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Olympic lifting vs. traditional lifting methods for North American high school football players

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A stronger emphasis has been placed on increasing strength, power, size, and speed for today’s football player. The key to obtaining these abilities and skills are accomplished in the weight room. There are various types of lifting methods when it comes to resistance training (RT) for football. Two types of lifting styles that are often used for high school football weight training programs are the traditional lifting or core training programs and Olympic style lifting. It is thought that Olympic lifts help to increase power, which is something that can be transferred onto the playing field and help improve overall performance. This study compared two different styles of RT (traditional vs. Olympic) in North American High School football athletes in order to determine if one RT protocol was superior at improving measures of speed, strength, and power. Forty male, high school football players ranging from 14 to 18 years old participated in an eight week, off-season, early morning football resistance training program. Each participant was randomly selected into either the traditional resistance protocol (TR: n = 20) or Four Quarters protocol (FQ: n = 20) experimental groups. The players each had the same weight lifting/conditioning routine, however, twice a week the FQ group performed an Olympic lift variation and the TR group performed a dead lift. Pre- and post-assessment scores were obtained and compared in the 1-RM squat, 1-RM power clean, vertical jump (VJ) and 9.14 meter sprint. Pre- post- scores were compared with in each group with a dependent t-test. A gain score was also calculated for each dependent variable (post-pre score) and compared between the experimental groups with an independent t-tests (p≤0.05). Both groups made improvements in pre to post assessments in the 1-RM squat, 1-RM power clean, and VJ (p<0.05). The gain scores for the 1-RM squat, 1-RM power clean were significantly greater for the FQ group (p<0.05). Neither group improved 9.14 meter sprint times (p>0.05). The results of this study are consistent with those found in previous literature demonstrating that increases in both the 1-RM squat and 1-RM power clean are better achieved using an Olympic lift variations when compared to using a traditional lifting method. Resistance training programs for athletes are designed with the goal of improving physical performance on the field of play. The results of this study suggest that improvements in muscular strength and power as measured by the 1-RM squat and 1-RM power clean are best achieved with a RT protocol that includes the Olympic lift variation of the power clean.
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Turk J Kinesiol 2018; 4(3): 91-100
www.dergipark.gov.tr/turkjkin Original Research
Olympic lifting vs. traditional lifting methods for North
American high school football players
Matt Roberts, Mark DeBeliso
Department of Kinesiology and Outdoor Recreation, Southern Utah University, Cedar City, UT, USA.
Abstract. A stronger emphasis has been placed on increasing
strength, power, size, and speed for today’s football player.
The key to obtaining these abilities and skills are
accomplished in the weight room. There are various types of
lifting methods when it comes to resistance training (RT) for
football. Two types of lifting styles that are often used for
high school football weight training programs are the
traditional lifting or core training programs and Olympic
style lifting. It is thought that Olympic lifts help to increase
power, which is something that can be transferred onto the
playing field and help improve overall performance. This
study compared two different styles of RT (traditional vs.
Olympic) in North American High School football athletes in
order to determine if one RT protocol was superior at
improving measures of speed, strength, and power. Forty
male, high school football players ranging from 14 to 18 years
old participated in an eight week, off-season, early morning
football resistance training program. Each participant was
randomly selected into either the traditional resistance
protocol (TR: n = 20) or Four Quarters protocol (FQ: n = 20)
experimental groups. The players each had the same weight
lifting/conditioning routine, however, twice a week the FQ
group performed an Olympic lift variation and the TR group
performed a dead lift. Pre- and post-assessment scores were
obtained and compared in the 1-RM squat, 1-RM power
clean, vertical jump (VJ) and 9.14 meter sprint. Pre- post-
scores were compared with in each group with a dependent
t-test. A gain score was also calculated for each dependent
variable (post-pre score) and compared between the
experimental groups with an independent t-tests (p≤0.05).
