Power-time, force-time, and velocity-time curve analysis of the countermovement jump: impact of training

Prue Cormie, Jeffrey M McBride, Grant O McCaulley
Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 2009, 23 (1): 177-86
The purpose of this investigation was to examine the impact of training on the power-, force-, and velocity-time curves of the countermovement jump (CMJ) through both cross-sectional and longitudinal comparisons. The most novel aspect of this study was the analysis of these curves for the entire movement at a sampling frequency of 386-506 Hz averaged across 30 subjects. Thirty subjects, all men, participated in this investigation and included 12 athletes and 18 untrained men. Two major comparisons were conducted: 1) an acute, cross-sectional examination comparing experienced jumpers (jump height > 0.50 m; n = 12 men's athletes) with nonjumpers (jump height < 0.50 m; n = 14 untrained men), and 2) a longitudinal examination comparing performance before and after 12 weeks of power training (training group n = 10 untrained men; control group n = 8 untrained men). Data obtained from the baseline testing session of 14 subjects involved in the longitudinal study were used for the cross-sectional examination to represent the nonjumper group. The cross-sectional examination revealed significant (p <or= 0.05) differences between jumpers and nonjumpers in peak performance variables (i.e., peak power, force, velocity, displacement) as well as over a range of time points throughout the power-, force-, velocity-, and displacement-time curves of the CMJ. Similar results were observed in the longitudinal examination, with power training eliciting significant changes to peak performance variables as well as significant changes to the power-, force-, velocity-, and displacement-time curves over a range of time points throughout the CMJ. This study illustrates that training status not only influences the peak performance variables of the countermovement jump but also impacts the shape of the power-, force-, velocity-, and displacement-time curves throughout the movement. Because analysis of peak performance variables offers little insight into how adaptations have occurred after training, examination of the changes to the power-, force-, velocity-, and/or displacement-time curves offers a simple yet powerful monitoring technique that practitioners can use to gain insight into the precise nature and timing of adaptations to training.

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