Philadelphia, Pa. (August 26, 2013) - From freshman through senior year, college football players achieve significant increases in strength and size, reports a study in the September issue of The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, official research journal of the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA).
But even with modern training regimens, these athletes show limited changes in speed and power, according to the study by Bert H. Jacobson, EdD, FACSM, and colleagues of Oklahoma State University, Stillwater. They believe their results have implications for tracking the progress and development of football players by position, as well as for evaluating potential recruits.
How Much Do College Football Players Improve Over Time?
The researchers analyzed the findings of preseason evaluations of players from Oklahoma State's NCAA Division I football program over a seven-year period. Measures of size, strength, speed, and power were tracked across all four years of eligibility.
Evaluations were performed before the start of each football season, after summer training camp. The study included data on a total of 92 offensive and defensive linemen and 64 players in skill positionswide receivers and defensive backs.
"All strength measures improved significantly over the years of training," Dr Jacobson and coauthors write. For example, among linemen, maximum bench press strength increased by 18 percent from freshman to senior year: from approximately 350 to 410 lb. For skill players, bench press strength increased by 34 percent: from about 230 to 310 lb, with most of the increase in the first two years.'/>"/>
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