McBride, J.M., T. Triplett-McBride, A. Davie, and R.U. Newton. A comparison of strength and power characteristics between power lifters, Olympic lifters, and sprinters. J. Strength and Cond. Res. 13(1):58-66. 1999.
TakeIn a 1999 study at Southern Cross University in Australia, researchers compared the strength and power of power lifters, Olympic lifters, and sprinters. Using the smith machine squat, countermovement jumps and jump squats they found that the power lifters were as strong as the Olympic lifters and sprinters but scored significantly lower in tests for power and explosive performance (4). In some instances, the power lifters even performed worse than the control group (group that had no weight training background) in explosive testing!
In contrast, Olympic lifters use both standard resistance exercise techniques, which include heavy load, slow velocity movements and explosive type lifts such as the snatch and clean and jerk in their training (4). The Olympic lifters were comparable in strength to the power lifting group, were stronger than the sprinters and were the most powerful of all three groups. The sprinters recorded the highest jump heights which would make sense as their training focuses on similar characteristics of the vertical jump: low resistance (bodyweight), explosive, high-velocity movements (sprinting) (4). Sprinters may jump the highest, but are they truly the most powerful?
Currently, the highest recorded vert of olympic lifters is Diaconu, at 42, and most of the others were ranging from 32-39. these are olympic and world medalists. that is no where near the upper eschalon of even college basketball players or college wide receivers. it should be noted i could not find charts for vertical jumps of running backs, but i would suspect is is somewhere near wide receivers. college athletes in their respected sports were able to average higher than the most elite olympic weight lifters, and even they outperformed the most elite power lifters. an interesting fact is the highest vertical jump ever recorded for a collegiate basketball player was micheal wilson of memphis, who’s vertical was 54 inches, a complete foot higher than the highest olympic lifter currently