Author(s): Knudson DV
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Abstract Many strength and conditioning papers have incorrectly adopted the colloquial use of the term "power" as a measure of short-term, high-intensity muscular performance despite a long history of research and editorials critical of this practice. This has lead to confusion, incorrect interpretations, and conflicting results in the literature. This paper summarizes the scientific evidence on external mechanical power as a short-term, high-intensity neuromuscular (anaerobic) performance or training variable. Many problems in the measurement and use of power in strength and conditioning research were identified, as well as problems in the use of the vertical jump as a field test of power. A critical review of the biomechanics, measurement, and training research does not support this colloquial use of the term "power." More research is needed that improves our understanding of the domains of muscular strength or neuromuscular performance, as well as partial correlation and multiple regression analyses to document the unique associations between these domains, biomechanical variables, training effects, and sport performance. Strength and conditioning research should limit the use of the term power to the true mechanical definition and provide several specific and measurement details on this measurement.
This article was published in J Strength Cond Res
and referenced in Journal of Sports Medicine & Doping Studies