Maximal strength and power assessment in novice weight trainers

J Strength Cond Res. 2004 Feb;18(1):48-52. doi: 10.1519/1533-4287(2004)018<0048:msapai>;2.


The purpose of this study was to investigate whether changes in maximal strength and power output occurred over time in the absence of strength and power training in novice weight trainers. It also investigated whether differences existed between upper- and lower-body assessments and unilateral and bilateral assessments. The power output and maximal strength (1 repetition maximum [1RM]) of 10 male novice subjects were measured on 4 occasions, each assessment 7-10 days apart. The exercises used to measure the upper- and lower-body strength and power outputs were the bench press and supine squat, respectively. Significant (p < 0.05) changes in unilateral (9.8-16.8%) and bilateral 1RM (6.8-15.0%) leg strength were found, the first assessment being significantly different from all other assessments and assessment 2 significantly different from assessment 4. Changes in the upper body (10-13.6%) were also observed. The only significant difference was between assessment 1 and the other testing occasions. No differences in power output were observed for both the upper and lower body during the study. It would seem that considerable changes in maximal strength occur rapidly and in the absence of any formal strength training program in novice weight trainers.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Muscle Contraction / physiology
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology
  • Physical Education and Training / methods*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Weight Lifting*