University of Limerick
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The effect of squatting on sprinting performance and repeated exposure to complex training in male rugby players.

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journal contribution
posted on 2017-04-06, 08:59 authored by Thomas M. Comyns, Andrew J. Harrison, Liam K. Hennessy
This study was undertaken to examine the effect of a heavy weight training exercise on sprinting performance and on the effect of repeated exposure to a complex training protocol. Eleven male rugby union players (age 20.9 ± 3.1 years) participated in the study, which involved 5 separate testing sessions. Back squat 3 repetition maximum (3RM) was established in session 1. Sessions 2-5 were identical and involved the subjects completing a 30-m sprint before and after a 3RM back squat protocol. Four minutes of rest was given between the back squatting and the posttest 30-m sprint. All sprint trials were measured with a laser measurement device (LAVEG, Jenoptik, Jena, Germany). Sprint time and instantaneous, average, and maximum velocity were the dependent variables. The criterion for significance was set at an alpha level of p >= 0.05. No significant improvement was evident for any of the testing sessions (p >= 0.05). In session 1, there was a significant increase in 30-m time and a significant reduction in average 30-m velocity and maximum velocity (p < 0.05). The expected benefits in sprinting may not have been realized because of intra and intersubject variations in sprint technique. The session × phase interaction revealed a significant improvement in the pre to posttest changes in instantaneous velocity at 20 m (p = 0.035) and 30 m (p = 0.036) from session 1 to session 4. This indicates that the rugby players may be able to learn to apply the potentiation effects of complex training. From a practical perspective, players may need repeated exposure to this training modality to gain benefit from it, and this should be reflected in program planning.



Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research;24 (3), pp. 610-618


Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins



Other Funding information

Irish Rugby Football Union, Energia


This is the author accepted version of an article that has been published in Journal of Strength and Conditioning Reseearch, 2010, 24 (3), pp. 610-8. The final published version is available at



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