Alterations in speed of squat movement and the use of accommodated resistance among college athletes training for power

J Strength Cond Res. 2009 Dec;23(9):2645-50. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181b3e1b6.


The purpose of this study was to assess the effect of heavy/slow movements and variable resistance training on peak power and strength development. Forty-eight National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I athletes (age: 21.4 +/- 2.1 years, all men) were recruited for this 12-week training intervention study. Maximum strength and jumping power were assessed before and after the training program. Athletes were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 training groups: heavy resistance/slow movement (Slow), lighter resistance and fast movement (Fast), or fast movements with accommodated resistance (FACC). All training groups performed similar training programs comprising free weight resistance training with lower-body compound exercises. The only difference among the training interventions was the speed at which subjects performed the squat exercise and the use of bands (Slow group: 0.2-0.4 meters/second; Fast group: 0.6-0.8 meters/second; FACC group trained 0.6-0.8 meters/second with the addition of accommodated resistance in the form of large elastic bands). Post-test data revealed a significant difference between power improvements between the Slow and FACC groups (p = 0.02). Percent increases and effect sizes (ES) demonstrated a much greater treatment effect in the FACC group (17.8%, ES = 1.06) with the Fast group (11.0%, ES = 0.80) adapting more than the Slow group (4.8%, ES = 0.28). The FACC and Slow groups improved strength comparatively (FACC: 9.44%, ES = 1.10; Slow: 9.59%, ES = 1.08). The Fast group improved strength considerably less, 3.20% with an effect size of only 0.38. Variable resistance training with elastic bands appears to provide greater performance benefits with regard to peak force and peak power than heavy, slow resistance exercise. Sports conditioning professionals can utilize bands, and high-speed contractions, to increase power development.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological / physiology
  • Adult
  • Athletes*
  • Athletic Performance / physiology*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Deceleration
  • Exercise Test
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Movement / physiology
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Muscle Strength / physiology*
  • Muscle Strength Dynamometer
  • Physical Fitness / physiology
  • Resistance Training / instrumentation
  • Resistance Training / methods*
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Time Factors
  • Universities*
  • Weight Lifting / physiology*