THE EFFECT OF HIGH INTENSITY POWER TRAINING
DURING A COMPETITIVE INTERNATIONAL
TRACK AND FIELD SEASON

With 1080 Quantum used as the enabler for short duration high intensity training, this case study shows how lower extremity power can be maintained and even enhanced during the competitive season.

Many elite athletes have difficulty maintaining the ability to generate power during a long competitive season. Busy competition schedules combined with risk of injury and degradation from in-season training creates a dilemma for both coaches and athletes. This case study investigates the possibility to maintain or even enhance in-season leg power using infrequent but intense lower extremity sessions with the 1080 Quantum Syncro system. The athlete in question is a 110 meter hurdler competing at international level.

In a total of six training sessions distributed over a 9 week period, the athlete performed a routine of intense single leg half-squats. This was the only strength training performed during the 9 weeks. No jump training was performed.

The multi-modal 1080 Quantum system was used to provide a concentric load of 119 kg/262 lbs with no speed restriction and 139 kg/306 lbs in the eccentric phase at 4 m/s speed. That implies a 17% eccentric overload and an exaggerated eccentric speed causing the quad musculature to stretch more quickly when compared to a regular barbell squat. The variable inertia (No Flying Weight) setting was used implying that inertia is only present during acceleration of the imaginary weight. When decelerating, the feature switches off the inertia to provide a unique gentleness to joints and tendons while still working with large resistance forces at high velocities.


Video shows athlete performing high intensity isokinetic half squats in 1080 Quantum

Performance was measured by different jump tests, bilateral and unilateral squat jumps and counter-movement jumps tested before and after the training intervention.

Results from a total of six sessions over nine weeks

  • Left leg power increased 24% concentrically and 32% eccentrically
  • Right leg power increased 10% concentrically and 35% eccentrically
  • Average 2,5% improvement in jumping performance in bilateral and unilateral jumps
  • The peak velocity improved 29% (left leg) and 11% (right leg). It was also reached 12,5% and 19,2% percent sooner
  • Each session amounted to only 15 seconds of active work. All six sessions totaled to 86 seconds of active work
  • In total for all six sessions, the equivalent of 15,600 kilograms (34,292 lbs) of weight was moved by each leg

Riggberger1, K.
1Malmø Idrottsakademi, Malmø, Sweden

, Eriksrud2, O.
21080 Motion, Stockholm, Sweden

FULL CASE STUDY

1. BACKGROUND

During a competitive season it can be difficult the schedule strength and power training. The ability to improve lower extremity power and sport specific performance have been found in the water polo (Veliz et al., 2015) and track and field (Chelly, Hermassi, & Shephard, 2015), which has led to recommendation of changes in training regimen in the specific sports. The purpose of this case study is to see if lower extremity power and performance can be improved as a result of short and intense power training during an international track and field season.

2. METHODS

Training was conducted using 1080 Quantum Syncro (1080 Motion AB, Stockholm, Sweden). The robotic technology that this system is based upon allows for independent control of load and speed in the concentric and eccentric phase of a given movement or exercise. Furthermore, the system offers accurate measures of distance, time, speed, force and power (http://www.1080wordpresstest.azurewebsites.net). This allows for highly accurate documentation of training load, time and linear distance for a given exercise.

1080 Quantum Syncro was used for half-squats for both left and right lower extremity. The load in the concentric phase was set to 119 kg with a maximum speed of 4 m/s, while the load in the eccentric phase was set to 139 kg with a speed of 4 m/s. There were 2 sets of 5 repetitions performed with 10 minutes rest between sets. There were a total of 6 training sessions completed over 9 weeks. The total training time was 8 and 6 seconds concentric and eccentrically respectively for each session. This gives a total training time of 1 minute and 24 seconds for the six training session (48 seconds concentrically and 36 eccentrically).