Both groups made improvements in pre to post assessments
in the 1-RM squat, 1-RM power clean, and VJ (p<0.05). The
gain scores for the 1-RM squat, 1-RM power clean were
significantly greater for the FQ group (p<0.05). Neither group
improved 9.14 meter sprint times (p>0.05). The results of this
study are consistent with those found in previous literature
demonstrating that increases in both the 1-RM squat and 1-
RM power clean are better achieved using an Olympic lift
variations when compared to using a traditional lifting
method. Resistance training programs for athletes are
designed with the goal of improving physical performance
on the field of play. The results of this study suggest that
improvements in muscular strength and power as measured
by the 1-RM squat and 1-RM power clean are best achieved
with a RT protocol that includes the Olympic lift variation of
the power clean.
Keywords. High school athletes, Olympic lifting, power,
strength, traditional lifting.
Introduction
ore than ever before a stronger emphasis has
been placed on increasing strength, power,
size, and speed for today’s athlete. In sports,
particularly North American football, power is the key
to many athletic performances (Garhammer, 1993).
Athletic success is mainly determined by the ability of
an athlete to produce powerful movements (Haff et al.,
2001). By fostering and improving an athlete’s power
output capabilities, this will give them the advantage
over their opponents and ultimately lead them to
success (Haff et al., 2001).
Explosive movements and power are important on
all competitive levels, but is especially evident in the
National Football League (NFL). Players being drafted
to professional football leagues have shown how
important it is to be bigger, faster, and stronger. These
players are not only selected based on their physical
stature, but also on their physical abilities, and are
tested on such during the NFL combine. In the 2013
NFL draft two players were selected in the first round
based on their size and speed. The 5th overall pick,
M
Received: July 2, 2018 - Accepted: August 31, 2018 - Published: September 20, 2018 M. DeBeliso, e-mail: markdebeliso@suu.edu
To cite this article: Roberts M, DeBeliso M. Olympic lifting vs. traditional lifting methods for North American high school football players.
Turk J Kinesiol, 2018; 4(3): 91-100. DOI: 10.31459/turkjkin.439870
Olympic lifting variations in HS North American football players 92
Turk J Kinesiol 2018; 4(3): 91-100
Ziggy Ansah, was drafted by the Detroit Lions even
though he only had three years of football experience
and only one season as a starter. However, Ziggy got
his start as a sprinter and was able to achieve
phenomenal times in short distances, which
demonstrated his pure power potential. Due to his
incredible power he was not only drafted, but is now
playing in the NFL with great success. Another
example of an athlete that has superior power output
is Von Miller, a linebacker for the Denver Broncos. This
was evident during the playoffs in 2016 as he
dominated his opponents on the field. During the
Super Bowl alone he had 2.5 sacks, 6 tackles, 2
quarterback hits, 1 deflected pass, and 2 forced fumbles
(Patra, 2016). This ultimately led his team to a Super
Bowl victory and being awarded Super Bowl MVP. His
physical skill set and abilities demonstrate how a
power athlete at his professional level not only
possesses the speed to cover wide receivers downfield
in pass coverage, but he also has the power and
strength to run over offensive linemen to get to the
quarterback. The NFL values this type of power output
from an athlete so much that after his Super Bowl
performance, the Denver Bronco’s negotiated a
contract making him the highest paid defensive player
in the NFL (Greenberg, 2016).
No specific playing level seems to be exempt from
trying to obtain these abilities and skills, and even high
school football athletes and teams are constantly
working at becoming bigger, faster, and stronger. A
recent survey of Utah high school football strength and
conditioning coaches found that 91% of coaches use
Olympic lifting in their resistance training programs
(Weaver & DeBeliso, 2015). It has been shown that
those teams that utilize a more modern power oriented
lifting program achieve better gains and are bigger,
faster, and stronger than their competition, which
typically equates to more successful football programs.
In 2011, a survey of 108 head football coaches from 42
states with championship programs accredited their
off-season weight lifting and speed programs as one of
the top 10 reasons for their success (Fore, 2013).
When trying to improve performance, training and
activity such as weight-lifting, sprinting, and vertical
jump would drastically improve one’s overall power
production leading to an increased performance
(Enoka, 2002). It’s no secret that the key to obtaining
these abilities and skills is through work done in the
weight room. A number of high school, college, and
professional football programs throughout the country
spend a vast amount of their time in the weight room.
