load was higher (p < .05) 3 and 5 min following the conditioning set at the contrast protocol compared with the control protocol (8.7 ± 7.5 and 10.4 ± 3.4%, respectively). High correlations (p < .05) were obtained between participant’s relative maximal strength (r = .87) and power (r = .82) and the increases in power output.
Contrast loading increases upper body power output produced with a light load by junior athletes. The potential for increased upper body performance is more evident in stronger or more powerful individuals.
Smilios, Sotiropoulos, and Tokmakidis are with the Dept. of Physical Education and Sport Science, Democritus University of Thrace, Komotini, Greece. Barzouka is with the Dept. of Physical Education and Sport Science, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece. Christou is with the Dept. of Life and Health Sciences, University of Nicosia, Nicosia, Cyprus.