A systematic review on the effects of resistance and plyometric training on physical fitness in youth - what do comparative studies tell us?

  • Introduction: To date, several meta-analyses clearly demonstrated that resistance and plyometric training are effective to improve physical fitness in children and adolescents. However, a methodological limitation of meta-analyses is that they synthesize results from different studies and hence ignore important differences across studies (i.e., mixing apples and oranges). Therefore, we aimed at examining comparative intervention studies that assessed the effects of age, sex, maturation, and resistance or plyometric training descriptors (e.g., training intensity, volume etc.) on measures of physical fitness while holding other variables constant. Methods: To identify relevant studies, we systematically searched multiple electronic databases (e.g., PubMed) from inception to March 2018. We included resistance and plyometric training studies in healthy young athletes and non-athletes aged 6 to 18 years that investigated the effects of moderator variables (e.g., age, maturity, sex, etc.) on components of physical fitness (i.e., muscle strength and power). Results: Our systematic literature search revealed a total of 75 eligible resistance and plyometric training studies, including 5,138 participants. Mean duration of resistance and plyometric training programs amounted to 8.9 ± 3.6 weeks and 7.1±1.4 weeks, respectively. Our findings showed that maturation affects plyometric and resistance training outcomes differently, with the former eliciting greater adaptations pre-peak height velocity (PHV) and the latter around- and post-PHV. Sex has no major impact on resistance training related outcomes (e.g., maximal strength, 10 repetition maximum). In terms of plyometric training, around-PHV boys appear to respond with larger performance improvements (e.g., jump height, jump distance) compared with girls. Different types of resistance training (e.g., body weight, free weights) are effective in improving measures of muscle strength (e.g., maximum voluntary contraction) in untrained children and adolescents. Effects of plyometric training in untrained youth primarily follow the principle of training specificity. Despite the fact that only 6 out of 75 comparative studies investigated resistance or plyometric training in trained individuals, positive effects were reported in all 6 studies (e.g., maximum strength and vertical jump height, respectively). Conclusions: The present review article identified research gaps (e.g., training descriptors, modern alternative training modalities) that should be addressed in future comparative studies.

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Author:Matti Peitz, Michael BehringerORCiDGND, Urs Granacher
Parent Title (English):PLoS one
Place of publication:Lawrence, Kan.
Contributor(s):Johnny Padulo
Document Type:Article
Year of Completion:2018
Date of first Publication:2018/10/10
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2018/10/11
Tag:Adolescents; Exercise; Legs; Metaanalysis; Physical fitness; Running; Sports; Strength training
Issue:(10): e0205525
Page Number:44
First Page:1
Last Page:44
Copyright: © 2018 Peitz et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Correction erschienen in: PLoS one, volume 13, issue 11, e0207641 (2018), doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0207641
Institutes:Psychologie und Sportwissenschaften / Sportwissenschaften
Dewey Decimal Classification:7 Künste und Unterhaltung / 79 Sport, Spiele, Unterhaltung / 790 Freizeitgestaltung, darstellende Künste, Sport
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung 4.0