|Don't forget to wait 4 minutes after your pre-sprint squats, otherwise the post-activation "bonus" is not going to show its maximal performance benefits.|
So, I guess it's best if I don't keep you on the not so tender hooks of suspense any longer and give you the elevator pitch of all three studies:
- Squat Before You Sprint (Wyland. 2015) - It's not exactly "news" that applying accommodating resistance combined with isoinertial resistance can effectively improve neuromuscular attributes important for sport performance.
What is news, though, is the fact that short sprints can be acutely enhanced after several sets of back squats. News that was generated in a study involving twenty recreationally resistance trained males (age 23.3 ± 4.4 years; height: 178.9 ± 6.5 cm; weight: 88.3 ± 10.8 kg) who performed pre-post testing on 9.1 meter sprint time under three different conditions:
"[O]n three separate days subjects either sat for five minutes (CTRL), performed 5 sets of 3 repetitions at 85% of their 1RM with isoinertial load (STND), or performed 5 sets of 3 repetitions at 85% of their 1RM, with 30% of the total resistance coming from elastic band tension (BAND) between pre-post 9.1 meter sprint testing. Post-testing for 9.1 sprint time occurred immediately after the last set of squats (Post-Immediate) and on every minute for 4 minutes after the last set of squats (Post-1min, Post-2min, Post 3-min, and Post-4min)" (Wyland. 2015).Repeated-measures ANOVA statistical analyses revealed no significant changes in sprint time across post-testing times during the CTRL and STND condition.
Figure 1: Mean sprint times (s) in all three conditions (Wlyand. 2015).
- Hold the DBs Right, When You Split Squat or do Walking Lunges (Stastny. 2015) - If you are like me and you don't switch off your brain while you're training you will have noticed that the side on which you hold the dumbbell (assuming you don't do them unilaterally loaded, i.e. with weight on both sides)during split squats or walking lunges can have a significant effect on "where", i.e. in which muscle, you feel the exercise.
According to a recent study by Stastny et al. this effect may be mediated by the effect the positioning of the dumbbells will have on the activity of the muscles which was assessed by the Polish researchers in both trained (RT) and untrained (NT) individuals via EMG measures.
Figure 2: EMG during the eccentric phase and kinematics of all exercises (Stastny. 2015).
Further differences were found between contralateral (=holding the weight on the opposite side) walking lunges and ipsilateral (=holding the weight on the same side) walking lunges in both the RT (p<0.001, η²=0.69) and NT groups (p<0.001, η²=0.80), and contralateral walking lunges resulted in higher eccentric Gmed amplitudes. In other words, if you want to train the Gluteus Medius, the broad, thick, radiating muscle, situated on the outer surface of the pelvis, hold the weight on the opposite side of the trained leg.
- Use Chains or Bands to Power Up (Soria-Gila. 2015) - The advice is not actually new. Specifically, the tip to use bands to "power up" was in the SuppVersity news before. In view of the fact that my own gym experience tells me, though, that hardly anyone follows this advise, it may be worth taking another look at the data in Figure 3.
Now this is the point where you're supposed to acknowledge that "[l]ong-term VRT training using chains or elastic bands attached to the barbell emerged as an effective evidence-based method of improving maximal strength both in athletes with different sports backgrounds and untrained subjects" (Soria-Gila. 2015) and go get your bro's chains and your mothers resistance training bands ;-)
- Soria-Gila, Miguel A Nsca; Chirosa, Ignacio J Ph.D; Bautista, Iker J Ph.D; Chirosa, Luis J Ph.D; Salvador, Baena. Effects Of Variable Resistance Training On Maximal Strength: A Meta-Analysis. Journal Of Strength & Conditioning Research (2015): Ahead Of Print.
- Stastny, Petr; Lehnert, Michal; Zaatar Zaki, Amr Mohamed; Svoboda, Zdenek; Xaverova, Zuzana. Does The Dumbbell Carrying Position Change The Muscle Activity During Split Squats And Walking Lunges? Journal Of Strength & Conditioning Research (2015): Ahead Of Print.
- Wyland, Timothy P.; Van Dorin, Joshua D.; Cisco Reyes, G. F. Phd Cscs.
- Post-Activation Potentation Effects From Accommodating Resistance Combined With Heavy Back Squats On Short Sprint Performance. Journal Of Strength & Conditioning Research (2015): Ahead Of Print.