Force, power and velocity were measured using Muscle Lab (Ergotest Innovation, Porsgrunn, Norway) in 1080 Quantum both before and after the training intervention. This was done for both left and right single leg squat with only the bar as resistance, and the speed at 4m/s in both the concentric and eccentric phase. During these tests Muscle Lab was used to obtain the following measures:

  • AP = average power concentrically (Watt)
  • APn = average power eccentrically (Watt)
  • AV = average velocity concentrically (m/s)
  • AVn = average velocity eccentrically (m/s)
  • pV = peak velocity concentrically (m/s)
  • tpV = time to peak velocity (s)

Jumping performance was also measured before and after the training intervention (Muscle Lab). Both squat jump (SJ) and countermovement jump (CMJ) were performed bilaterally and on the left and right lower extremity. In addition bilateral countermovement jump with armswing (CMJas) was performed

The training sessions were scheduled accordingly based upon competition schedule:

  • Session 0: May 13th jump tests
  • Session 1: June 3rd
  • Session 2: June 13th
  • Session 3: June 25th
  • Session 4: July 2nd
  • Session 5: July 19th
  • Session 6: August 4th
RESULTS

Figure 1 shows training time for one session (sixth session) for the left and right lower extremity and combined. The training time is shorter in the eccentric phase with the total training time for this particular session being 13 seconds.

For each training session the load was a total of 5200 kg lifted. Distribution left and right leg and concentric and eccentric phase is presented in Table 2 below.

Figure 3 below shows the linear distance left and right lower extremity during the concentric and eccentric phase of the single leg squat.

Figure 4 below shows the percentage change of both concentric and eccentric power from session 1 to session 6 showing a 32% and 35% change in eccentric power left and right respectively, and a 24% and 10% concentric power change left and right respectively.

The maximum velocity also changed 29% and 11% left and right leg respectively (Figure 5).

Peak velocity occurs at some point in the movement. Figure 6 shows that the peak velocity was reached 12,5% and 19,2% percent sooner in the left and right lower extremity respectively.

Figure 7 below shows the changes in both average concentric and eccentric velocity

The results of the different jump tests are presented in Figure 8 below. There is an improvement for all tests.

DISCUSSION

The greatest improvement in power was found in the eccentric phase, 32% and 35% left and right lower extremity respectively. The difference in improvement between the left and right lower extremity is insignificant. This improvement can be due to that the athlete is assisted at 4m/s in the eccentric phase, which means that the athlete must learn how to follow the bar in the eccentric phase with a high load (140 kg). This high load then has to be transformed into the concentric phase.

However, there was a large difference in improvement of power in the concentric phase, 24% and 10% left and right respectively. This difference can be explained by that the left lower extremity has improved more in max and velocity than the right lower extremity. However, the right lower extremity is showing greater improvement in time to max velocity than the left side, which means an improved acceleration in the right lower extremity. Furthermore, the left lower extremity is also showing a better improvement of average velocity as compared to the left.

The differences in improvement in concentric power and speed for the left and right lower extremity can not be explained by training load and time, since that is almost identical. Furthermore, the depth of the single leg squats was similar in both the concentric and eccentric phase for the left and right lower extremity. Consequently, load, time and linear distance (excursion) cannot explain the observed side difference change in power and speed.

During the training period no jump training was done. Considering this, the improvements, consistent for all jumps, are impressive considering that the athlete starts out at a high level. Countermovement jump with arms assisted (CMJas) is a good example, which improved from 72,7cm to 74,6 cm.

CONCLUSION

This study shows that power can be maintained and even enhanced with high intensity training during a competitive track and field season at the international level.

REFERENCES

Chelly, M. S., Hermassi, S., & Shephard, R. J. (2015). Effects of in-season short-term plyometric training program on sprint and jump performance of young male track athletes. Journal of strength and conditioning research / National Strength & Conditioning Association. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000000860

Veliz, R. R., Suarez-Arrones, L., Requena, B., Haff, G. G., Feito, J., & Saez de Villarreal, E. (2015). Effects of in-competitive season power-oriented and heavy resistance lower- body training on performance of elite female water polo players. Journal of strength and conditioning research / National Strength & Conditioning Association, 29(2), 458-465. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000000643