However, each program differs in philosophy and
methodology. It has been said that these athletes,
particularly high school athletes, will show
improvements no matter what they do as long as they
work out in the weight room. One can’t help but
wonder if there is a specific training program that is
more beneficial than the others.
There are many different ways to train in the weight
room. Typically traditional lifting has been a major
focus for a number of weight lifting programs. This
type of training is popular because it has been found to
yield gains in overall strength (Ebben & Blackard, 1997;
McBride et al., 1999). Traditional lifting involves lifts
such as benching, squatting, and dead lifts. A lot of
veteran coaches agree with this type of program due to
its simplicity and easiness of application and
supervision. However, this type of thinking can
minimize the gains athletes can achieve in the weight
room. For example using a dead lifts and squat
variations fail to develop the explosive qualities
needed to perform successfully in many athletic
performances, especially North American football.
Olympic lifting variations utilize the triple extension,
which is the key to athletic power (Frounfelter, 2009;
Channell & Barfield, 2008). During the triple extension
the ankles, knees, and hips fully extend to generate a
powerful movement (Frounfelter, 2009; Hendrick &
Wada, 2008). Similar movements can be found on the
football field when performing skills such as tackling
another player or jumping to catch a pass, and because
of this it is believed that specific Olympic weight lifting
variations can be transferred to sports specific skills
(Hendrick & Wada, 2008). However, if an athlete is
unable to generate power, their abilities will be limited,
thereby, ultimately affecting their performance
(Arnheim & Prentice, 2000). Due to this need for the
development of the ability to generate high muscular
power output, a more modern lifting style has turned
its focus to the implementation of Olympic style lifts
(and derivatives) such as the power clean, hang clean,
and snatch. Olympic lifts have been found to elicit
more power output (Ebben & Blackard, 1997; McBride
et al., 1999; Hoffman et al., 2004; Hackett et al., 2016).
Today’s football training programs are moving
towards incorporating this modern approach of
Olympic lifts because these lifts focus on the explosive
muscular power generated by the triple extension,
93 Roberts & Mark DeBeliso, 2018
Turk J Kinesiol 2018; 4(3): 91-100
which presumably transfers to the skills or abilities
needed on the football field. A study performed by
Burger, Boyer-Kendrick & Dolny (2000) compared
traditional lifting to complex lifting, which included
both Olympic lifts and plyometrics, and found that
while both groups demonstrated improvements, the
complex group showed more significant
improvements in power output compared to the
traditional group. The National Strength and
Conditioning Association (NSCA) and American
College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) also promotes the
use of Olympic style lifts in order to optimize athletic
performance (Bruce-Low & Smith, 2007). In North
American college football athletes, the use of Olympic
lifting has been found to be more advantageous in both
strength and power development (Hoffman et al.,
2004). For the purpose of this paper, Olympic lifting
refers to the clean and jerk, the snatch, as well as the
derivatives of these movements. Olympic lifting
derivatives are variations of the snatch as well as the
clean and jerk that also require triple extension, but
that eliminate portions of the full movements (i.e.
snatch, clean and jerk) (Sanders et al., 2017).
Most studies have focused on the use of Olympic
lifts with collegiate or professional athletes, but there is
limited research conducted with high school athletes or
adolescents. However, one study specifically found
Olympic lifting improved performance in speed and
agility in children (Chaouachi et al., 2013). Additional
studies by Harbili & Alptekin (2014), Small et al. (2008),
Faigenbaum et al. (2007), and Faigenbaum et al. (1996)
established that children and adolescents that
participate in resistance training programs have
greater strength and power than those children and
adolescents that do not. A well designed resistance
training program for children and adolescents has been
found to increase strength by 30-50% in 8-12 weeks
(Dahab & McCambridge, 2009). However, another
study found that an adolescent traditional resistance
training program has demonstrated improvements in
skill-related fitness (Warning et al., 2016). The studies
mentioned above demonstrate that there are
inconsistencies in the literature and in the research as
to what type of resistance training programs should be
used with adolescents and children to obtain the
greatest strength and power gains.
