The purpose of this study was to evaluate the use of traditional resistance training equipment in the measurement of muscular power. This was accomplished by measuring the velocity of movement through a measured distance during maximal effort lifts using a Smith rack. The reliability of the method was established using 10 male volunteers who performed both bench press and squat exercises in a Smith rack. Maximal power output was determined at 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, and 90% of the subject's 1 repetition maximum (1RM). Test-retest power values were not statistically different. Another 15 male volunteers who had previous muscle biopsy data from the vastus lateralis muscle performed the same maximal power output evaluation. There were no significant relationships between peak power outputs and fiber-type expressions when linear regressions were performed. The power curve produced by graphing power output vs. the percentage of 1RM indicates that peak power output occurs between 50 and 70% of 1RM for the squat and between 40 and 60% of 1RM for the bench press. These data indicate that this method of evaluation of muscle power is reliable, although it is not predictive of muscle fiber-type percentages.
(C) 2002 National Strength and Conditioning Association