Strength in power events: Theory and practice


  • Mario A. Cardoso Marques University of Beira Interior, Portugal



Strength, Power, Periodization


Over the last 30 years, strength and power training has been a major issue for, coaches, athletes and researchers. Unfortunately, despite the increasing professionalization of coaches and athletes, there is little research data concerning performance in top athletes. In fact, experimental studies in high level athletes are very difficult to put into practice for many reasons. However, such considerations ought not to detract from the necessity and importance of this type of research in strength and power events. Many experiments demonstrated that a specific strength training program can improve athletes' maximal force and power production, reduce the incidence of injury, and contribute to faster injury recovery times, thereby minimizing the number of missed practice sessions and competitions. But, to our best knowledge, there is no apparent consensus on the appropriate method of strength and power training to enhance performance, especially in typically power sports. Therefore, the aim of this paper was to ask practical questions: How much strength should be employed? Is maximum strength the main issue? Is power and rate of force development the key? Is periodization of major importance?


Download data is not yet available.


Aagaard, P., Simosen, E.B., Anderson, J.L., Magnusson, P., Dyhre-Poulsen, P. Increased rate of force development and neural drive of human skeletal muscle following resistance training. J. Appl. Physiol. 2002; 93:1318-1326.

Açi, A., Açikada, C. Power production among different sports with similar maximum strength. J. Strength Cond. Res. 2007; 21(1):10-16.

Alén, M., Häkkinen, K., Komi, P.V. Changes in neuromuscular performance and muscle fiber characteristics of elite power athletes self-administering androgenic and anabolic steroids. Acta Physiol. Scand. 1984; 122:535-44.

American College of Sport Medicine. Position Stand. Progression models in resistance training for healthy adults. Med. Sci. Sport Exerc. 2002; 34:364–380.

Baker, D., & Nance, S. The relation between strength and power in professional rugby league players. J. Strength Cond. Res. 1999; 13:224-229.

Baker, D. Acute and long-term power response to power training: Observations on the training of an elite power athlete. Strength Cond. J. 2001; 23:(1)47-56.

Fleck, S.J., & Kraemer, W.J. Designing resistance-training programs. Champaign, Illinois. Human Kinetics Books 1997.

Fleck, S.J., Smith, S.L., Craib, M.W., Denahan, T., Snow, R.E., Mitchell, M.R. Upper Extremity Isokinetic torque and Throwing Velocity in Team Handball. Journal of Applied Sport Science Research. 1992; 6:120-124.

Fry, A.C., Kraemer, W.J., Waseman, C.A., Conroy, B.P., Gordon, S.E., Hoffman, J.R., Maresh, C.M. The Effects of an Off-season Strength and Conditioning Program on Starters and Non-starters in Women's Intercollegiate Volleyball. J. Appl. Sport. Sci Res. 1991; 5(4):174-181.<0174:TEOAOS>2.3.CO;2

Gamble, P. Periodization of Training for Team Sports Athletes. Strength Cond. J. 2007; 28(5):56-66.

González-Badillo, J.J., & Serna, J.R. Programación del entrenamiento de la fuerza. Barcelona. Inde, 2002.

González-Badillo, J.J., Gorostiaga, E.M., Arellano, R., Izquierdo, M. Moderate resistance training volume produces more favourable strength gains than high or low volumes during a short-term training cycle. J. Strength Cond. Res. 2005; 19(3):689-697.

González-Badillo, J.J., Izquierdo, M., Gorostiaga, E.M. Moderate volume of high relative training intensity produces greater strength gains compared with low and high volumes in competitive weightlifters. J Strength Cond Res. 2006; 20(1):73-81.

Gorostiaga, E.M., Granados, C., Ibanez, J., Izquierdo, M. Differences in physical fitness and throwing velocity among elite and amateur male handball players. Int J Sports Med. 2005; 26:225-232.

Hopkins, W.G. Measures of reliability in sports medicine and science. Sports Med. 2000; 30:1-15.

Izquierdo, M., Häkkinen, K., Gonzalez-Badillo, J.J., Ibanez, J., Gorostiaga, E.M. Effects of long-term training specificity on maximal strength and power of the upper and lower extremities in athletes from different sports. Eur. J. Appl. Physiol. 2002; 87:264-271.

Kawamori, N., & Haff, G.G. The optimal training load for the development of muscular power. J. Strength Cond. Res. 2004; 18(3):675-684.

Kraemer, W.J. The body of knowledge: use and professionalism. Strength Cond. J. 2005; J. 27(1):33-35.

