chapter  11
22 Pages

Strength and Speed/Power Athletes

WithDavid H. Fukuda, Jay R. Hoffman, Jeffrey R. Stout

The relationship between body composition and performance in strength and speed/power athletes is multifaceted. In addition to the accumulation of skeletal muscle mass, strength athletes also demonstrate a variety of unique adaptations with regard to body composition. Height varies in sprint athletes depending on the event, and has reportedly increased in elite sprinters over the last decade. In addition to unique anthropometric features and muscle architecture of the lower body, sprint athletes are known to possess high percentage of type II muscle fibers. Performance improvements in Olympic sprinting events appear to be related to changes in the power to body mass ratio exhibited by elite athletes. Body composition plays a major role in performance for jumping athletes. In a comparison of individual and team-based speed/power athletes, Japanese Olympic swimmers and soccer players demonstrated unique lower body muscle morphological characteristics.