STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING PROGRAMS DO NOT IMPROVE DYNAMIC PERFORMANCES IN FOOTBALL PLAYERS
Miller, T. A., White, E. D., Kinley, K. A., Clark, M. J., & Congleton, J. J. (1999). Changes in performance following long-term resistance training in division 1A collegiate football players. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 31(5), Supplement abstract 1467.
This study analyzed performance changes in the squat, 20-yard shuttle run, 40-yard dash, bench press, vertical jump, and power clean in collegiate football players who had experienced a long-term, periodized strength and conditioning program at Texas A&M University. Players from 1993-1998 (N = 261) were tested twice per year. Ss were assigned to groups based on playing position: 1) defensive backs, running backs, and wide receivers; 2) kickers linebackers, tight ends, quarterbacks, and specialists; and 3) linemen. Relationships between performance changes and training time, body fat, and bodyweight were determined.
Body fat had a significant negative association with performance in all six activities for all groups. Neither training time nor bodyweight was related to 20-yard shuttle running or the 40-yard dash but both were related positively to the bench press and power clean. Bodyweight was significantly related to squatting performance. Results in the bench press, power clean, squat, 20-yard shuttle run, and 40-yard dash were consistent across all groups. For vertical jump, time showed a slight positive association only for group 1. Body weight had a positive effect on all three groups, being strongest in group 1 and weaker for the other two groups.
A strength and conditioning program was related to performance changes in strength and conditioning activities. However, there was little to no association between program training and the dynamic performance activities of vertical jumping, 20-yard shuttle run, and 40-yard dash, they being activities that could be transferred to game situations.
Implication. Strength and conditioning programs for football players make them better strength and conditioning trainers. There is little evidence of transfer of training effects to dynamic performances that are likely to be more associated with football playing performance. Increased body fat appears to hinder performances.
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