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The Acute Effects of Conventional, Complex, and Contrast Protocols on Lower-Body Power

Talpey, Scott W.1; Young, Warren B.1; Saunders, Natalie2

Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: February 2014 - Volume 28 - Issue 2 - p 361–366
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e318299a68b
Original Research

Abstract: Talpey, SW, Young, WB, and Saunders, N. The acute effects of conventional, complex, and contrast protocols on lower-body power. J Strength Cond Res 28(2): 361–366, 2014—This study compared conventional, complex, and contrast protocols on peak power (PP) output. Static vs. dynamic contractions were also manipulated to determine the effect of these confounding variables. Eighteen recreationally trained men [age, 21.1 ± 3.3 years; body mass, 81.7 ± 15.9 kg; height, 182.8 ± 6.2 cm; 5 repetition maximum (5RM) half back squat, 119.2 ± 25.4 kg; 5RM/BW, 1.5 ± 0.2 kg] involved in sports including Australian Rules football, basketball, soccer, and rugby participated in this investigation. Five protocols were executed in a randomized order, a conventional protocol in which 3 sets of 4 countermovement jumps (CMJs) were performed 2 minutes apart. Contrast protocols using a heavy resistance conditioning action of either 4 repetitions with a 5RM load or a 5-second static back squat were alternated with sets of 4 CMJs. Complex conditions with 3 sets of 4 repetitions of a 5RM back squat or a 5-second static back squat were performed before the 3 sets of CMJs. In all conditions, 4 minutes of rest followed sets of heavy resistance exercises and 2 minutes of rest followed each set of CMJs. Individual set means and a total session mean were calculated from each CMJ performed during the session. Results showed that the conventional protocol produced significantly greater PP than all conditions except for the dynamic complex and the static contrast. Results suggest that the use of the complex and contrast protocols used in this investigation should not be used for acute increases in lower-body PP in recreationally trained individuals.

1School of Health Sciences, University of Ballarat, Ballarat, Australia; and

2School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia

Address correspondence to Scott W. Talpey,

Copyright © 2014 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.