Due to the lack of research and inconsistencies
found in what type of resistance training program is
most beneficial, the purpose of the study is to compare
one aspect of the Olympic style resistance training (RT)
program to a more traditional method.
The main aspect of this study focuses on the
implementation of an Olympic style-lifting program,
called the Four Quarters workout (a hang clean
progression workout). It is designed to obtain optimal
gains in speed, strength and power through the
utilization of the triple extension that is achieved
during the execution of Olympic lift derivatives. The
study will compare the speed, strength and power
gains of individuals in the Four Quarters RT program
to those in a traditional lifting program (TR) through
evaluation of a 1-RM power clean, 1-RM back squat,
vertical jump (VJ), and 9.14 m sprint.
It was hypothesized that the utilization of the Four
Quarters RT would yield greater improvements in the
1-RM back squat (BS), 1-RM power clean (PC), VJ, and
9.14 meter sprint than a TR protocol in a population of
North American High School football players.
Methods
Participants
This study consisted of 40 male high school football
players ranging in age from 14 to 18 years old. Each of
these participants were players for the North Sanpete
High School football team located in Mt. Pleasant,
Utah. This study was conducted in the winter and
spring months of 2014 as part of their off-season, early
morning football resistance training program. Each
participant was randomly selected into two groups, the
TR (n = 20) or FQ (n = 20) lifting groups, based off of
their pre-assessments in the PC and BS 1-RM.
Participants had previous exposure and were very
familiar with both weight room and power field
assessment procedures.
Permission from the Institutional Review Board
and Human Subject approval was obtained before
conducting any training or assessments of athletes.
Also informed written consent from the parents and
assent from the children was obtained before any
action in the study took place. Each participant and
parent was made fully aware that participation in this
study was completely voluntary and they had the right
to withdraw from this study at any time and for any
reason. All participants were properly instructed and
supervised throughout the entirety of the study
including assessments and programmed strength and
Olympic lifting variations in HS North American football players 94
Turk J Kinesiol 2018; 4(3): 91-100
conditioning routines. The study administrators were
in attendance during all training and evaluation
sessions, and were very familiar with the equipment
and instruments that were used.
Instruments and Apparatus
The instrumentation and equipment used for this
study included the assessment of strength and power
by using the Elite platform with both standard
Olympic barbell and bumper plates, and the bar being
a standard 20.45 kg Olympic bar for the 1-RM PC and
BS. Also the instrumentation and equipment for the
field assessments included the following: measuring
tape and Polaris Sports Timing System for assessment
of the 9.14 meter sprint and the Probotics Just Jump
system for assessment of the VJ. All of the equipment
and instrumentation were provided by the North
Sanpete High School football program.
Procedures
All training sessions and 1-RM assessments took place
at the North Sanpete High School Fitness Center and
field assessments took place in the North Sanpete High
School gymnasium. Both facilities being located in Mt.
Pleasant, Utah.
Participants were given verbal instruction on
procedures and proper lifting and power-assessment
protocols. They then underwent a pre-assessment of
their weight room performance in the 1-RM BS and PC
as well as with their field tests involving the VJ and 9.14
meter sprint. Their pre-assessment took place over a
two day period. On day 1 field assessments were
performed on the 9.14 meter sprint and the VJ. Prior
to initiating the field tests the participants warmed
up by completing a 400 meter jog followed by a 10
minute dynamic warm-up over 28.65 meters. The
dynamic warm-up included the following: high
knees, butt kickers, A-skips, B-skips, back pedal in
both directions, 75% track start, and 100% track start.
Figure 1. North Sanpete High School training facility and gymnasium located in Mt. Pleasant, Utah.
95 Roberts & Mark DeBeliso, 2018
Turk J Kinesiol 2018; 4(3): 91-100
Participant
Recruitment (n=40)
Orientation
Gather Informed
Consent/Assent
Pre-study assessment
Record Age, Height &
Mass
Collect: 1-RM BS, 1-RM
PC, VJ and 9.14M
Weeks 1-8:
Study groups engaged
in the training
intervention
Post-study assessment
Collect: 1-RM BS, 1-RM
PC, VJ and 9.14M
Figure 2. Study time line (BS-back squat; PC-power clean; 1-RM-one repetition maximum; VJ-vertical jump; 9.14M-meter
sprint).
