I think one could extrapolate from the study that strength training helps an individual improve their abilities in other physical tasks, specifically sprinting and vertical leaping. This extrapolation can be further supported by looking at the improvements made in various sports (such as sprinting) since weightlifting was incorporated into their training. This is something that I think most of us consider general knowledge now-a-days.
Personally I had a dramatic increase in my both my vertical leap and 40yd dash time when I trained the powerclean and squat exceptionally hard. I always find personal experimentation to deliver the best results when you want to figure out if something will work(ie don’t waste time babbling about it, go do it and see what happens).
Thib’s response exemplifies what makes this website so valuable. I’d have given the proverbial left nut to have this caliber of information and analysis available ten to fifteen years ago. And seeing names like “Zhabotinsky” and “Schemansky” – why that sort of historical awareness is almost as motivating as some of the inspirational pictures posted hereabouts from time to time.
Assuming that such a study/test was indeed conducted some 30+ years ago, my guess is thatif repeated today the results would be largely the same; i.e. world class weightlifters would demonstrate themselves to be among the best sprinters over (very) short distances and among the best leapers. Perhaps other athletes who nowadays incorporate more explosive training might come closer or even exceed the performance of weightlifters, but my guess is that the difference would be marginal. But that’s only a guess.
This does bring up the age old question, and one for which I have not yet seen a definitive answer. Again, assuming that the above mentioned test results were accurate, does one conclude that training as an olympic lifter improves one’s ability to sprint and to jump? Or does it merely show that athletes who happen to have exceptionally explosive legs (muscle fibers that are overwhelmingly fast twitch dominant)tend to make both excellent weightlifters and sprinters/jumpers? One of the things for which most selection protocols for o-lifting talent test is jumping ability, in addition to things like joint flexibility and general strength potential.
Of course, the answers to those questions are not mutually exclusive: training the snatch and the C&J may improve an athlete’s ability to sprint and jump while at the same time those who are by birth exceptional sprinters/jumpers may still prove to make exceptional o-lifters, all other things being equal. In fact, common sense suggests that the answer to both questions is yes.
So, perhaps a better way of putting my question would be this: how much convincing evidence exists showing that training as an o-lifter improves an athlete’s ability to perform related explosive movements like sprinting, i.e. that there is indeed carry over? I know people vigorously debate and argue this, but the fact that arguments continue does not necessarily mean that conclusive evidence has not been produced. [/quote]