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  • Author: Laurent Seitz x
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Laurent B. Seitz, Matt Barr and G. Gregory Haff

Purpose:

To compare the effects of sprint training with or without ball carry on the sprint performance of elite rugby league players.

Methods:

Twenty-four elite rugby league players were divided into a ball-carry group (BC; n = 12) and a no-ball-carry group (NBC; n = 12). The players of the BC group were required to catch and carry the ball under 1 arm during each sprint, whereas the NBC group performed sprints without carrying a ball. The 8-wk training intervention took place during the precompetitive phase of the season and consisted of 2 sessions/wk. Sprint performance was measured before and after the training intervention with 40-m linear sprints performed under 2 conditions: with and without ball carry. Split times of 10, 20, and 40 m were recorded for further analysis. A 3-way (group × time × condition) factorial ANOVA was performed to compare changes in sprint performance with and without the ball, before and after the training intervention for both BC and NBC training groups.

Results:

The BC and NBC groups experienced similar improvements in 10-, 20-, and 40-m sprint times and accelerations, regardless of the condition under which the sprint tests were performed (P = .19).

Conclusions:

Sprint training while carrying a rugby ball is as effective as sprint training without carrying a rugby ball for improving the sprint performance of elite rugby league players.

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Laurent B. Seitz, Gabriel S. Trajano and G. Gregory Haff

Purpose:

To compare the acute effects of back squats and power cleans on sprint performance.

Methods:

Thirteen elite junior rugby league players performed 20-m linear sprints before and 7 min after 2 different conditioning activities or 1 control condition. The conditioning activities included 1 set of 3 back squats or power cleans at 90% 1-repetition maximum. A 2 × 2 repeated-measures ANOVA was used to compare preconditioning and postconditioning changes in sprint performance.

Results:

Both the back-squat and power-clean conditioning activities demonstrated a potentiation effect as indicated by improved sprint time (back squat: P = .001, ES = –0.66; power cleans: P = .001, ES = –0.92), velocity (back squat: P = .001, ES = 0.63; power cleans: P = .001, ES = 0.84), and average acceleration over 20 m (back squat: P = .001, ES = 0.70; power cleans: P = .001, ES = 1.00). No potentiation effect was observed after the control condition. Overall, the power clean induced a greater improvement in sprint time (P = .042, ES = 0.83), velocity (P = .047, ES = 1.17), and average acceleration (P = .05, ES = 0.87) than the back squat.

Conclusions:

Back-squat and power-clean conditioning activities both induced improvements in sprint performance when included as part of a potentiation protocol. However, the magnitude of improvement was greater after the power cleans. From a practical perspective, strength and conditioning coaches should consider using power cleans rather than back squats to maximize the performance effects of potentiation complexes targeting the development of sprint performance.

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William J. Markwick, Stephen P. Bird, James J. Tufano, Laurent B. Seitz and G. Gregory Haff

Purpose:

To evaluate the reliability of the Reactive Strength Index (RSI) and jump-height (JH) performance from multiple drop heights in an elite population.

Methods:

Thirteen professional basketball players (mean ±SD age 25.8 ± 3.5 y, height 1.96 ± 0.07 m, mass 94.8 ± 8.2 kg) completed 3 maximal drop-jump attempts onto a jump mat at 4 randomly assigned box heights and 3 countermovement-jump trials.

Results:

No statistical difference was observed between 3 trials for both the RSI and JH variable at all the tested drop heights. The RSI for drop-jump heights from 20 cm resulted in a coefficient of variation (CV) = 3.1% and an intraclass correlation (ICC α) = .96, 40 cm resulted in a CV = 3.0% and an ICC α = .95, and 50 cm resulted in a CV = 2.1% and an ICC α = .99. The JH variable at the 40-cm drop-jump height resulted in the highest reliability CV = 2.8% and an ICC α = .98.

Conclusion:

When assessing the RSI the 20-, 40-, and 50-cm drop heights are recommended with this population. When assessing large groups it appears that only 1 trial is required when assessing the RSI variable from the 20, 40-, and 50-cm drop heights.