After the dynamic warm-up the participants were
given proper instruction and demonstration of the 9.14
meter sprint using the Polaris Sports Timing System.
The participants were required to complete at least 3
attempts and were allowed to continue until their time
showed no improvement. Their fastest time was
recorded. A three minute rest interval was required
between each attempt. For the VJ again athletes were
given instruction and demonstration of the proper
jumping technique recommended by Probotics Just
Jump system. The participants were required to
complete at least 3 attempts and were allowed to
continue until their height marks showed no
improvement. Their highest jump was recorded. A
three minute rest interval was required between each
attempt. On day 2 weight room assessments were
performed on the 1-RM BS and PC. The same warm-up
procedures as previously mentioned were used prior
to testing. Both lifting techniques were explained and
demonstrated in order to achieve proper technique and
safety. Participants were then instructed to perform a
light warm-up set. They were then able to progress in
weight until a failed attempt occurred, which then
ended their assessment. The previous successful
attempt was recorded as their 1-RM. A two to five
minute rest interval was required between attempts.
Their group placement was then determined by their
1-RM BS and PC pre-assessment and required a
stratified random process. The participant’s 1-RM BS
and PC scores were added together for each individual
and then the combined scores were ranked from
highest to lowest. The participants were then randomly
assigned in pairs to the TR and the FQ experimental
groups. Specifically, the individuals with the highest
two combined scores were randomly assigned to the
experimental groups. Next, the individuals with the 3rd
and 4th highest two combined scores were randomly
assigned to the experimental groups. This process
continued until both experimental groups were fully
formed. This allowed the groups to be essentially equal
for muscular strength and power as assessed by the
dependent variables.
The FQ group’s workout required athletes to
perform a series of Olympic lifting derivatives over the
course of a week which was comprised of: a power
clean once a week and a hang clean progression
workout twice a week. The first quarter of the Four
Quarters workout was done by performing a high pull
from power position in the hang clean, the second
quarter involved performing a hang clean from the
hang power position, the third quarter was performed
by doing a hang clean followed by a power press, and
the fourth quarter required performing a hang clean
followed by a front parallel squat which concluded
with a power press. The TR group’s workout
performed a dead lift three times a week. All other core
lifts, such as the bench press, squat, other auxiliary lifts,
and exercises were performed by both groups, which
helped to eliminate any inconsistencies and established
validity to the study.
The frequency of the training took place four days a
week (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday) with
each session lasting 60 minutes. This training was part
of their regular off-season strength and conditioning
program. This program required participants to first
complete a core lift using an ascending and descending
pyramid consisting of seven sets with the following
periodization weight load (repetitions x % 1-RM load):
15x30%, 8x50%, 5x65%, 3x80%, 1x100%, 8x65%,
10x50%. Progression was based off the 1-RM pre-
assessments. The participants had to be able to
successfully complete the required repetitions before
they could increase their resistance by 2.3 kg (5
pounds) for the next week. The only variation to their
Olympic lifting variations in HS North American football players 96
Turk J Kinesiol 2018; 4(3): 91-100
lifting program was the prescribed Olympic lifts
derivatives or dead lifts. The FQ and TR groups
completed the following weight periodization load
(sets x repetitions x % 1-RM load): Week 1, 3x5x60%,
Week 2, 3x5x65%; Week 3, 3x5x70%; Week 4, 3x5x75%;
Week 5, 3x5x80%; Week 6, 3x5x85%; Week 7, 3x5x90%;
Week 8, 3x5x95%. Participants were also required to
complete auxiliary lifts focusing on different muscle
groups on different days completing 3 sets of 8
repetitions for each lift and a daily abdominal
resistance program with 3 sets of 15 repetitions. Tables
1 and 2 give a more detailed explanation of the
participants’ weekly training programs. Any
participant that missed a session was required to make
up the workout. The duration of the resistance training
intervention took place over eight weeks. At the end of
that time, they completed a post-assessment, which
included all of the same pre-assessment tests. All data
was recorded on both data analysis sheets and stored
in a computer for further evaluation.
