Effect of 8 Weeks of Free-Weight and Machine-Based Strength Training on Strength and Power Performance

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Klaus Wirth, Michael Keiner, Hagen Hartmann, Andre Sander; Christoph Mickel

The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of free-weight and machine-based exercises to increase different strength and speed-strength variables. One hundred twenty male participants (age: 23.8 ± 2.5 years; body height: 181.0 ± 6.8 cm; body mass: 80.2 ± 8.9 kg) joined the study. The 2 experimental groups completed an 8 week periodized strength training program that included 2 training sessions per week. The exercises that were used in the strength training programs were the parallel barbell squat and the leg press. Before and after the training period, the 1-repetition-maximum in the barbell squat and the leg press, the squat jump, the countermovement jump and unilateral isometric force (maximal isometric force and the rate of force development) were evaluated. To compare each group pre vs. post-intervention, analysis of variance with repeated measures and Scheffé post-hoc tests were used. The leg press group increased their 1-repetition-maximum significantly (p < 0.001), while in the squat group such variables as 1-repetition-maximum, the squat jump and the countermovement jump increased significantly (p < 0.001). The maximal isometric force showed no statistically significant result for the repeated measures factor, while the rate of force development of the squat group even showed a statistically significant decrease. Differences between the 2 experimental groups were detected for the squat jump and the countermovement jump. In comparison with the leg press, the squat might be a better strength training exercise for the development of jump performance.
DOI: 10.1515/hukin-2016-0023
Key words
strength, power, diagnostics, squat, leg press

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