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European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 87, Issue 3, pp 264–271 | Cite as

Effects of long-term training specificity on maximal strength and power of the upper and lower extremities in athletes from different sports

  • Mikel Izquierdo
  • Keijo Häkkinen
  • Juan J. Gonzalez-Badillo
  • Javier Ibáñez
  • Esteban M. Gorostiaga
Original Article

Abstract.

Maximal concentric one repetition maximum half-squat (1RMHS), bench-press (1RMBP), power-load curves during concentric actions with loads ranging from 30% to 100% of 1RMHS and 1RMBP were examined in 70 male subjects divided into five groups: weightlifters (WL, n=11), handball players (HP, n=19), amateur road cyclists (RC, n=18), middle-distance runners (MDR, n=10) and age-matched control subjects (C, n=12). The 1RMHS values in WL, HP and RC were 50%, 29% and 28% greater, respectively, (P<0.001–0.01) than those recorded for MDR and C. The half-squat average power outputs at all loads examined (from 30% to 100%) in WL and HP (P<0.001 at 45% and 60% with HP) were higher (P<0.05–0.001) than those in MDR, RC and C. Average power output at the load of 30% of 1RMHS in RC was higher (P<0.05) than that recorded in MDR and C. Maximal power output was produced at the load of 60% for HP, MDR and C, and at the load of 45% for WL and RC. The 1RMBP in WL was larger (P<0.05) than those recorded in HP, RC, MDR and C. In the bench press, average muscle power outputs in WL and HP were higher (P<0.05–0.001) than those in MDR, RC and C, and were maximized at a load of 30% of 1RM for WL and HP, and at 45% for RC, MDR and C. In addition, the velocities that elicited the maximal power in the lower extremities were lower (≈0.75 m·s–1) than those occurring in the upper extremities (≈1 m·s–1). The data suggest that the magnitude of the sport-related differences in strength and/or muscle power output may be explained in part by differences in muscle cross-sectional area, fibre type distribution and in the muscle mechanics of the upper and lower limbs as well as by training background.

Muscle strength Force-velocity Power-velocity 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mikel Izquierdo
    • 1
  • Keijo Häkkinen
    • 2
  • Juan J. Gonzalez-Badillo
    • 3
  • Javier Ibáñez
    • 1
  • Esteban M. Gorostiaga
    • 1
  1. 1.Centro de Investigación y Medicina del Deporte, Gobierno de Navarra, C/Paulino Caballero 13, 31002 Pamplona (Navarra), Spain
  2. 2.Neuromuscular Research Centre and Department of Biology of Physical Activity, University of Jyväskylä, Finland
  3. 3.Centro Olímpico de Estudios Superiores. Comité Olímpico Español, Spain

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