The purpose of this investigation was to examine the combined effects of resistance and sprint/plyometric training with or without the Meridian Elyte athletic shoe on muscular performance in women. Fourteen resistance-trained women were randomly assigned to one of 2 training groups: (a) an athletic shoe (N = 6) (AS) group or (b) the Meridian Elyte (N = 8) (MS) group. Training was performed for 10 weeks and consisted of resistance training for 2 days per week and 2 days per week of sprint/plyometric training. Linear periodized resistance training consisted of 5 exercises per workout (4 lower body, 1 upper body) for 3 sets of 3-12 repetition maximum (RM). Sprint/plyometric training consisted of 5-7 exercises per workout (4-5 plyometric exercises, 40-yd and 60-yd sprints) for 3-6 sets with gradually increasing volume (8 weeks) followed by a 2-week taper phase. Assessments for 1RM squat and bench press, vertical jump, broad jump, sprint speed, and body composition were performed before and following the 10-week training period. Significant increases were observed in both AS and MS groups in 1RM squat (12.0 vs. 14.6 kg), bench press (6.8 vs. 7.4 kg), vertical jump height (3.3 vs. 2.3 cm), and broad jump (17.8 vs. 15.2 cm). Similar decreases in peak 20-, 40-, and 60-m sprint times were observed in both groups (20 m: 0.14 vs. 0.11 seconds; 40 m: 0.29 vs. 0.34 seconds; 60 m: 0.45 vs. 0.46 seconds in AS and MS groups, respectively). However, when sprint endurance (the difference between the fastest and slowest sprint trials) was analyzed, there was a significantly greater improvement at 60 m in the MS group. These results indicated that similar improvements in peak sprint speed and jumping ability were observed following 10 weeks of training with either shoe. However, high-intensity sprint endurance at 60 m increased to a greater extent during training with the Meridian Elyte athletic shoe.
(C) 2007 National Strength and Conditioning Association