Reliability
All descriptive and dependent variables were collected
as described by Tricoli, Lamas, Carnevale, &
Urginowitsch (2005) and Sierer et al (2008). The validity
for the dependent variables of 1-RM BS and 1-RM PC
were established in a study by Cormie et al., (2007).
High reliability of electronic timing systems for the 9.14
meter sprint has been demonstrated by Nikolenko et
al. (2011). The VJ test was performed using the
techniques from the Brown & Weir (2001) study that
noted a high reliability for the VJ.
Table 1
Four quarters (FQ) weekly strength training program.
Monday
Tuesday
Thursday
Friday
Squat
Bench
Power Clean
Squat
Four Quarters*
Incline
Lat. Pull Down
Four Quarters*
Leg Extensions
Decline
Cable Rows
EZ Bar Bicep Curls
Leg Curls
Fly’s
Superman’s
Hammer Curls
Calf Raises
Skull Crushers
Shoulder Raises
Spider Curls
Abdominals
Abdominals
Abdominals
Abdominals
Note: Core Lifts (Squat, Bench, & Power Clean); FQ* (Mondays & Fridays); Auxiliary Lifts
(Monday Leg Aux., Tuesday Chest & Triceps Aux., Thursday Back & Deltoid Aux., Friday Bicep
Aux.); Abdominals done every day.
Monday
Tuesday
Thursday
Friday
Squat
Bench
Dead Lift
Squat
Dead Lift*
Incline
Lat. Pull Down
Dead Lift*
Leg Extensions
Decline
Cable Rows
EZ Bar Bicep Curls
Leg Curls
Fly’s
Superman’s
Hammer Curls
Calf Raises
Skull Crushers
Shoulder Raises
Spider Curls
Abdominals
Abdominals
Abdominals
Abdominals
97 Roberts & Mark DeBeliso, 2018
Turk J Kinesiol 2018; 4(3): 91-100
Design and Analysis
The dependent variable pre- and post-assessment
scores were obtained for the 1-RM BS, 1-RM PC, VJ and
9.14 meter sprint. Pre- post- scores were compared
with-in each group with a dependent t-test. A gain
score was also calculated for each dependent variable
(post-pre score) and compared between the
experimental groups (FQ vs TR) with an independent
t-tests (p<0.05).
Results
There were 40 high school male football players
between 14 to 18 years old that participated in this
study. Twenty participants were in the FQ group and
20 were in the TR group. All participants completed
this study and their results have been recorded,
reported, analyzed, and included in the study.
Descriptive participant information can be found in
Table 3 that summarizes the mean and standard
deviations of both groups.
Both the TR and FQ groups made improvements in
pre to post assessments in the 1-RM BS, 1-RM PC, and
VJ (p<0.05). The gain scores for the 1-RM BS, 1-RM PC
were significantly greater for the FQ group (p<0.05).
Neither group improved 9.14 meter sprint times
(p>0.05). A summary, including the mean and standard
deviation, of the dependent variables pre, post and
gain scores can be found in tables 4 and 5.
Discussion
The purpose of this study was to determine the effects
of Olympic style lifting, more specifically the Four
Quarters work-out, on speed, strength, and power in
comparison to traditional lifting on adolescent, male,
North American High School football players. In order
to do so two experimental groups were formed and
completed the same resistance training program,
however, the only variation that existed is one group
(FQ) performed a progression of Olympic lift
derivatives and the second group (TR) performed a
dead lift twice a week. It was hypothesized that the
utilization of the Four Quarters RT protocol would
yield greater speed, power and strength gains than
those using a TR protocol.
Table 3
Participant descriptive information (Mean ± SD).
Variables
N
Age (years)
Height (cm)
Mass (kg)
Olympic Lifters (FQ)
20
15.8 ± 0.8
180.5 ± 6.08
79.2 ± 16.5
Traditional Resistance (TR)
20
16.0 ± 0.9
180.2 ± 6.87
77.4 ± 18.7
Table 4
Olympic lifting (FQ) and traditional resistance (TR).
