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Allometric Scaling of Strength Scores in NCAA Division I-A Football Athletes

Oba, Yukiya1; Hetzler, Ronald K.1; Stickley, Christopher D.1; Tamura, Kaori1; Kimura, Iris F.1; Heffernan, Thomas P. Jr2

Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research:
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000000548
Original Research

Abstract: Oba, Y, Hetzler, RK, Stickley, CD, Tamura, K, Kimura, IF, and Heffernan Jr, TP. Allometric scaling of strength scores in NCAA Division I-A football athletes. J Strength Cond Res 28(12): 3330–3337, 2014—This study examined population-specific allometric exponents to control for the effect of body mass (BM) on bench press, clean, and squat strength measures among Division I-A collegiate football athletes. One repetition maximum data were obtained from a university pre-season football strength assessment (bench press, n = 207; clean, n = 88; and squat n = 86) and categorized into 3 groups by positions (line, linebacker, and skill). Regression diagnostics and correlations of scaled strength data to BM were used to assess the efficacy of the allometric scaling model and contrasted with that of ratio scaling and theoretically based allometric exponents of 0.67 and 0.33. The log-linear regression models yielded the following exponents (b): b = 0.559, 0.287, and 0.496 for bench press, clean, and squat, respectively. Correlations between bench press, clean, and squat to BM were r = −0.024, −0.047, and −0.018, respectively, suggesting that the derived allometric exponents were effective in partialling out the effect of BM on these lifts and removing between-group differences. Conversely, unscaled, ratio-scaled, and allometrically scaled (b = 0.67 or 0.33) data resulted in significant differences between groups. It is suggested that the exponents derived in the present study be used for allometrically scaling strength measures in National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I-A football athletes. Use of the normative percentile rank scores provide coaches and trainers with a valid means of judging the effectiveness of their training programs by allowing comparisons between individuals without the confounding influence of BM.

Author Information

1Human Performance Laboratory, Department of Kinesiology and Rehabilitation Science, College of Education, Honolulu, Hawaii; and

2Athletics Department, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, Hawaii

Address correspondence to Christopher D. Stickley,

Copyright © 2014 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.