Int J Sports Med 2010; 31(2): 123-129
DOI: 10.1055/s-0029-1242815
Training & Testing

© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Importance of the Propulsive Phase in Strength Assessment

L. Sanchez-Medina1 , C. E. Perez2 , J. J. Gonzalez-Badillo1
  • 1Pablo de Olavide University, Faculty of Sport, Seville, Spain
  • 2University of Murcia, Sports Medicine Centre, Murcia, Spain
Further Information

Publication History

accepted after revision October 12, 2009

Publication Date:
17 December 2009 (online)


This study analyzed the contribution of the propulsive and braking phases among different percentages of the one-repetition maximum (1RM) in the concentric bench press exercise. One hundred strength-trained men performed a test with increasing loads up to the 1RM for the individual determination of the load-power relationship. The relative load that maximized the mechanical power output (Pmax) was determined using three different parameters: mean concentric power (MP), mean power of the propulsive phase (MPP) and peak power (PP). The load at which the braking phase no longer existed was 76.1±7.4% 1RM. Pmax was dependent on the parameter used: MP (54.2%), MPP (36.5%) or PP (37.4%). No significant differences were found for loads between 40–65% 1RM (MP) or 20–55% 1RM (MPP and PP), nor between Pmax (%1RM) when using MPP or PP. Pmax was independent of relative strength, although certain tendency towards slightly lower loads was detected for the strongest subjects. These results highlight the importance of considering the contribution of the propulsive and braking phases in isoinertial strength and power assessments. Referring the mean mechanical values to the propulsive phase avoids underestimating an individual's true neuromuscular potential when lifting light and medium loads.



Prof. Luis Sanchez-Medina

Faculty of Sport

Pablo de Olavide University

Ctra. de Utrera km 1

41013 Seville


Phone: +34676473383

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