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Jacques DeVore: The Power of PAP for Athletes

Research supports performing high force activity on the legs before training for lower body power

I had a conversation recently with a talented basketball player about the “whys.” My last blog entry discussed this concept, and I gave him the example of how we will train legs with high force production exercises before leg power workouts, and he asked why.

I told him that it is based on the principle of Postactivation Potentiation, or PAP. As athletes become more fit, it becomes harder to get overloads when training. PAP helps increase the ability of an athlete to produce greater amounts of power in exercises subsequently to a high force activity.

Most of the research has revolved around jumping. The act of jumping is a good measurement of power production in an athlete’s lower body. The research looked at performing hack squats at 90 percent of the athlete’s one repetition before jumping. Subsequent ability to jump was increased when the intervention was utilized. This also has validity in a number of other power exercises.

The optimum time between the heavy lift and the power exercise seemed to be about 12 minutes. Click here for more information.

At Titan Sports & Physical Therapy, we utilize this science in training the body for many different types of power production training.

Keep this idea in mind the next time you perform your plyometric workouts both for upper body and lower body exercises. The practical application of the science allows a strength coach to experiment with different types of loads and rest dependent on the athlete and the part of the body you are training.

Train smart, have fun and you will prevail!

— Jacques DeVore, CSCS, is president of Titan Sports & Physical Therapy, 4540 Hollister Ave. He can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Click here for his other blogs.


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