Wilson, G. J., Newton, R. U., Murphy, A. J., & Humphries, B. J. (1994). The optimal training load for the development of dynamic athletic performance. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 25(11), 1279-1286.

Three types of resistance training and a control group of recreationally weight-trained individuals were compared on 30 m sprint, vertical jump without counter movement, maximal cycle test, isokinetic leg extension, and maximal isometric tests.

The treatments were as follows:

Dynamic weight training was the only training group that produced significant changes in all measures. The traditional weight training group improved in three and plyometric improved in one.

Implication. Traditional weight training is intended to enhance muscular strength. Since strength is related to power (strength x speed), it should serve to have a diminished effect on power and thus, dynamic athletic performance. Plyometric training is designed to directly enhance muscular power and thus, competitive performance. However, no systematic method is used to determine the optimal load for plyometric training. It is usually performed at body weight mainly as a convenient load to use. The optimal training strategy to enhance dynamic athletic performance appears to be a hybrid between traditional weight training and plyometric exercise, that is, to perform dynamic weight training at the load that maximizes mechanical power output. As such, weight training is used to enhance muscular power directly rather than simply to increase muscular strength.

This method of training is worthy of further investigation and its impressive results need to be cross-validated.

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