Factors Modulating Post-Activation Potentiation and its Effect on Performance of Subsequent Explosive Activities

School of Human Movement and Exercise Science, the University of Western Australia, Crawley, Western Australia, Australia.
Sports Medicine (Impact Factor: 5.04). 02/2009; 39(2):147-66. DOI: 10.2165/00007256-200939020-00004
Source: PubMed


Post-activation potentiation (PAP) is induced by a voluntary conditioning contraction (CC), performed typically at a maximal or near-maximal intensity, and has consistently been shown to increase both peak force and rate of force development during subsequent twitch contractions. The proposed mechanisms underlying PAP are associated with phosphorylation of myosin regulatory light chains, increased recruitment of higher order motor units, and a possible change in pennation angle. If PAP could be induced by a CC in humans, and utilized during a subsequent explosive activity (e.g. jump or sprint), it could potentially enhance mechanical power and thus performance and/or the training stimulus of that activity. However, the CC might also induce fatigue, and it is the balance between PAP and fatigue that will determine the net effect on performance of a subsequent explosive activity. The PAP-fatigue relationship is affected by several variables including CC volume and intensity, recovery period following the CC, type of CC, type of subsequent activity, and subject characteristics. These variables have not been standardized across past research, and as a result, evidence of the effects of CC on performance of subsequent explosive activities is equivocal. In order to better inform and direct future research on this topic, this article will highlight and discuss the key variables that may be responsible for the contrasting results observed in the current literature. Future research should aim to better understand the effect of different conditions on the interaction between PAP and fatigue, with an aim of establishing the specific application (if any) of PAP to sport.

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Available from: David John Bishop, Aug 05, 2014
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    • "Several mechanisms are discussed to be responsible for enhanced performance following a conditioning activity . Intrinsic properties, such as changes in the muscle architecture or a higher Ca 2+ sensitivity of the muscle fibers as well as recruitment of higher order motor units might cause the increased jump performance subsequent to the conditioning hops [1]. However, there is evidence that changes in neuronal output following the conditioning hops are not a likely mechanism responsible for the performance enhancements in subsequent DJs [12] . "
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    ABSTRACT: Background It has previously been shown that conditioning activities consisting of repetitive hops have the potential to induce better drop jump (DJ) performance in recreationally active individuals. In the present pilot study, we investigated whether repetitive conditioning hops can also increase reactive jump and sprint performance in sprint-trained elite athletes competing at an international level. Methods Jump and sprint performances of 5 athletes were randomly assessed under 2 conditions. The control condition (CON) comprised 8 DJs and 4 trials of 30-m sprints. The intervention condition (HOP) consisted of 10 maximal repetitive two-legged hops that were conducted 10 s prior to each single DJ and sprint trial. DJ performance was analyzed using a one-dimensional ground reaction force plate. Step length (SL), contact time (CT), and sprint time (ST) during the 30-m sprints were recorded using an opto-electronic measurement system. Results Following the conditioning activity, DJ height and external DJ peak power were both significantly increased by 11 % compared to the control condition. All other variables did not show any significant differences between HOP and CON. Conclusions In the present pilot study, we were able to demonstrate large improvements in DJ performance even in sprint-trained elite athletes following a conditioning activity consisting of maximal two-legged repetitive hops. This strengthens the hypothesis that plyometric conditioning exercises can induce performance enhancements in elite athletes that are even greater than those observed in recreationally active athletes.. In addition, it appears that the transfer of these effects to other stretch-shortening cycle activities is limited, as we did not observe any changes in sprint performance following the plyometric conditioning activity.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2016
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    • "Voluntary PAP can be defined as the improvement in muscular performance during a voluntary contraction in response to a CA (Seitz, et al. 2015). PAP has been ubiquitously reported in studies using electrical or voluntary contractions as CA and/or test contraction (the reader is directed to the reviews by Hodgson et al., 2005 and Tillin & Bishop, 2009). However, an important and consistent "

    Full-text · Article · Jan 2016 · Applied Physiology Nutrition and Metabolism
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    • "Complex training is defined as the execution of a conditioning stimulus (CS), typically a resistance training exercise performed at a maximal or near maximal intensity, followed by a biomechanically similar ballistic exercise (Verkhoshansky 1986; Güllich and Schmidtbleicher 1996; Young et al. 1998) in what is referred to as a complex set. Pre-excitation of a muscle (i.e., performing a CS) facilitates post-activation potentiation (PAP), a phenomenon characterized by the facilitation of muscular performance in response to previous activation of skeletal muscle (Hodgson et al. 2005; Tillin and Bishop 2009). The ability to utilize PAP to enhance ballistic performance is inconsistent in the literature, with reports of improvements (Güllich and Schmidtbleicher 1996; Kilduff et al. 2007; Mitchell and Sale 2011) and failure of conditioning stimuli to facilitate subsequent PAP performance (Ebben et al. 2000; Duthie et al. 2002; Jensen and Ebben 2003; Khamoui et al. 2009). "
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    ABSTRACT: We sought to determine the efficacy of using a continuous time-course trial to assess the temporal profile of post-activation potentiation, and to determine the time-course of potentiation of discrete jump squat kinetic and kinematic variables. Eight physically trained males performed jump squats pre and at 4, 8, and 12 min post 5-Repetition Maximum back squats. Time intervals were assessed via three discontinuous trials (each time interval assessed with separate trials) and in one continuous trial (all time-intervals assessed in a single trial). Percentage differences between continuous and discontinuous trials at each time interval are mostly insubstantial. Discrete variables display a diverse time-course (ES: trivial to large); time to maximal values range between 5.00 ± 2.53 min (CON peak force) to 9.50 ± 2.98 min (ECC mean force). ECC variables (8.58 ± 3.56 min) take longer to peak than CON variables (6.64 ± 2.93 min) (ES: small). Individual subjects attain maximal values for kinetic and kinematic variables at different time intervals, yet the 4 min interval typically displays the greatest magnitude and frequency of potentiation. A continuous time-course trial does not substantially influence performance of subsequent jumps and is appropriate to determine the temporal profile of potentiation, which is influenced by discrete jump squat kinetic and kinematic variables and individual differences.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2015 · Applied Physiology Nutrition and Metabolism
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