Post-Activation Performance Enhancement (PAPE) After Resisted Sprinting in Recreationally Active Participants: A Double-Blind Randomised Crossover Trial
Sprint performance and therefore sprint training play important roles in a range of sports and numerous methods to enhance sprint performance have been proposed. One such method is resisted sprinting, whereby a predetermined load (% body mass) or a load which elicits a reduction in sprint velocity, is towed over a prescribed distance. Resisted sprint training can be implemented chronically or acutely. The latter is used to elicit a performance enhancement via post-activation potentiation whereby a superior performance may be achieved when the activity is preceded by a specific stimulus, usually as part of the warm up. The purpose of this study was to determine if a post-activation performance enhancement (PAPE) could be achieved following an acute resisted sprint at two different decreases in sprint velocity using novel resisted sprint equipment (Run Rocket). Eleven healthy male, recreationally trained volunteers (age 23.4 ± 1.9 years, height 180.5 ± 3.5 cm, body mass 86.4 ± 14.5 kg) participated in the study. A maximal 15 m baseline body mass only sprint was performed on the initial visit to ascertain 5 and 15 m sprint time. Participants visited a further two times which consisted of a pre-conditioning resisted sprint activity using the Run Rocket at two different resistance settings in a randomised counter-balanced design. A repeated measures analysis of variance (rmANOVA) showed no significant differences in sprint time, velocity or acceleration between the three conditions (p> 0.05). However, when assessing individuals by the smallest worthwhile change, some participants may have decreased their sprint time. Therefore, the use of resisted sprints did not elicit a post-activation performance enhancement in recreationally trained individuals and may not be beneficial for augmenting acute performance in this population. Individual responses to this type of training may vary and should be a consideration for strength coaches.
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