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The Temporal Profile of Postactivation Potentiation Is Related to Strength Level

Seitz, Laurent B.1,2; de Villarreal, Eduardo S.3; Haff, G. Gregory2

Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research:
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3182a73ea3
Original Research

Abstract: Seitz, LB, de Villarreal, ES, and Haff, GG. The temporal profile of postactivation potentiation is related to strength level. J Strength Cond Res 28(3): 706–715, 2014—The purpose of this investigation was to determine whether stronger individuals are able to express postactivation potentiation (PAP) earlier than weaker individuals during a vertical squat jump test. Eighteen junior elite rugby league players were divided into strong (relative 1 repetition maximum [1RM] back squat ≥2 × body mass) and weak (relative 1RM back squat <2.0 × body mass) groups. Each subject performed squat jumps before, 15 seconds, 3, 6, 9, and 12 minutes after a conditioning activity (CA) that contained 1 set of 3 back squats performed at 90% of 1RM. A force plate, which sampled at 1000 Hz, was used to determine the power output and height for each squat jump. Stronger individuals expressed PAP between 3 and 12 minutes post-CA, whereas their weaker counterparts displayed potentiation between 6 and 12 minutes post-CA. Moreover, the stronger group exhibited a significantly (p ≤ 0.05) higher PAP response than the weaker group at all post-CA squat jump tests. The stronger group displayed the greatest potentiation at 6 minutes post-CA, whereas the weaker group displayed the greatest potentiation response at 9 minutes following the CA. Based on these results, stronger individuals appear to be able to express PAP earlier after a CA than weaker individuals. Additionally, stronger individuals express significantly greater postactivation responses than weaker individuals. From a practical standpoint, strength and conditioning coaches should consider the athletes' strength levels when constructing postactivation complexes (CA + performance activity) as strength will dictate the time frame required between the conditioning and the performance activity.

Author Information

1French Rugby League Academy, Toulouse, France;

2Center for Exercise and Sport Science Research, Edith Cowan University, Joondalup, Western Australia, Australia; and

3Laboratory of Human Performance, Faculty of Sport, University Pablo de Olavide, Seville, Spain

Address correspondence to Laurent B. Seitz,

Copyright © 2014 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.