Skip to main content
Log in

Neuromuscular, anaerobic, and aerobic performance characteristics of elite power athletes

  • Published:
European Journal of Applied Physiology and Occupational Physiology Aims and scope Submit manuscript

Summary

Various aspects of neuromuscular, anaerobic, and aerobic performance capacity were investigated in four powerlifters, seven bodybuilders, and three wrestlers with a history of specific training for several years. The data (means ± SD) showed that the three subject groups possessed similar values for maximal isometric force per unit bodyweight (50.7±9.6, 49.3±4.1, and 49.3±10.9 N/kg, respectively).

However, significant (P<0.05) differences were observed in the times for isometric force production, so that e.g., times to produce a 30% force level were shorter for the wrestlers and bodybuilders (28.3±3.1 and 26.4±6.6 ms) than that (53.3±23.7 ms) for the powerlifters. Utilization of elastic energy by the wrestlers was significantly (P<0.05) better than that of the other two subject groups, as judged from differences between the counter-movement and squat jumps at 0, 40, and 100 kg's loads. No differences were observed between the groups in anaerobic power in a 1-min maximal test, but the values for \(\dot V_{O_2 } \) max were higher (P<0.05) among the wrestlers and bodybuilders (57.8±6.6 and 50.8±6.8 ml·kg−1·min−1) as compared to the powerlifters (41.9±7.2 ml ·kg−1·min−1). Within the limitations of the subject sample, no differences of a statistical significancy were observed between the groups in fibre distribution, fibre areas, or the area ratio of fast (FT) and slow (ST) twitch fibres in vastus lateralis. In all subjects the vertical jumping height was positively (P<0.01) correlated with the FT fibre distribution, and negatively with the time of isometric force production (P<0.05). Maximal force was correlated (P<0.001) with thigh girth. Muscle cross-sectional area did not correlate with mean fibre area. It was assumed that the selected aspects of neuromuscular, anaerobic, and aerobic performance capacity may be influenced by muscle structure, but also specifically and/or simultaneously by training lasting for several years.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or Ebook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Similar content being viewed by others

References

  • Asmussen E, Bonde-Petersen F (1974) Storage of elastic energy in skeletal muscle in man. Acta Physiol Scand 91: 358–392

    Google Scholar 

  • Bergström J (1962) Muscle electrolytes in man. Scand J Clin Lab Invest [Suppl] 68

    Google Scholar 

  • Blomstrand E, Ekblom B (1982) The needle biopsy technique for fiber type determination in human skeletal muscle — a methodological study. Acta Physiol Scand 116: 437–442

    Google Scholar 

  • Bosco C, Komi PV (1979a) Mechanical characteristics and fiber composition of human leg extensor muscles. Eur J Appl Physiol 41: 275–284

    Google Scholar 

  • Bosco C, Komi PV (1979b) Potentiation of the mechanical behaviour of the human skeletal muscle through pre-stretching. Acta Physiol Scand 106: 467–472

    Google Scholar 

  • Bosco C, Komi PV (1982) Muscle elasticity in athletes. In: Komi PV (ed) Exercise and sport biology. Human Kinetics Publishers, Champaign, Ill, pp 109–117

    Google Scholar 

  • Caiozzo V, Perinne J, Edgerton V (1981) Training-induced alternations of the in vivo force-velocity relationship of human muscle. J Appl Physiol: Respirat Environ Exerc Physiol 51: 750–754

    Google Scholar 

  • Durnin J, Rahaman M (1967) The assessment of the amount of fat in the human body from the measurements of skinfold thickness. Br J Nutr 21: 681–689

    Google Scholar 

  • Elder G, Bradbury K, Roberts R (1982) Variability of fiber distributions within human muscles. J Appl Physiol 53: 1473–1480

    Google Scholar 

  • Gollnick P, Armstrong R, Saubert G, Piehl K, Saltin B (1972) Enzyme activity and fiber composition in skeletal muscle of untrained and trained men. J Appl Physiol 33: 312–319

    Google Scholar 

  • HÄggmark T, Jansson E, Svane B (1978) Cross-sectional area of the thigh muscle in man measured by computed tomography. Scand J Clin Lab Invest 38: 355–360

    Google Scholar 

  • HÄkkinen K, Komi PV (1981) Effect of different combined concentric and eccentric muscle work regimens on maximal strength development. J Human Mov Studies 7: 33–44

    Google Scholar 

  • HÄkkinen K, Komi PV (1983) Alterations of mechanical characteristics of human skeletal muscle during strength training. Eur J Appl Physiol 50: 161–172

    Google Scholar 

  • HÄkkinen K, Viitasalo JT, Komi PV (1980) Die Wirkung unterschiedlich kombinierter konzentrischer und exzentrischer Muskelarbeit auf Kraft-Zeit-Merkmale der Beinstreckmuskulatur. Leistungssport 10: 374–381

    Google Scholar 

  • HÄkkinen K, Komi PV, Tesch P (1981) Effect of combined concentric and eccentric strength training and detraining on force-time, muscle fibre, and metabolic characteristics of leg extensor muscles. Scand J Sports Sci 3: 50–58

    Google Scholar 

  • Ikai M (1970) Training of muscle strength and power in athletes. Presented at the FIMS Congress, Oxford

  • Ikai M, Fukunaga T (1968) Calculation of muscle strength per unit cross-sectional area of human muscle by means of ultrasonic measurements. Int Z Angew Physiol 26: 26–32

