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Original articles  

The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2001 March;41(1):33-8

language: English

Contributions of strenght and body composition to the gender difference in anaerobic power

Mayhew J. L. *, **, Hancock K. *, Rollison L. *, Ball T. E. ***, Bowen J. C. *

From the
* Human Performance Laboratory Truman State University, Kirksville, Missouri, USA
** Department of Physiology Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine Kirksville, Missouri, USA
***Neuromuscular Research Laboratory De Pauw University, Greencastle, Indiana, USA


Background. The purpose of this study was to determine the significant factors contributing to the difference between men and women in anaerobic power (AP) generation.
Methods. Participants: college men (n=113) and women (n=175) were randomly selected for evaluation from a fitness class prior to training. Measures: AP was determined from the Margaria-Kalamen stair run. Dynamic strength was evaluated from the 1-RM single-leg extension. Body composition was estimated from gender-specific skinfold prediction equations.
Results. Discriminant analysis identified %fat, fat-free mass (FFM), and leg extension strength as significant components differentiating between men and women and allowed proper gender classification in 99% of the cases. When both strength and body composition variables were held constant by covariance, there was no significant difference between men and women in AP (F=1.25). A multiple regression equation using %fat, FFM, and leg extension strength predicted AP (R=0.91) with an error of 150 W. When the multiple regression equations was applied to a cross-validation sample, AP could be accurately predicted (r=0.91, t=0.17) with an average error of 3%±21%.
Conclusions. Body size and dynamic strength are the major factors explaining the explosive leg power difference between men and women without a specific or unique gender quality

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