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A Proposed Method for Determining Peak Power in the Jump Squat Exercise

Li, Li; Olson, Michael W; Winchester, Jason B

Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: March 2008 - Volume 22 - Issue 2 - pp 326-331
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181635606
Original Research

In recent years a great deal of research has been published using peak power (PP) in the jump squat (JS) exercise as a measure of athletic performance. However, no standardized method for the determination of PP exists at this time to accurately evaluate this variable. Our proposed method (PM) for determining PP (PPPM) in the JS uses the product of vertical ground reaction forces and velocity of the center of mass of both the subject and the external resistance of a loaded Olympic bar. Fifteen male subjects with a mean age of 27 ± 3 years, weight of 78 ± 17 kg, and height of 175 ± 10 cm participated in this study. PP was measured in the JS at five different testing loads (30%, 35%, 40%, 45%, and 50% body weight) based on methods commonly discussed in the literature to compare PP results of previous methods to those obtained using the PM. Paired t-tests at different load levels were used for statistical analysis with an overall α = 0.05. The average PP among five testing loads, measured by the PM, was 3782 ± 906 W. PP derived from the product of force and velocity of the bar alone was 72% lower than PPPM at 1057 ± 243 W (P < 0.0001). The PP estimated by the product of bar velocity and vertical ground reaction forces of the bar plus the subject was 8% higher than PPPM at 4100 ± 844 W (P = 0.0001). Our results indicate that using the methods traditionally reported in the literature may cause an overestimation of PP during athletic performance. Using the PM in future research will facilitate test validity and enable the generalization of results outside the scope of specific research projects.

Department of Kinesiology, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Address correspondence to Dr. Li Li,

© 2008 National Strength and Conditioning Association