The strength and conditioning world has tried for years to determine the best type of training program to improve overall athletic performance. Plyometrics, agility, speed, resistance, and endurance training are all components of a good training program for the athlete. The purpose of this study (Journal of S&C) was to compare Olympic weight training program to a traditional power-lifting program in collegiate football players to determine which may be more effective in translating to athletic performance. In theory, Olympic lifts should translate to increased speed, vertical jump, and explosiveness due to high velocity/high force production during the lifts. On the other hand, the power lifts should translate to increased strength overall due to the emphasis on maximal force production at a slow velocity.
Pre and Post data testing on strength (1RM squat and bench press), vertical jump, and vertical jump power measurements were made. For the pre-test speed (40 yard dash) and agility (T drill), the subject’s preseason camp results were used.
The results of the study suggest that a 10-week Olympic weightlifting program can provide an advantage in vertical jump improvement compared to a traditional power lifting program among collegiate football players. What was interesting about this study was the fact that improvements in 40 yard dash sprints were 175% greater in the Olympic lifting group compared to the power lifting group. Each group had significant pre-training to post-training strength in the squat (Each group had the back squat exercise as part of the program at the same intensity). Due to the high number of pulling exercises in Olympic lifts and the mechanical correlation to the vertical jump, it should not be too much of a surprise that the VJ height was greater in this group.