Alyssa L. Parten, Hunter S. Waldman. University of North Alabama, Florence, AL.

BACKGROUND: It is accepted that improved performance can be attributed to gains in strength, power, and velocity. Although various strategies are implemented to enhance performance by athletes and coaches alike, a less studied method is the incorporation of bands in structural exercises, more frequently termed ‘accommodating resistance’ (AR). AR has grown in popularity within the last two decades and is assumed to better match the human strength curve in comparison to traditional resistance exercises. In effect, AR may stimulate greater neurological adaptations when combined with traditional resistance training. While numerous studies have evaluated the acute effects (i.e. single session) of AR training on markers of performance, fewer studies have examined the chronic effects of AR training (≥5 weeks). To date, no AR studies have been conducted on a trained female cohort, exclusively. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to quantify the effects of strength, power, and speed in trained females, following a periodized program incorporating AR. METHODS: The present study will follow a counter-balanced, parallel design with one group serving as the control group (i.e. traditional resistance training) and one group serving as the treatment group (i.e. AR). A total of 20 experienced (>6 months resistance trained, squat 1x bodyweight) trained females will be recruited for the current study. Pre- and post- trial tests will include a 1-repetition-maximum (1RM) test in the back squat and bench press to assess changes to muscular strength, as well as bench press reps to failure (60% of 1RM) to test muscular endurance, and a 15-s modified Wingate to determine peak power, mean power, and rate of fatigue in 15-s. Participants will be stratified into two respective groups based on relative strength (sum total taken from participants 1-repetition-maximum in the squat and bench press divided by body weight). Each participant will follow a 4-day strength training program for 8-weeks. Two days will be completed in the lab, following either the AR protocol in squat and bench press, or volume-load equated traditional squat and bench press protocol. The additional 2 days will be the same program across groups, completed on their own and providing verbal feedback of completion. Statistical analysis will include a 2x2 repeated measures analysis of variance (RMANOVA) for each dependent variable at their respective timepoint. Additionally, effect sizes (Cohen’s d) will be calculated and reported to provide interpretation of meaningful differences. ANTICIPATED RESULTS: It is hypothesized that the AR group will significantly increase their relative strength in the squat and bench press and power in the modified Wingate compared to the traditional resistance trained group, as a result of improved muscular capacity to produce extended, greater force.

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