Post-activation potentiation (PAP) has been shown to acutely amplify muscular power output and may be advantageous for athletes looking to improve performance. PAP may have an acute window of effectiveness between 2 to 20 min. With correct timing and implementation it may be possible to induce PAP in competitive situations. The purpose of this study was to examine the time frame of potentiation following a PAP warm-up in collegiate female volleyball players. In this study, nine female collegiate volleyball players completed three laboratory sessions over the course of 10 days. During the first session, the athlete's 5-RM back squat was determined for subsequent use as the conditioning activity to initiate PAP. A repeated measures experimental design was then employed for Sessions 2 and 3 where half of the participants alternately performed either a dynamic or PAP warm-up prior to performing a standing long jump (SLJ) at 2, 6, 10, 14, and 18 min. A mixed-factor repeated measures ANOVA was used to determine the effects of the two warm-up strategies (PAP vs. dynamic) on standing long jump (SLJ) performance across time. There was a significant effect for time (p < 0.01) and warm-up strategy (p < 0.01). Bonferroni post hoc techniques determined that the SLJs that followed the PAP warm-up were significantly greater at 2 (4.8%), 6 (3.6%), and 10 (3.6%) min compared to SLJs post-dynamic warm-up (p < 0.05). However, those differences did not persist at 14 or 18 min (p > 0.05). Further analysis included non-parametric pairwise comparisons (Wilcoxon signed-rank tests) between the SLJ scores at 2, 6, 10, 14, and 18 min (PAP vs. dynamic). The non-parametric results were consistent with the parametric results. Within the parameters of this study, it is concluded that performing a 5-RM back squat induces a measureable PAP effect for up to 10 min.
Keywords: back squat; post-activation potentiation (PAP); standing long jump.