STRENGTH TRAINING NOT USEFUL FOR ADOLESCENT CROSS-COUNTRY SKIERS
Chen, S., Gaskill, S. E., Nesser, T. W., Walker, A. J., & Serfass, R. C. (2001). Gender comparisons of responses to upper body strength training in adolescent cross-country skiers. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 33(5), Supplement abstract 57.
Adolescent cross-country skiers (M = 24; F = 31) participated in upper body strength training 3 x week for 10 weeks. Reactions during a 10-week follow-up of unsupervised training were also observed. Training included weight training, roller board training, circuit training, and roller skiing supplemented with hill bounding, pole hops, and plyometrics.
Males increased relative strength more than females while females improved relative power similarly to males. Training changes were maintained during the unsupervised training period. The increase in females' power in the absence of strength gains suggests that skiing power comes from better use of existing resources and improved technique.
Since strength gains were irrelevant to power, and gains made during strength training were maintained in the absence of that training, there is the suggestion that the changes observed came from cross-country ski training and not the auxiliary strength training. A control group in this study would have aided a clearer understanding of the results.
Implication. Strength training does not seem to assist adolescent cross-country ski development.
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