So, you’re looking to ramp up your athletic prowess, but can’t decide between pumping iron, conquering traditional resistance training, or soaring through plyometrics? Well, fret not! The researchers Morris et al. have done the homework for us, and the findings are as juicy as a medium-rare steak after leg day.
In their paper titled “Comparison of Weightlifting, Traditional Resistance Training and Plyometrics on Strength, Power and Speed: A Systematic Review with Meta-Analysis,” the team investigates which training modality yields the most gains in three key areas: strength, power, and speed.
1. Strength: Traditional resistance training took the gold medal here. If you’re looking to become more forceful with your lifts, the old-school way seems to be the ticket.
2. Power: Power lifting (aka lifting moderate weight with intent and speed) showed off, demonstrating notable improvements in power output. Almost any lift can become a power lift if the right intent is put behind it with controlled movement.
3. Speed: Plyometrics stole the show, clocking in with the fastest improvements. Low intensity/extensive plyometrics holds high value for becoming faster!
Breaking it Down
The Old but Gold: Traditional Resistance Training
Simply put, if you’re after raw strength (force), go for the dumbbells and barbells in a traditional fashion. Just be cautious because this will not always directly make you more powerful or faster.
The Power Lifters: Power Lifting
Power lifting isn’t just for the pros. Incorporating power cleans and snatches could make you a powerhouse, quite literally. If you move the weight with good intent you can become a more powerful athlete.
Jump to It: Plyometrics
If you’ve got the need for speed, plyometrics is your playground. Think box jumps, not Netflix binges.
The Final Lift
In a world overloaded with fitness fads, it’s refreshing to get some solid data. If you’re an athlete looking to specialize, this study is your North Star. A cocktail of all three might just be the secret sauce for your ultimate fitness feast.
Morris, S. J., Oliver, J. L., Pedley, J. S., Haff, G. G., & Lloyd, R. S. (2022). Comparison of Weightlifting, Traditional Resistance Training and Plyometrics on Strength, Power and Speed: A Systematic Review with Meta-Analysis. Sports Medicine (Auckland, N.Z.), 52(7), 1533–1554. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40279-021-01627-2