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Antonio Dello Iacono, Marco Beato, and Israel Halperin

Purpose: To investigate whether providing athletes with a choice regarding the number of repetitions to complete in a potentiation protocol would enhance jumping performance compared with protocols in which the number of repetitions is predetermined. Methods: Fifteen male basketball players completed 4 testing sessions separated by 72 hours. In the first session, individual optimum power loads in the barbell jump squat were determined. In the following 3 sessions, the athletes completed 3 sets of 3 potentiation protocols using optimum power load jump squats in a partly randomized order: (1) The traditional condition included 6 repetitions per set, (2) the self-selected condition included a choice regarding the number of repetitions to complete per set, and (3) the imposed condition included the same number of repetitions per set as the self-selected condition, but the number was imposed on the athletes beforehand. The jumping performance was determined as jump squat test height and measured using a force platform before and 30 seconds, 4 minutes, and 8 minutes after completing the protocols. Results: The self-selected condition led to superior jumping performance compared with the 2 other conditions across all post measures (P < .05; range: 0.3–1.3 cm). Compared with the traditional condition, the imposed condition led to superior jumping performance across all post measures (range: 0.2–0.45 cm), although not statistically significant at post 4 minutes and post 8 minutes. Conclusions: Choice provision concerning how many repetitions to complete in a potentiation protocol is a useful performance-enhancing strategy. Improved potentiation–fatigue ratio and motivational factors are sought to explain these effects.

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Antonio Dello Iacono, Marco Beato, and Israel Halperin

Purpose: To compare the effects of 2 postactivation potentiation (PAP) protocols using traditional-set or cluster-set configurations on countermovement jump performance. Methods: Twenty-six male basketball players completed 3 testing sessions separated by 72 hours. On the first session, subjects performed barbell jump squats with progressively heavier loads to determine their individual optimum power load. On the second and third sessions, subjects completed 2 PAP protocols in a randomized order: 3 sets of 6 repetitions of jump squats using optimum power load performed with either a traditional-set (no interrepetition rest) or a cluster-set (20-s rest every 2 repetitions) configuration. After a warm-up, countermovement jump height was measured using a force platform before, 30 seconds, 4 minutes, and 8 minutes after completing the PAP protocols. The following kinetic variables were also analyzed and compared: relative impulse, ground reaction force, eccentric displacement, and vertical leg-spring stiffness. Results: Across both conditions, subjects jumped lower at post 30 seconds by 1.21 cm, and higher in post 4 minutes by 2.21 cm, and in post 8 minutes by 2.60 cm compared with baseline. However, subjects jumped higher in the cluster condition by 0.71 cm (95% confidence interval, 0.37 to 1.05 cm) in post 30 seconds, 1.33 cm (95% confidence interval, 1.02 to 1.65 cm) in post 4 minute, and 1.64 cm (95% confidence interval, 1.41 to 1.88 cm) in post 8 minutes. The superior countermovement jump performance was associated with enhanced kinetic data. Conclusions: Both protocols induced PAP responses in vertical jump performance using jump squats at optimum power load. However, the cluster-set configuration led to superior performance across all time points, likely due to reduced muscular fatigue.

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Marco Beato, Sergio Maroto-Izquierdo, Anthony N. Turner, and Chris Bishop

Due to the negative effects that injuries have on performance, club finances, and long-term player health (permanent disability after a severe injury), prevention strategies are an essential part of both sports medicine and performance. Purpose: To summarize the current evidence regarding strength training for injury prevention in soccer and to inform its evidence-based implementation in research and applied settings. Conclusions: The contemporary literature suggests that strength training, proposed as traditional resistance, eccentric, and flywheel training, may be a valid method to reduce injury risk in soccer players. Training strategies involving multiple components (eg, a combination of strength, balance, plyometrics) that include strength exercises are effective at reducing noncontact injuries in female soccer players. In addition, the body of research currently published supports the use of eccentric training in sports, which offers unique physiological responses compared with other resistance exercise modalities. It seems that the Nordic hamstring exercise, in particular, is a viable option for the reduction of hamstring injuries in soccer players. Moreover, flywheel training has specific training peculiarities and advantages that are related to the combination of both concentric and eccentric contraction, which may play an important role in injury prevention. It is the authors’ opinion that strength and conditioning coaches should integrate the strength training methods proposed here in their weekly training routine to reduce the likelihood of injuries in their players; however, further research is needed to verify the advantages and disadvantages of these training methods to injury prevention using specific cohorts of soccer players.

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Paola Zamparo, Ivan Zadro, Stefano Lazzer, Marco Beato, and Luigino Sepulcri

Shuttle runs can be used to study the physiological responses in sports (such as basketball) characterized by sprints (accelerations/decelerations) and changes of direction.

Purpose:

To determine the energy cost (C) of shuttle runs with different turning angles and over different distances (with different acceleration/deceleration patterns).

Methods:

Nine basketball players were asked to complete 6 intermittent tests over different distances (5, 10, 25 m) and with different changes of direction (180° at 5 and 25 m; 0°, 45°, 90°, and 180° at 10 m) at maximal speed (v ≍ 4.5 m/s), each composed by 10 shuttle runs of 10-s duration and 30-s recovery; during these runs oxygen uptake (VO2), blood lactate (Lab), and C were determined.

