Maximal power (Pmax) levels and the effects of the manipulation of training variables on power output in rugby league football players were investigated in 5 studies. In study 1, players of 3 different ability levels were assessed for Pmax during explosive bench press throws. Pmax levels were a significant descriptor of playing ability within the sport. In study 2, the effect of contrast loading was investigated during jump squats. The result was a significant (p < 0.05) increase in power output in the investigated load. In study 3, the effect of an ascending vs. descending order of loads during explosive bench press throws was investigated. An ascending order resulted in a significantly higher power output for the heaviest load, whereas the descending order resulted in a significantly higher power output for the lightest load. In study 4, the relationship between measures of upper-body strength, power, and speed was investigated in athletes from 3 different levels of playing ability. Strength, power, and speed were significantly correlated overall; however, the relationships were greater in the more experienced training group. In study 5, it was found that stronger athletes utilized a lower percentage of 1 repetition maximum (1RM; 46-51%) to attain Pmax than less strong athletes (58-69%).
(C) 2001 National Strength and Conditioning Association