1-RM Back Squat (kg)
1-RM Power Clean (kg)
Pre
Post
Gain
Pre
Post
Gain
FQ
98.9 + 29.9
115.9 + 29.9*
17.0 + 8.0¥
70.9 + 18.2
82.3 + 16.7*
11.4 + 4.8¥
TR
97.2 + 29.5
107.5 + 24.2*
10.3 + 11.7
70.7 + 15.6
76.7 + 15.3*
6.0 + 4.0
Note: Participant means and standard deviations for dependent variables. *Significant improvement pre to post intervention p<0.05.
¥ Significant improvement difference in gain scores p<0.05.
Table 5
Olympic lifting (FQ) and traditional resistance (TR).
Vertical Jump (cm)
9.14 Meter Sprint (sec)
Pre
Post
Gain
Pre
Post
Gain
FQ
52.4 + 8.97
55.2 + 7.03*
2.9 + 3.94
1.97 + 0.15
1.94 + 0.10
-0.03 + 0.10
TR
51.3 + 7.88
53.9 + 7.51*
2.6 + 4.21
1.96 + 0.18
1.98 + 0.13
0.01 + 0.12
Note: Participant means and standard deviations for dependent variables. *Significant improvement pre to post intervention p<0.05.
??
Olympic lifting variations in HS North American football players 98
Turk J Kinesiol 2018; 4(3): 91-100
The results of the study revealed that both the TR
and FQ groups made improvements in pre to post
assessments in the 1-RM BS, 1-RM PC, and VJ (p<0.05),
and the gain scores for the 1-RM BS, 1-RM PC were
significantly greater for the FQ group (p<0.05). Neither
group improved 9.14 meter sprint times (p>0.05).
The mean initial assessment VJ scores for the two
experimental groups ranged from 51.3-52.4 cm which
is approximately 40th%ile VJ scores for 10t h grade male
North American football players (Hoffman, 2007). The
post assessment mean 1-RM BS scores for both groups
was 112.0 kg which is comparable to 25th%ile 1-RM BS
scores for 14-15 year old male North American football
players (Hoffman, 2007). The post assessment mean 1-
RM PC scores for both groups was 79.5 kg which is
comparable to 50th%ile 1-RM PC scores for 14-15 year old
male North American football players (Hoffman,
2007). The 1-RM BS/body mass ratios for the FQ and TR
were 1.25 and 1.26 respectively, which were slightly
lower than those reported by Thompson et al. (2017)
for male high school athletes (≈1.64 1-RM BS/body
mass). The mean 9.14 meter sprint times ranged from
1.94-1.98 seconds and were as expected, slower than
those reported by Springall et al. (2016) for collegiate
track athletes (1.68±0.14 sec).
The findings of this study in regards to
improvement in pre and post-assessment tests (1-RM
squat, 1-RM power clean, and VJ) are consistent with
the following previously conducted studies that
demonstrated strength and power gains in children
and adolescents that participated in RT programs
(Faigenbaum et al., 2007; Faigenbaum et al., 1996).
Through their findings it was determined that young
athletes can develop increased power and strength by
participating in resistance RT programs. Other studies
by Hackett et al., (2016) and Hoffman et al., (2004)
demonstrated increased VJ height in young athletes
after implementing an Olympic weightlifting program,
which is also consistent with the results of this study.
The effect size (ES) for the 1-RM BS strength gains for
the FQ group was 0.57 and for the TR group it was 0.35.
The ES in 1-RM BS strength gains for both groups was
reasonably consistent with three meta-analyses
regarding strength gains in youths following a RT
program (Behringer et al., 2010; Faigenbaum, 1996;
Payne et al., 1997).
The findings in this study also demonstrated
significant improvement for the FQ group in the 1-RM
squat and 1-RM power clean which were consistent
with studies by Ebben & Blackard (1997) and Burger et
al. (2000), however, these studies also included
complex and plyometric exercises combined with
Olympic lifting to achieve their results. Another study
by McBride et al. (1999) compared Olympic lifting to
traditional lifting in a sample of sprinters and found
that Olympic lifters were significantly stronger and
produced more force than participants in the
experimental groups that did include Olympic lifts.
