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Anthropometrical, Physiological, and Tracked Power Profiles of Elite Taekwondo Athletes 9 Weeks before the Olympic Competition Phase

Ball, Nick1; Nolan, Emily2; Wheeler, Keane1

The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: October 2011 - Volume 25 - Issue 10 - p 2752-2763
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e31820d9f3f
Original Research

Ball, N, Nolan, E, and Wheeler, K. Anthropometrical, physiological, and tracked power profiles of elite taekwondo athletes 9 weeks before the olympic competition phase. J Strength Cond Res 25(10): 2752–2763, 2011—Physiological, anthropometric, and power profiling data were retrospectively analyzed from 4 elite taekwondo athletes from the Australian National Olympic team 9 weeks from Olympic departure. Power profiling data were collected weekly throughout the 9-week period. Anthropometric skinfolds generated a lean mass index (LMI). Physiological tests included a squat jump and bench throw power profile, bleep test, 20-m sprint test, running O2max test, and bench press and squat 3 repetition maximum (3RM) strength tests. After this, the athletes power, velocity, and acceleration profile during unweighted squat jumps and single-leg jumps were tracked using a linear position transducer. Increases in power, velocity, and acceleration between weeks and bilateral comparisons were analyzed. Athletes had an LMI of 37.1 ± 0.4 and were 173.9 ± 0.2 m and 67 ± 1.1 kg. Relatively weaker upper body (56 ± 11.97 kg 3RM bench press) compared to lower body strength (88 ± 2.89 kg 3RM squat) was shown alongside a O2max of 53.29 ml−1·min−1·kg, and a 20-m sprint time of 3.37 seconds. Increases in all power variables for single-leg squat and squat jumps were found from the first session to the last. Absolute peak power in single-leg squat jumps increased by 13.4–16% for the left and right legs with a 12.9% increase in squat jump peak power. Allometrically scaled peak power showed greater increases for single-leg (right leg: 18.55%; left: 23.49%) and squat jump (14.49%). The athlete's weight did not change significantly throughout the 9-week mesocycle. Progressions in power increases throughout the weeks were undulating and can be related to the intensity of the prior week's training and athlete injury. This analysis has shown that a 9-week mesocycle before Olympic departure that focuses on core lifts has the ability to improve power considerably.

1Department of Sport Studies, National Institute of Sports Studies, University of Canberra, Bruce, Australia; and 2Strength and Conditioning Department, Australian Institute of Sport, Bruce, Australia

Address correspondence to Nick Ball,

© 2011 National Strength and Conditioning Association