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Alasdair Strokosch, Loic Louit, Laurent Seitz, Richard Clarke and Jonathan D. Hughes

This study investigated the efficacy of deadlifts and box squats, with a combination of traditional and accommodating resistance, as a postactivation potentiating stimulus of standing broad jumps (SBJ) in a multiple-set contrast protocol. Twelve professional rugby league players (21.4 [2.5] y; 181.3 [8.3] cm, 91.9 [8.8] kg; 1-repetition-maximum [1RM] back squat/body mass 1.59 [0.21]; 1RM deadlift/body mass 2.11 [0.25]; ≥3-y resistance-training experience) performed baseline SBJ before a contrast postactivation potentiating protocol involving 2 repetitions of 85% 1RM box squat or deadlifts, loaded with a combination of traditional barbell weight (70% 1RM) and elastic-band resistance (∼15% 1RM), followed by 2 SBJs. Exercises were separated by 90 s, and 4 contrast pairs were performed in total. Using a repeated-measures design, all subjects performed the squat followed by the deadlift and finally the control (SBJ only) condition in the same order across consecutive weeks. Changes from baseline in SBJ distance were moderate for the box squat (effect size [ES] = 0.64–1.03) and deadlift (ES = 0.80–0.96) and trivial in the control condition (ES = 0.02–0.11). The magnitude of differences in postactivation potentiating effect were considered moderate (d = 0.61) for set 1, trivial for set 2 (d = 0.10) and set 3 (d = 0.05) in favor of box squats, and moderate for set 4 (d = 0.58) in favor of deadlifts. Accommodating resistance in either box squats or deadlifts is an effective means of potentiating SBJ performance across multiple sets of a contrast protocol with only 90-s rest.

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James J. Tufano, Jenny A. Conlon, Sophia Nimphius, Lee E. Brown, Laurent B. Seitz, Bryce D. Williamson and G. Gregory Haff

Purpose:

To compare the effects of a traditional set structure and 2 cluster set structures on force, velocity, and power during back squats in strength-trained men.

Methods:

Twelve men (25.8 ± 5.1 y, 1.74 ± 0.07 m, 79.3 ± 8.2 kg) performed 3 sets of 12 repetitions at 60% of 1-repetition maximum using 3 different set structures: traditional sets (TS), cluster sets of 4 (CS4), and cluster sets of 2 (CS2).

Results:

When averaged across all repetitions, peak velocity (PV), mean velocity (MV), peak power (PP), and mean power (MP) were greater in CS2 and CS4 than in TS (P < .01), with CS2 also resulting in greater values than CS4 (P < .02). When examining individual sets within each set structure, PV, MV, PP, and MP decreased during the course of TS (effect sizes 0.28–0.99), whereas no decreases were noted during CS2 (effect sizes 0.00–0.13) or CS4 (effect sizes 0.00–0.29).

Conclusions:

These results demonstrate that CS structures maintain velocity and power, whereas TS structures do not. Furthermore, increasing the frequency of intraset rest intervals in CS structures maximizes this effect and should be used if maximal velocity is to be maintained during training.

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Tai T. Tran, Lina Lundgren, Josh Secomb, Oliver R.L. Farley, G. Gregory Haff, Laurent B. Seitz, Robert U. Newton, Sophia Nimphius and Jeremy M. Sheppard

Purpose:

To determine whether a previously validated performance-testing protocol for competitive surfers is able to differentiate between Australian elite junior surfers selected (S) to the national team and those not selected (NS).

Methods:

Thirty-two elite male competitive junior surfers were divided into 2 groups (S = 16, NS = 16). Their age, height, body mass, sum of 7 skinfolds, and lean-body-mass ratio (mean ± SD) were 16.17 ± 1.26 y, 173.40 ± 5.30 cm, 62.35 ± 7.40 kg, 41.74 ± 10.82 mm, 1.54 ± 0.35 for the S athletes and 16.13 ± 1.02 y, 170.56 ± 6.6 cm, 61.46 ± 10.10 kg, 49.25 ± 13.04 mm, 1.31 ± 0.30 for the NS athletes. Power (countermovement jump [CMJ]), strength (isometric midthigh pull), 15-m sprint paddling, and 400-m endurance paddling were measured.

Results:

There were significant (P ≤ .05) differences between the S and NS athletes for relative vertical-jump peak force (P = .01, d = 0.9); CMJ height (P = .01, d = 0.9); time to 5-, 10-, and 15-m sprint paddle; sprint paddle peak velocity (P = .03, d = 0.8; PV); time to 400 m (P = .04, d = 0.7); and endurance paddling velocity (P = .05, d = 0.7).

Conclusions:

All performance variables, particularly CMJ height; time to 5-, 10-, and 15-m sprint paddle; sprint paddle PV; time to 400 m; and endurance paddling velocity, can effectively discriminate between S and NS competitive surfers, and this may be important for athlete profiling and training-program design.