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The Influence of Strength and Power on Muscle Endurance Test Performance

Naclerio, Fernando J1; Colado, Juan C2; Rhea, Matthew R3; Bunker, Derek3; Triplett, N Travis4

The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: August 2009 - Volume 23 - Issue 5 - p 1482-1488
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181a4e71f
Original Research

Naclerio, FJ, Colado, JC, Rhea, MR, Bunker, D, and Triplett, NT. The influence of strength and power on muscle endurance test performance. J Strength Cond Res 23(5): 1482-1488, 2009-The aim of this study was to determine the importance of muscular strength and power on a muscular endurance performance test. Fourteen firefighter recruits performed a progressive resistance test (PRT) followed by a specific maximum repetition test (MRT40) on the bench press exercise with measurements of power, strength, and muscular endurance. Comparisons were then made to examine relationships between the 3 muscular fitness variables. The results, expressed in absolute form and related to body weight, indicate that the performance in the MRT40 is significantly related (p ≤ 0.05) to body weight (r = 0.78), 1 repetition maximum (1RM) (r = 0.83), maximal power (Pmax) during the PRT (r = 0.71), Pmax produced with 40 kg in the PRT (r = 0.64), and the average power and force applied during all repetitions in the MRT40 (r = 0.78 and r = −0.64, respectively). The load that expressed the maximal average power during the PRT was 47.6 ± 9.0% of the 1RM and did not show any significant relationship with 1RM nor performance in MRT40. It was concluded that performance in this specific upper body endurance test depends on several variables, among which maximum strength, body weight, and maximum absolute power are the most important. As the ability to repeatedly apply submaximal force is a requirement of firefighters, and other occupations/sports, the current research suggests that the initial goal of a training program to enhance muscular endurance should be to increase maximum strength to a point that the specific load being lifted during repeated actions is less than 40% of the individuals' 1RM. Subsequent training should then focus on maintaining maximal strength levels and improving local muscular endurance in the specific task.

1Department of the Fundaments of Motricity and Training, European University of Madrid, Madrid, Spain; 2Department of Physical Education and Sports, University of Valencia, Valencia, Spain; 3Department of Interdisciplinary Health Sciences, AT Still University, Mesa, Arizona; and 4Department of Health, Leisure and Exercise Science, Appalachian State University, Boone, North Carolina

Address correspondence to Fernando J. Naclerio,

© 2009 National Strength and Conditioning Association