The Effect of Maximal Strength Training versus Maximal Strength and Electrostimulation Training on Lower Body Strength, Sprinting Time, and Skating Times
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The purpose of the study was to compare and contrast the effectiveness of a traditional maximal strength (MS) training protocol with a maximal strength and electrostimulation (MSES) training regimen on lower body strength, sprinting time, and on ice skating times. Fifteen male (21.5 ± 1.5 years) and 13 female (18.5 ± 3.3 years) competitive ice hockey players were recruited from Midget AA, Junior B, Senior A, and collegiate teams. Participants were stratified by sex and randomized into two groups prior to completing a crossover training study consisting of two 4-week, 8-session training interventions: MS/MSES and MSES/MS. On and off ice assessment batteries were performed at three time points: Pre, Post 1 (week 4), and Post 2 (week 8). Lower body strength was assessed using vertical jump (VJ; cm), horizontal jump (HJ; cm), and one repetition maximum deadlift (DL; kg) and front squat (FS; kg) measures. Sprinting time was assessed using a 20-m sprint (s) and skating times were assessed using five skating drills measuring two-step acceleration and total times (s). Primary 2 (sequence) x 3 (time; Pre, Post 1, Post 2) repeated measures analyses of variance (RM-ANOVA) were conducted to determine if significant differences existed between training sequences (p<.05). Secondary 2 (sequence) x 2 (time; Pre, Post 1) RM-ANOVAs were conducted to determine if significant differences existed between MS and MSES interventions at Post 1. Significant 2 x 3 interactions were revealed for the VJ and stop/start left drill, however no significant differences were evident between sequences at Post 1 or Post 2. Significant main effects of time (groups collapsed) were revealed for the HJ, DL, FS, and combination drill that indicated significant improvement from Pre to Post 2. Significant 2 x 2 interactions were revealed for the VJ, FS, and stop/start right drill, however there were no significant differences between sequences at Post 1. Two of the seventeen variables assessed revealed significant differences between training sequences and four were significantly different between MS and MSES at Post 1. Five RM’s confirmed that significant improvements were demonstrated in strength over 8 weeks of training, however strength increases did not transfer to improvements in sprint or skating times.