Sustainability and repeatability of postactivation potentiation

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BACKGROUND: This study investigated the duration and repeatability of postactivation potentiation (PAP) benefits within a single exercise session. Specifically examined were the recurring effects, over multiple sets, of heavy back squats on repeated sprint times. METHODS: A partially randomized, counterbalanced, repeated measures design was implemented using 29 college-aged male NCAA varsity field sport athletes participating in PAP and control conditions. Subjects performed four repetitions of back squats (PAP=90% 1RM; control =20% 1RM), rested 8 minutes, performed a set of four 40-m sprints (55 s inter-repetition active recovery) and rested for 8 minutes after the last sprint. This was performed two more times, for a total of three sets (of back squats and sprints) performed 20 minutes apart. Sprint performance was measured using electronic timing gates and a timing pad to capture of reaction time (RT) at the start of each sprint. 2x3 (condition x sets) and 2x4 (condition X repetition) repeated measures ANOVAs were used to analyze both sprint and RT outcomes. RESULTS: Subjects ran significantly faster (P<0.05) after PAP than control. Specifically, sprint times were faster for the first two-three sprints, but not the fourth, across all three sets of sprints over the 51-min exercise session. RT was not affected (P>0.05) by PAP activity. CONCLUSIONS: The PAP effect was sustainable up to 11 minutes after heavy back squats and was repeated successfully three times. These findings can assist coaches and athletes interested in applying PAP to improve performance.

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Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness

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