The ability to produce force rapidly has the potential to directly influence sprinting performance through changes in stride length and stride frequency. This ability is commonly referred to as the rate of force development (RFD). For this reason, many elite sprinters follow a combined program consisting of resistance training and sprint training. The purpose of this study was to investigate the strength, endocrine and body composition adaptations that occur during distinct phases of a block periodized training cycle in a 400 m Olympic level sprinter. The athlete is an elite level 400 m male sprinter (age 31 years, body mass: 74 kg, years of training: 15 and Personal Best (PB): 45.65 s). This athlete completed four distinct training phases of a block periodized training program (16 weeks) with five testing sessions consisting of testosterone:cortisol (T/C) profiles, body composition, vertical jump, and maximum strength testing. Large fluctuations in T/C were found following high volume training and the taper. Minor changes in body mass were observed with an abrupt decrease following the taper which coincided with a small increase in fat mass percentage. Jump height (5.7%), concentric impulse (9.4%), eccentric impulse (3.4%) and power ratio (18.7%) all increased substantially from T1 to T5. Relative strength increased 6.04% from T1 to T5. Lastly, our results demonstrate the effectiveness of a competitive taper in increasing physiological markers for performance as well as dynamic performance variables. Block periodization training was effective in raising the physical capabilities of an Olympic level 400 m runner which have been shown to directly transfer to sprinting performance.
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Batra, Amit; Wetmore, Alex B.; Hornsby, W. G.; Lipinska, Patrycja; Staniak, Zbigniew; Surala, Olga; and Stone, Michael H.. 2021. Strength, Endocrine, and Body Composition Alterations Across Four Blocks of Training in an Elite 400 M Sprinter. Journal of Functional Morphology and Kinesiology. Vol.6(1). https://doi.org/10.3390/jfmk6010025