Results:

For a given shuttle distance (10 m) no major differences where observed in VO2 (~33 mL · min−1 · kg−1), Lab (~3.75 mM), and C (~21.2 J · m−1 · kg−1) when the shuttle runs were performed with different turning angles. For a given turning angle (180°), VO2 and Lab were found to increase with the distance covered (VO2 from 26 to 35 mL · min−1 · kg−1; Lab from 0.7 to 7.6 mM) while C was found to decrease with it (from 29.9 to 10.6 J · m−1 · kg−1); the relationship between C and d (m) is well described by C = 92.99 × d 0.656, R 2 = .971.

Conclusions:

The metabolic demands of shuttle tests run at maximal speeds can be estimated based on the running distance, while the turning angle plays a minor role in determining C.

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Kevin L. de Keijzer, Stuart A. McErlain-Naylor, Antonio Dello Iacono, and Marco Beato

Purpose: To investigate the postactivation potentiation (PAP) effects of different eccentric overload (EOL) exercise volumes on countermovement-jump (CMJ) and standing-long-jump (LJ) performance. Methods: In total, 13 male university soccer players participated in a crossover design study following a familiarization period. Control (no PAP) CMJ and LJ performances were recorded, and 3 experimental protocols were performed in a randomized order: 1, 2, or 3 sets of 6 repetitions of flywheel EOL half-squats (inertia = 0.029 kg·m2). Performance of CMJ and LJ was measured 3 and 6 minutes after all experimental conditions. The time course and magnitude of the PAP were compared between conditions. Results: Meaningful positive PAP effects were reported for CMJ after 2 (Bayes factor [BF10] = 3.15, moderate) and 3 (BF10 = 3.25, moderate) sets but not after 1 set (BF10 = 2.10, anecdotal). Meaningful positive PAP effects were reported for LJ after 2 (BF10 = 3.05, moderate) and 3 (BF10 = 3.44, moderate) sets but not after 1 set (BF10 = 0.53, anecdotal). The 2- and 3-set protocols resulted in meaningful positive PAP effects on both CMJ and LJ after 6 minutes but not after 3 minutes. Conclusion: This study reported beneficial effects of multiset EOL exercise over a single set. A minimum of 2 sets of flywheel EOL half-squats are required to induce PAP effects on CMJ and LJ performance of male university soccer players. Rest intervals of around 6 minutes (>3 min) are required to maximize the PAP effects via multiple sets of EOL exercise. However, further research is needed to clarify the optimal EOL protocol configurations for PAP response.

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Marco Beato, Stuart A. McErlain-Naylor, Israel Halperin, and Antonio Dello Iacono

Purpose: To summarize the evidence on postactivation potentiation (PAP) protocols using flywheel eccentric overload (EOL) exercises. Methods: Studies were searched using the electronic databases PubMed, Scopus, and Institute for Scientific Information Web of Knowledge. Results: In total, 7 eligible studies were identified based on the following results: First, practitioners can use different inertia intensities (eg, 0.03–0.11 kg·m2), based on the exercise selected, to enhance sport-specific performance. Second, the PAP time window following EOL exercise seems to be consistent with traditional PAP literature, where acute fatigue is dominant in the early part of the recovery period (eg, 30 s), and PAP is dominant in the second part (eg, 3 and 6 min). Third, as EOL exercises require large force and power outputs, a volume of 3 sets with the conditioning activity (eg, half-squat or lunge) seems to be a sensible approach. This could reduce the transitory muscle fatigue and thereby allow for a stronger potentiation effect compared with larger exercise volumes. Fourth, athletes should gain experience by performing EOL exercises before using the tool as part of a PAP protocol (3 or 4 sessions of familiarization). Finally, the dimensions of common flywheel devices offer useful and practical solutions to induce PAP effects outside of normal training environments and prior to competitions. Conclusions: EOL exercise can be used to stimulate PAP responses to obtain performance advantages in various sports. However, future research is needed to determine which EOL exercise modalities among intensity, volume, and rest intervals optimally induce the PAP phenomenon and facilitate transfer effects on athletic performances.

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Daniel Boullosa, Marco Beato, Antonio Dello Iacono, Francisco Cuenca-Fernández, Kenji Doma, Moritz Schumann, Alessandro Moura Zagatto, Irineu Loturco, and David G. Behm

Postactivation potentiation (PAP) mechanisms and responses have a long scientific history. However, to this day there is still controversy regarding the mechanisms underlying enhanced performance after a conditioning activity. More recently, the term postactivation performance enhancement (PAPE) has been proposed with differing associated mechanisms and protocols than with PAP. However, these 2 terms (PAP and PAPE) may not adequately describe all specific potentiation responses and mechanisms and can also be complementary, in some cases. Purpose: This commentary presents and discusses the similarities and differences between PAP and PAPE and, subsequently, elaborates on a new taxonomy for better describing performance potentiation in sport settings. Conclusion: The elaborated taxonomy proposes the formula “Post-[CONDITIONING ACTIVITY] [VERIFICATION TEST] potentiation in [POPULATION].” This taxonomy would avoid erroneous identification of isolated physiological attributes and provide individualization and better applicability of conditioning protocols in sport settings.

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Daniel Boullosa, Marco Beato, Antonio Dello Iacono, Francisco Cuenca-Fernández, Kenji Doma, Moritz Schumann, Alessandro Moura Zagatto, Irineu Loturco, and David G. Behm