Power Production and Development in Youth Athletes: The Effects of Training Load
Objective: This study aimed examine the effects of relative training load on peak power and rate of force development in youth athletes and provide recommendations regarding optimal training loads.
Methods: This study employed a within subjects, repeated measures design. A linear position transducer was used to measure peak power and rate of force development in youth athletes performing the hang power clean at relative training loads from 40-90% of their 1 repetition maximum at 10% intervals.
Results: Relative load had a significant effect on peak power, F (2.196, 32.945)= 35.662, p < 0.001, η2 = 0.54, where 80% of 1RM produced the greatest peak power (1536.46 W) and was significantly greater than 30%, 40%, 50% (p< 0.001), and 60% (p = 0.004) of 1RM. Similarly, relative load had a significant effect on rate of force development in the first 300ms,F (6, 90) = 8.425, p < 0.001, η2 = 0.27, where 70% of 1RM produced the greatest rate of force development in the first 300ms (11663.672 N·Sec-1) which was significantly greater than 30% (p = 0.026) and 40% (p = 0.002) of 1RM.
Conclusions: Strength and conditioning coaches should use this information to prescribe training loads which maximize peak power and rate of force development in youth athletes. For peak power, loads between 70-90% of 1RM appear to maximize peak power. When training to enhance rate of force development, loads ranging from 50-90% of 1RM appear to be optimal. These load ranges demonstrate there is not one optimal training load to maximize these variables, allowing coaches to assign training loads based on factors like training cycle, skill level of the athletes, and fatigue management.