The makeup of athletes in different events

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    Just a general question of interest to fellow trainers – have you seen performance differences across different athletes in weights testing that may relate to their sport event?

    I work mainly with sprinters, throwers and rowers and although all groups are exceptionally strong they seem to markedely differ in their weight testing testability.

    Throwers for example will perform a magnificent 1rm, (not well predicted by 2,3,4,5 rep efforts) and then be shattered for any further performance testing

    Sprinters can do a good 1 rm (usually well predicted by 2 or 3 rep efforts) and then go for a few more attempts at 90% with low rest intervals

    Rowers can do a reasonable 1 rm (predicted quite well by 3,4,5,6 rep efforts) and then go all day at 85% with minimal rest intervals

    obviously different training influences the energy systems, fitness and muscle fibre composition (as does genetics) but it would be interesting to know with respect to talent ID whether ability at 100%, 90% or 85% was a relevant marker.

    Any observations from other sports? As a naive observer for instance I would think in rugby its pretty important to repate perform at 80-85% rm?

    thanks – train hard be happy (what more is there?)


    To tell you the truth it has been some time since I have tested rugby players, primarily due to the loss of a training day almost when testing and since they often go down to heavy doubles and triples in training i have a fair idea of where they are at, but I do agree that repeated ability at 80/85% so technically 5’s and 6’s is a big attribute of rugby players, predictive testing whilst very handy is not a great judge for rugby players 1RM, but it does gice a good idea of what they should be shooting for if they have just done X kg for 5 and the next set calls for a heavy/near max single, cheers, ash


    That’s an interesting question, because some coaches hae attempted to use that classification for judging fibre types.

    Immediately after testing for 1RM’s the number of performed reps at 80/85% is supposed to indicate the percentage of fast/slow fibres (approx).

    Now this is fine – but my question is if you know it or find it out what are you going to do with it?!

    It’s interesting looking at sprinters, boxers, rugby, soccer and gaelic and seeing the differences. It’s also interesting in team sports looking at the differences in positions and the demands/training.

    It’s also interesting to see the recovery needed after training in ‘zones’ or reps outside of that which they tolerate better.

    Ironically, despite what some suggest some people (such as sprinters or throwers maybe) have a very well developed High CNS tolerance – but they need time to recover from mid intensity training – if you can even get them to do it!

    One other area that I think influences it greatly is personality! But that would take a little time to discuss!


    it’s a bit of a chicken and the egg scenario there…. are throwers better at 1RM efforts because of their genetic make up and inherent ability to recruit muscle fibres so effectively (which also steered them into a single effort power sport in the first place), or because they got interested in the sport and then spent years developing their ability to deliver one big effort on demand?

    a bit of both would be the most likely reasoning!

    as for rugby players, it’s probably fair to agree they’re nearest the rowers performance level….

    i’ve heard rugby described as a power endurance sport and, if you’ll allow me some licence here, speed x strength x time is a pretty fair description of the game.

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