McBride et al.’s (1999) findings were consistent with
the results of the current study in that they found that
Olympic lifting elicited more strength and power gains
when compared to traditional lifting. Another study by
Harbili & Alptekin (2014) found that performing a
progression of Olympic lifts, such as the FQ RT
program used in the current study, can assist in
sustaining power output after the first repetition.
The results of the current study for the 9.14 meter
sprint were not significant, which was inconsistent
with other studies. For example, the results from the
Peterson et al. (2006) and Chaouachi et al. (2014)
studies found that increased power, particularly power
improvements as a result of performing the Olympic
lifts, correlated to improvements in running speed.
However, their increased speed gains could be
accredited to their use of plyometric and running drills.
These studies also used longer distances (20 to 36.6
meters) for assessment as compared to the 9.14 meter
sprint distance assesses in the current study.
This study implemented the FQ training protocol
that focused on progressions of Olympic lifting
derivatives that at times included the catch position.
Previous work by Sanders et al. (2017) has indicated
that Olympic lifts derivatives not requiring the catch
are just as beneficial (i.e. strength and power
improvements) as derivatives requiring the catch.
Sanders et al. (in review) suggested that the
performance increases noted in their study were more
related to the completion of the explosive triple
extension than to the catch. It should be noted that
receiving the bar in the catch position may lead to
possible increased risk of injury and joint trauma
(Suchomel et al., 2015). As such, Sanders at al. (2017)
and Suchomel et al. (2015) suggested that it would be
prudent for coaches to not employ the catch during
most, if not all repetitions of snatch and hang
derivatives”. We agree with Sanders at al. (2017) and
Suchomel et al. (2015) in suggesting that future studies
99 Roberts & Mark DeBeliso, 2018
Turk J Kinesiol 2018; 4(3): 91-100
should continue to explore the benefits of the varying
Olympic lifting derivatives.
There were primary three limitations to this study.
The main limitation was the age of the athletes. They
ranged in ages from 14-18 years old. Because of this,
instances occurred in which the athletes couldn’t get
rides from their parents, they would sleep in, or they
weren’t as dedicated or motivated to the strict
adherence of the study. Despite the fact that they all
completed the program, there could be inconsistencies
in performance due to the work-out time difference
from the morning to the make-up session. With that
being said, they were on average all able to achieve
strength and power gains in the 1-RM BS, 1-RM PC,
and VJ.
Another limitation could come from the experience
of the athletes. Most of the subjects in the study could
be considered novice lifters. Due to the lack of
experience, strength gains were inevitable. This may
have skewed the final results when it came to the
outcomes related to strength. Regardless of this,
strength and power gains were made with both the FQ
and TR group. Further, the randomized process of
establishing the experimental groups should have
minimized the extent of any impact on internal
validity.
Finally another limitation in the study could be
length of the 9.14 meter sprint. Due to inclement
outdoor weather conditions and the lack of available
space at the indoor facility it was impossible to perform
more than just a 9.14 meter sprint. It is possible that
significant gains in running speed may have been
noted if the participants had completed a longer sprint
(36.6 meter sprint) as the assessment of speed.
Future research still needs to be conducted in order
to see if strength and power gains in the weight room
vary between Olympic power lifters and traditional
weight lifters in high school athletic programs,
especially since the experimental and clinical data is
limited in this population. If may be of benefit to
research varsity athletes due to the fact that they have
more experience lifting, which may give more valid
and reliable findings.
Conclusion
This study demonstrated that the two types of RT
protocols were easily implemented and lead to
significant improvements in the 1-RM BS, 1-RM PC
and VJ in High School North American Football
players. However, RT protocols that integrate Olympic
lift derivatives, can lead to superior gains in strength
and power when compared to TR protocols. Finally,
strength and conditioning specialists should include
sprint specific drills to the RT protocols used in this
study as the development of running speed is typically
a goal of any strength and conditioning program.
Conflict of Interest Declaration
No funding was received for this research. The authors
have no conflict of interest related to this research.
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