Marques, M.C., & González-Badillo, J.J. In-season resistance training and detraining in professional team handball players. J. Strength Cond. Res. 2004; 20(3):563-571.

Marques, M.C., González-Badillo, J.J., Kluka. D. In-season strength training male professional volleyball athletes. Strength Cond. J. 2006; 28(6):2-12.

Marques, M.C., Van Den Tillaar, R., Gabbett, T.J., Machado-Reis, V., & González-Badillo, J.J. Physical fitness qualities of professional volleyball players: determination of positional differences. J Strength Cond Res. 2009; 23(4):1106-11.

Marques, M.C., Van Den Tillaar, R., Vescovi, J.D., González-Badillo, J.J. Changes in strength and power performance in elite senior female professional volleyball players during the in-season: a case study. J Strength Cond Res. 2008; 22(4):1147-55.

Marques, M.C. O Treino de Força no Alto Rendimento. Da Teoria à Prática. Livros Horizonte, 2004.

Marques, M.C. Relación entre los valores de fuerza y su entrenamiento con la velocidad en lanzamientos, desplazamientos y saltos. Ph.D. diss., Dept. Deportes e Informática. Universidad Pablo de Olavide. Sevilla, Spain, 2007.

Matavuj, D., Kukolj, M., Ugarkovic, D., Tihanyi, J., Jaric, S. Effects of plyometric training on jumping performance in junior basketball players. J. Sports Med. Phys Fitness. 2001; 41:149-164.

Murphy, A.J., Wilson, G.J. Poor correlations between isometric tests and dynamic performance: relationship to muscle activation. Eur. J. Appl. Physiol. 1996; 73:353-357.

Newton, R.U., & McEvoy, P. Baseball throwing velocity: a comparison of medicine ball training and weight training. J. Strength Cond. Res. 1994; 8(3):198-203.

Newton, R.U., Murphy, A.J., Humphries, B.J., Wilson, G.J., Kraemer, W.J., Häkkinen, K. Influence of load and stretch shortening cycle on the kinematics, kinetics, and muscle activation that occurs during explosive upper-body movements. Eur. J. Appl. Physiol. Occup. Physiol. 1997; 75:333-342.

Plisk, S.A., & Stone, M.H. Periodization Strategies. Strength Cond. J. 2003; 25(6):19-36.

Rhea, M.R., Alvar, B.A., Burkett, L.N., & Ball, S.D. A meta-analysis to determine the dose response for strength development. Med Sci. Sports Exerc. 2003; 35:456-464.

Rhea, M.R., Ball, S., Phillips, W., & Burkett, L. A comparison of linear and daily undulating periodized programs with equated volume and intensity for strength. J. Strength Cond. Res. 2003; 16(2):250-255.

Sanborn, K., Boros, R., Hruby, J., Schilling, B., O'bryant, H.S., Johnson, R.L., Stone, M.H. Short-term performance effects of weight training with single sets to failure versus multiple sets not to failure in women. J. Strength Cond. Res. 2000; 14(3):328-331.

Thomas, G.A., Kraemer, W.J., Spiering, B.A., Volek, J.S., Anderson, J.M., Maresh, C.M. Maximal power at difference percentages of one repetition maximum: Influence of resistance and gender. J. Strength Cond. Res. 2007; 21(2):336-342.

Tidow, G. Aspects of strength training in athletics. New Studies in Athletics. 1990; 1:93-110.

Van Den Tillaar, R., & Ettema, G. Effect of body size and gender in overarm throwing performance. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2004; 91 :413-418.

Van Den Tillaar, R., Marques, M.C. Effect of two different training programs with the same workload on soccer overhead throwing velocity. Int J. Sport Physiol Perfor. 2009; 4(4):474-84.

Viru, A. About training loads. Modern Athlete Coach. 1993; 31:32-36.

Wilson, G.J., Lyttle, A.D., Ostrowski, K.J., & Murphy, A.J. Assessing dynamic performance: a comparison of rate of force development tests. J. Strength Cond. Res. 1995; 9(3):176-181.

Zatsiorsky, V.M. Science and Practice of Strength Training. Champaign, Illinois: Human Kinetics Books. 1995.


Statistics RUA



How to Cite

Cardoso Marques, M. A. (2010). Strength in power events: Theory and practice. Journal of Human Sport and Exercise, 5(2), 214–225.




Similar Articles

You may also start an advanced similarity search for this article.