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Eur J Appl Physiol Occup Physiol., 1994; 68(2): 111-5, PMID: 8194538

Determinants of peak muscle power: effects of age and physical conditioning

Year: 1994

Ferretti G, Narici MV, Binzoni T, Gariod L, Le Bas JF, Reutenauer H, Cerretelli P
Département de Physiologie, Centre Médical Universitaire, Geneva, Switzerland.


The relationships between absolute peak muscle power (Wpeak), muscle cross sectional area (CSAtot, i.e. the sum of both thigh and calf CSA) and muscle high energy phosphate concentration (adenosine 5"-triphosphate [ATP] and phosphocreatine concentrations [PC]) were studied in 47 subjects classified into five groups: A, 10 sedentary (S) subjects aged 20-35 years; B, 9 S aged 35-50 years; C, 9 S aged more than 50 years; D, 13 children aged 8-13 years; and E, 6 athletes (top level volleyball players) aged 24 (SD 3) years. The Wpeak was measured during a maximal vertical high jump off both feet on a force platform. The CSAtot was measured anthropometrically. The [ATP] and [PC] were determined by 31Phosphorus nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. The Wpeak decreased with age, was 65% lower in D than in A, and 43% higher in E than in A. The CSAtot did not vary with age, was 45% smaller in D than in A, and 15% greater in E than in A. The [ATP] and [PC] were essentially the same in all groups. The changes observed in Wpeak were only partially accounted for by changes in CSAtot. Therefore, in addition to the variables investigated, other factors appear to have been involved in the determination of Wpeak with increasing age and training. An important role may be played by hormonal, particularly at puberty, and neural factors.

GID: 2462; Last update: 28.10.2010