Year of Publication


Date of Thesis


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Exercise and Sport Sciences

Subject Categories

Exercise -- Physiological aspects; Sprinting -- case studies


This study investigated the recurring effects, over multiple sets, of heavy back squats on repeated sprint times. It has been found in prior studies that performing a few repetitions (reps) of a heavy, multi-joint, lower body exercise can increase performance in events that rely on peak muscular power output. Single effort jump and sprint performances have been improved in athletic subjects following performance of heavy back squats. In the current study, a partially randomized, counterbalanced, repeated measures design, 29 college-aged NCAA male varsity lacrosse players, possessing a minimum of 12 months of strength and sprint experience, participated in control and experimental sprint testing sessions. Subjects performed four reps of back squats (experimental = 90% 1RM, control = 20% 1RM), rested 8 min, performed repeated sprint sets of four reps (55 s inter-rep rest period) and rested for 9 min after completion of the last sprint rep. This testing set was performed two more times, for a total of three sets (of four sprints) performed 20 min apart. Sprint performance was measured by timing gates positioned at 10 and 40 m from the start line. Reaction time was also recorded for each sprint rep. Performance was analyzed using 2x3 (Condition x Sets) and 2x4 (Condition X Reps) repeated measures ANOVA for sprint and reaction time. Subjects ran significantly faster (p = 0.014) after completing heavy back squats compared to light squats used in the control condition. Specifically, sprint times were faster for the first two sprint reps across sets after heavy squats. These findings suggest that post-activation potentiation, using heavy back squats, can be repeated successfully over the course of a single session. This finding should be of interest to coaches and athletes looking to maximize performance.



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