The effects of combined ballistic and heavy resistance training on maximal lower- and upper-body strength in recreationally trained men

Gerald T Mangine, Nicholas A Ratamess, Jay R Hoffman, Avery D Faigenbaum, Jie Kang, Aristomen Chilakos
Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 2008, 22 (1): 132-9
The purpose of the present study was to investigate the additive effects of ballistic training to a traditional heavy resistance training program on upper- and lower-body maximal strength. Seventeen resistance-trained men were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 groups: (i) a combined ballistic and heavy resistance training group (COM; age = 21.4 +/- 1.7 years, body mass = 82.7 +/- 15.1 kg) or (ii) a heavy resistance training group (HR; age = 20.1 +/- 1.2 years, body mass = 81.0 +/- 9.2 kg) and subsequently participated in an 8-week periodized training program. Training was performed 3 days per week, that is, 6-8 exercises per workout (6-8 traditional exercises for HR; 4-6 traditional + 2 ballistic exercises in COM) for 3-8 repetitions. A significant increase in 1-repetition maximum (1RM) squat was shown in both groups (COM = 15.2%; HR = 17.3%) with no difference observed between groups. However, 1RM bench press increased to a significantly greater extent (P = 0.04) in COM than HR (11.6% vs. 7.1%, respectively). For peak power attained during the jump squat, an interaction (P = 0.02) was observed where the 5.4% increase in COM and -3.2% reduction in HR were statistically significant. Nonsignificant increases were observed in peak plyometric push-up power in COM (8.5%) and HR (3.4%). Lean body mass increased significantly in both groups, with no between-group differences observed. The results of this study support the inclusion of ballistic exercises into a heavy resistance training program for increasing 1RM bench press and enhancing lower-body power.

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