Optimal Recovery Time for Postactivation Potentiation in Professional Soccer Players

Scott Burnet, Mola, Bruce-Low

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Resistance exercise may acutely enhance muscle contractile activity, which is known as postactivation potentiation (PAP). Postactivation potentiation augments important skills that require power production that are necessary during soccer performance. The aim of this study was to determine the optimal recovery time to elicit PAP after a bout of high-intensity resistance exercise in professional soccer players. Twenty-two senior professional soccer players (mean [SD]; age, 23 [4.5] years; stature, 1.83 [6.6] m; body mass, 80.9 [7.8] kg) were randomized to either an experimental (n = 11) or a control group (n = 11). Both groups performed a standardized warm-up and baseline countermovement jump (CMJ) followed by a 10-minute recovery. The control group then performed a CMJ at 15 seconds and at 4, 8, 12, 16, and 20 minutes, whereas the experimental group performed a 3 repetition maximum (RM) squat and then an identical CMJ protocol. No significant differences were found between the groups for CMJ peak power (p > 0.05) or jump height (p > 0.05). No time effect for peak power (F(6,60) = 2.448; p = 0.063) or jump height (F(6,60) = 2.399; p = 0.089) was observed throughout the experimental group trials. Responders (n = 6) displayed individualized PAP profiles at 4 (n = 3), 12 (n = 1), and 16 (n = 2) minutes after conditioning contraction, whereas nonresponders (n = 5) did not. A set of 3RM squats failed to acutely potentiate all participants CMJ performance. Both PAP responders and nonresponders were identified and have individualized PAP time constants. This is not consistent with the previous literature, which used identical protocols. Strength and conditioning practitioners need to individualize recovery “windows” and identify athletes who respond to PAP before undertaking a complex training intervention.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1529-1537
JournalJournal of Strength and Conditioning Research
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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