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Peak Power Output in the Bench Pull Is Maximized After Four Weeks of Specific Power Training

Jolley, Russell I.1,2; Goodwin, Jon E.1; Cleather, Daniel J.1

Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research: April 2016 - Volume 30 - Issue 4 - p 966–972
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000001182
Original Research

Jolley, RI, Goodwin, JE, and Cleather, DJ. Peak power output in the bench pull is maximized after four weeks of specific power training. J Strength Cond Res 30(4): 966–972, 2016—Maximal power production has been shown to be a differentiating factor between playing levels in many sports and is thus a focus of many strength and conditioning programmes. We sought to evaluate the duration for which a strategy of training with the optimal load (that maximizes power output) will be effective in producing improvements in power output in the bench pull (BP). The optimal load that produced the maximum power output in the BP was determined for 21 male university athletes who were randomly assigned to a group that trained with their optimal load or a load 10% of their 1 repetition maximum below the optimal load. Both groups completed 2 sessions per week for 4 weeks, after which their power output capabilities were reassessed. They then trained for a further 3 weeks with a load that was modified to reflect changes in their optimal load. The cohort as a whole had improved their peak power output by 4.6% (p = 0.002, d = 0.290) after 4 weeks of training but experienced no further increase after another 3 weeks of training. There were no significant differences in the response to training between the 2 groups. This study suggests that improvements in power output can be realized within a few weeks when training with the optimal load but training in such a way for a longer duration may be ineffective. Strength and conditioning coaches should consider periodizing power training to maximize gains in power output capabilities.

1School of Sport, Health and Applied Science, St. Mary's University, Twickenham, United Kingdom; and

2The Conditioning Centre, Poole, United Kingdom

Address correspondence to Dr. Daniel J. Cleather,

Copyright © 2016 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.