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Acute Effects of Verbal Feedback on Upper-Body Performance in Elite Athletes

Argus, Christos K; Gill, Nicholas D; Keogh, Justin WL; Hopkins, Will G

Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: December 2011 - Volume 25 - Issue 12 - pp 3282-3287
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3182133b8c
Original Research

Argus, CK, Gill, ND, Keogh, JWL, and Hopkins, WG. Acute effects of verbal feedback on upper-body performance in elite athletes. J Strength Cond Res 25(12): 3282–3287, 2011—Improved training quality has the potential to enhance training adaptations. Previous research suggests that receiving feedback improves single-effort maximal strength and power tasks, but whether quality of a training session with repeated efforts can be improved remains unclear. The purpose of this investigation was to determine the effects of verbal feedback on upper-body performance in a resistance training session consisting of multiple sets and repetitions in well-trained athletes. Nine elite rugby union athletes were assessed using the bench throw exercise on 4 separate occasions each separated by 7 days. Each athlete completed 2 sessions consisting of 3 sets of 4 repetitions of the bench throw with feedback provided after each repetition and 2 identical sessions where no feedback was provided after each repetition. When feedback was received, there was a small increase of 1.8% (90% confidence limits, ±2.7%) and 1.3% (±0.7%) in mean peak power and velocity when averaged over the 3 sets. When individual sets were compared, there was a tendency toward the improvements in mean peak power being greater in the second and third sets. These results indicate that providing verbal feedback produced acute improvements in upper-body power output of well-trained athletes. The benefits of feedback may be greatest in the latter sets of training and could improve training quality and result in greater long-term adaptation.

Division of Sport and Recreation, Sports Performance Research Institute New Zealand, AUT University, Auckland, New Zealand

Address correspondence to Christos K. Argus, argy15@hotmail.com.

© 2011 National Strength and Conditioning Association