Purpose: The influences of age, body size, skin-fold thickness, gender, and maturation on the short-term power output of young people were examined using multilevel modelling.
Methods: Subjects were 97 boys and 100 girls, aged 12.2 +/- 0.4 yr at the onset of the study. Sexual maturity was classified according to Tanner's indices of pubic hair. Peak power (PP) and mean power (MP) were determined on two occasions 1 yr apart using the Wingate Anaerobic Test (WAnT). The data were analyzed using multilevel regression modelling.
Results: Initial models identified body mass and stature as significant explanatory variables with an additional positive effect of age, which was smaller for girls' MP. A significant gender difference was apparent for both power indices with girls achieving lower values than boys. A significant incremental effect of later maturity (stages 4 and 5 for pubic hair development) was identified for MP only. Subsequent incorporation of sum of two skin-fold thicknesses into the model yielded significant negative parameter estimates for PP and MP and negated both the stature effects and the maturation influence upon MP.
Conclusion: There are gender differences in the longitudinal growth of performance on the WanT. Regardless of gender differences, body mass and skin-fold thicknesses appear to be the best anthropometric predictors of WAnT determined PP and MP in young people.