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Determination of Vertical Jump as a Measure of Neuromuscular Readiness and Fatigue

Watkins, Casey M.1; Barillas, Saldiam R.1; Wong, Megan A.1; Archer, David C.1; Dobbs, Ian J.1; Lockie, Robert G.1; Coburn, Jared W.1; Tran, Tai T.2; Brown, Lee E.1

The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: December 2017 - Volume 31 - Issue 12 - p 3305–3310
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000002231
Original Research

Watkins, CM, Barillas, SR, Wong, MA, Archer, DC, Dobbs, IJ, Lockie, RG, Coburn, JW, Tran, TT, and Brown, LE. Determination of vertical jump as a measure of neuromuscular readiness and fatigue. J Strength Cond Res 31(12): 3305–3310, 2017—Coaches closely monitor training loads and periodize sessions throughout the season to create optimal adaptations at the proper time. However, only monitoring training loads ignores the innate physiological stress each athlete feels individually. Vertical jump (VJ) is widely used as a measure of lower-body power, and has been used in postmatch studies to demonstrate fatigue levels. However, no pretraining monitoring by VJ performance has been previously studied. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to determine the sensitivity of VJ as a measure of readiness and fatigue on a daily sessional basis. Ten healthy resistance-trained males (mass = 91.60 ± 13.24 kg; height = 179.70 ± 9.23 cm; age = 25.40 ± 1.51 years) and 7 females (mass = 65.36 ± 12.29 kg; height = 162.36 ± 5.75 cm; age = 25.00 ± 2.71 years) volunteered to participate. Vertical jump and BRUNEL Mood Assessment (BAM) were measured 4 times: pre-workout 1, post-workout 1, pre-workout 2, and post-workout 2. Workout intensity was identical for both workouts, consisting of 4 sets of 5 repetitions for hang cleans, and 4 sets of 6 repetitions for push presses at 85% 1 repetition maximum (1RM), followed by 4 sets to failure of back squats (BSs), Romanian deadlift, and leg press at 80% 1RM. The major finding was that VJ height decrement (−8.05 ± 9.65 cm) at pre-workout 2 was correlated (r = 0.648) with BS volume decrement (−27.56 ± 24.56%) between workouts. This is important for coaches to proactively understand the current fatigue levels of their athletes and their readiness to resistance training.

1Human Performance Laboratory, Center for Sport Performance, Department of Kinesiology, California State University, Fullerton, California; and

2High Performance Centre, Canadian Sport Institute Pacific, Whistler, British Columbia, Canada

Address correspondence to Lee E. Brown, leebrown@fullerton.edu.

Copyright © 2017 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.