    Google Scholar 

  • Katch V, Katch F, Moffatt R, Gittleson M (1980) Muscular development and lean body weight in bodybuilders and weightlifters. Med Sci Sports 12: 340–344

    Google Scholar 

  • Komi PV (1973) A new electromechanical ergometer. 3. Int. Seminar für Ergometrie, Berlin

  • Komi PV, Buskirk E (1972) Effect of eccentric and concentric muscle conditioning on tension and electrical activity of human muscle. Ergonomics 15: 417–434

    Google Scholar 

  • Komi PV, Bosco C (1978) Utilization of stored elastic energy in leg extensor muscles by men and women. Med Sci Sports 10: 261–265

    Google Scholar 

  • Komi PV, Luhtanen P, Viljamaa K (1974) Measurement of instantaneous contact forces on the force-platform. Research Reports from the Department of Biology of Physical Activity, University of JyvÄskylÄ, Finland [No 5]

    Google Scholar 

  • Komi PV, Rusko H, Vos J, Vihko V (1977) Anaerobic performance capacity in athletes. Acta Physiol Scand 100: 107–114

    Google Scholar 

  • Komi PV, Karlsson J, Tesch P, Suominen H, Heikkinen E (1982) Effects of heavy resistance and explosive type strength training methods on mechanical, functional and metabolic aspects of performance. In: Komi PV (ed) Exercise and sport biology. Human Kinetics Publishers, Champaign, Ill, pp 90–102

    Google Scholar 

  • Kroll W, Clarkson P, Kamen G, Lambert J (1980) Muscle fibre type composition and knee extension isometric strength fatigue patterns in power- and endurance-trained males. Res Quarterly Exercise Sport 51: 323–333

    Google Scholar 

  • MacDougall J, Elder G, Sale D, Moroz J, Sutton J (1980) Effects of strength training and immobilisation on human muscle fibres. Eur J Appl Physiol 43: 25–34

    Google Scholar 

  • MacDougall J, Sale D, Elder G, Sutton J (1982) Muscle ultrastructural characteristics of elite powerlifters and bodybuilders. Eur J Appl Physiol 48: 117–126

    Google Scholar 

  • Padykula H, Herman E (1955) The specificity of the histochemical method of adenosine triphosphatase. J Histochem Cytochem 3: 170–195

    Google Scholar 

  • Rusko H, Havu M, Karvinen E (1978) Aerobic performance in athletes. Eur J Appl Physiol 38: 151–159

    Google Scholar 

  • Salmons S, Vrbova G (1969) The influence of activity on some contractile characteristics of mammalian fast and slow muscles. J Physiol 201: 535–549

    Google Scholar 

  • Schantz P, Randall-Fox E, Norgren P, Typén A (1981) The relationship between the mean muscle fibre area and the muscle cross-sectional area of the thigh in subjects with large differences in thigh girth. Acta Physiol Scand 113: 537–539

    Google Scholar 

  • Schantz P, Randall-Fox E, Hutchinson W, Typén A, åstrand P-O (1983) Muscle fibre type distribution, muscle cross-sectional area and maximal voluntary strength in humans. Acta Physiol Scand 117: 219–226

    Google Scholar 

  • Spitler D, Diaz F, Horvath S, Wright J (1980) Body composition and maximal aerobic capacity of bodybuilders. J Sports Med 20: 181–188

    Google Scholar 

  • Szögy A, Cherebetiu C (1974) Minutentest auf dem Fahrradergometer zur Bestimmung der anaeroben KapazitÄt. Eur J Appl Physiol 33: 171–176

    Google Scholar 

  • Tesch P, Karlsson J (1978) Isometric strength performance and muscle fibre type distribution in man. Acta Physiol Scand 103: 47–51

    Google Scholar 

  • Tesch P, Larsson L (1982) Muscle hypertrophy in bodybuilders. Eur J Appl Physiol 49: 301–306

    Google Scholar 

  • Thorstensson A (1976) Muscle strength, fibre types and enzyme activities in man. Acta Physiol Scand [Suppl] 443

    Google Scholar 

  • Viitasalo J, Komi PV (1978) Force-time characteristics and fiber composition in human leg extensor muscles. Eur J Appl Physiol 40: 7–15

    Google Scholar 

  • Viitasalo J, MÄkinen P (1980) Comparison of five different methods for determination of muscle fibre areas. Presented at the Fifth Puijo Symposium 6–8 August 1980, Kuopio, Finland [Poster]

  • Viitasalo J, Saukkonen S, Komi PV (1980) Reproducibility of measurements of selected neuromuscular performance variables in man. Electromyogr Clin Neurophysiol 20: 487–501

    Google Scholar 

  • Viitasalo J, HÄkkinen K, Komi PV (1981a) Isometric and dynamic force production and muscle fibre composition in man. J Human Mov Studies 7: 199–209

    Google Scholar 

  • Viitasalo JT, Aura O, HÄkkinen K, Komi PV, Nikula J (1981b) Untersuchung von Trainingswirkungen auf die Krafterzeugung und Sprunghöhe. Leistungssport 11: 278–281

    Google Scholar 

  • Widerman P, Hogan R (1982) Body weight loss in a wrestler preparing for competition: a case report. Med Sci Sports Exerc 14: 413–418

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

HÄkkinen, K., Alén, M. & Komi, P.V. Neuromuscular, anaerobic, and aerobic performance characteristics of elite power athletes. Europ. J. Appl. Physiol. 53, 97–105 (1984). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00422570

Download citation

  • Accepted:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00422570

Key words

Navigation