Meta-analysis of postactivation potentiation and power: effects of conditioning activity, volume, gender, rest periods, and training status

J Strength Cond Res. 2013 Mar;27(3):854-9. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e31825c2bdb.


There is no clear agreement regarding the ideal combination of factors needed to optimize postactivation potentiation (PAP) after a conditioning activity. Therefore, a meta-analysis was conducted to evaluate the effects of training status, volume, rest period length, conditioning activity, and gender on power augmentation due to PAP. A total of 141 effect sizes (ESs) for muscular power were obtained from a total of 32 primary studies, which met our criteria of investigating the effects of a heavy preconditioning activity on power in randomized human trials. The mean overall ES for muscle power was 0.38 after a conditioning activity (p < 0.05). Significant differences were found between moderate intensity (60-84%) 1.06 and heavy intensity (>85%) 0.31 (p < 0.05). There were overall significant differences found between single sets 0.24 and multiple sets 0.66 (p < 0.05). Rest periods of 7-10 minutes (0.7) after a conditioning activity resulted in greater ES than 3-7 minutes (0.54), which was greater than rest periods of >10 minutes (0.02) (p < 0.05). Significant differences were found between untrained 0.14 and athletes 0.81 and between trained 0.29 and athletes. The primary findings of this study were that a conditioning activity augmented power output, and these effects increased with training experience, but did not differ significantly between genders. Moreover, potentiation was optimal after multiple (vs. single) sets, performed at moderate intensities, and using moderate rest periods lengths (7-10 minutes).

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Athletes
  • Electromyography
  • Humans
  • Muscle Contraction / physiology
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Physical Exertion / physiology*
  • Physical Fitness / physiology
  • Rest / physiology*
  • Sex Factors