The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of a six week training period of combined plyometric and resistance training (PRT, n = 13) or resistance training alone (RT, n = 14) on fitness performance in boys (12-15 yr). The RT group performed static stretching exercises followed by resistance training whereas the PRT group performed plyometric exercises followed by the same resistance training program. The training duration per session for both groups was 90 min. At baseline and after training all participants were tested on the vertical jump, long jump, medicine ball toss, 9.1 m sprint, pro agility shuttle run and flexibility. The PRT group made significantly (p < 0.05) greater improvements than RT in long jump (10.8 cm vs. 2.2 cm), medicine ball toss (39.1 cm vs. 17.7 cm) and pro agility shuttle run time (-0.23 sec vs. -0.02 sec) following training. These findings suggest that the addition of plyometric training to a resistance training program may be more beneficial than resistance training and static stretching for enhancing selected measures of upper and lower body power in boys. Key pointsYouth conditioning programs which include different types of training and different loading schemes (e.g., high velocity plyometrics and resistance training) may be most effective for enhancing power performance.The effects of resistance training and plyometric training may be synergistic in children, with their combined effects being greater that each program performed alone.
Keywords: Adolescent; power; strength training; stretch-shortening cycle.