The effects of an after-school strength and conditioning program on the rate of torque development in pre-adolescent boys
Drusch, Alex S.
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Abstract The primary purpose of this investigation was to examine the adaptations in rapid muscular torque production after a sixteen week combined plyometric and barbell resistance training program in pre-pubescent males. Strength and conditioning programs are of great value to athletes wishing to gain a competitive advantage, but relatively few investigations have examined the effects in young individuals. Seventeen pre-adolescent boys (mean ± SD age = 12 ± 1 years; height = 159.8 ± 12.3 cm; body mass = 53.7 ± 17.8 kg) enrolled in the training (n = 9), or control (n = 8) group. The training subjects then participated in a twice per week (32 total training sessions) plyometric and barbell resistance training program that utilized complex movements (e.g., back squat, hang clean etc.), as well as explosive jumping and agility exercises (e.g., shuttle drills, depth jumps etc.). Each subject performed two isometric maximal voluntary contractions (MVCs) of the right knee extensors and flexors immediately before and following the sixteen week intervention. Peak torque, and the rate of torque development at 100 and 200 ms, were the dependent variables. The results indicated that there were no significant differences between the groups for peak torque and rate of torque development for both the knee extensors and flexors. The effect size statistics indicated, however, that both groups improved in all three variables for both muscle groups. Greater training frequency may be needed to improve rapid torque characteristics above and beyond what naturally occurs due to biological maturation in pre-adolescent boys. Alternatively, larger sample sizes are likely needed to reject these null hypotheses.