The optimal training load for the development of dynamic athletic performance

Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1993 Nov;25(11):1279-86.


This study was performed to determine which of three theoretically optimal resistance training modalities resulted in the greatest enhancement in the performance of a series of dynamic athletic activities. The three training modalities included 1) traditional weight training, 2) plyometric training, and 3) explosive weight training at the load that maximized mechanical power output. Sixty-four previously trained subjects were randomly allocated to four groups that included the above three training modalities and a control group. The experimental groups trained for 10 wk performing either heavy squat lifts, depth jumps, or weighted squat jumps. All subjects were tested prior to training, after 5 wk of training and at the completion of the training period. The test items included 1) 30-m sprint, 2) vertical jumps performed with and without a countermovement, 3) maximal cycle test, 4) isokinetic leg extension test, and 5) a maximal isometric test. The experimental group which trained with the load that maximized mechanical power achieved the best overall results in enhancing dynamic athletic performance recording statistically significant (P < 0.05) improvements on most test items and producing statistically superior results to the two other training modalities on the jumping and isokinetic tests.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bicycling
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Exercise*
  • Humans
  • Muscles / physiology
  • Physical Education and Training* / methods
  • Random Allocation
  • Running
  • Sports*
  • Weight Lifting