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Table of Content - Volume 9 Issue 3 - March 2019

Anaerobic power higher in sportsmen

- A comparative cross-sectional study


P D Wagh1, A S Khare2*


1Assistant Professor, Department of Physiology, BKL Walawalkar Rural Medical College and Hospital, Sawarde, Tal Chiplun, District Ratnagiri, Maharashtra, INDIA.

2Assistant Professor, Department of Physiology, B J Government Medical College, Pune, Maharashtra, INDIA.

Email: dranupamkhare@gmail.com


Abstract               Background: Since ancient times exercise has shown to have beneficial effect on fitness and performance in sports in human beings. Anaerobic exercise is a physical exercise intense enough to cause lactate to form. It is used by athletes in non-endurance sports to promote strength, speed and power and by body builders to build muscle mass. Sport performance in sport players is determined by aerobic and anaerobic power in them. Aerobic power is best indicated by VO2max. Anaerobic power is power produced in absence of oxygen. Anaerobic capacity is useful in sprints in some players. Anaerobic power is exhibited in many sports as highly explosive movements lasting from a fraction of a second to approximately 5 seconds and is energetically fueled by immediate ATP and creatine phosphate sources without significant contribution from the glycolytic pathway. The aim of the present study was to determine anaerobic power in sports player and control group. Materials and Methods: The study was carried out in 100 male subjects between age group of 18-25 years. They were subdivided into 50 sportsmen (study group) and 50sedentary students (control group). Anaerobic power was measured by Sargeants/Vertical Jump reach test. Values were reported as mean ± SD. Sportsmen and control group anaerobic power comparison was done by applying unpaired t test. Observations and Results: Anaerobic power in sportsmen (1019.48±166.81) watts was higher than in control group (852.56±131.73) watts. There was significant increase in anaerobic power in sportsmen as compared to control group. Conclusions: Higher anaerobic power in sportsmen is the result of exercise and conducted training in the considered disciplines in sportsmen.

Key Word: Anaerobic power, Vertical jump reach test







Fromancient times exercise is known to have beneficial effect on fitness and performance in sports. Physical training also leads to specific metabolic and physiologic adaptations that involve cellular as well as gross physiological changes.1 Assessment of the physical capacities of athletes is one of the most important issues in modern sports, and many tests are used to monitor the effectiveness of training regimes and enhancement of sport performance. The demands in sport are closely related to the athlete’s physical capacity, and one of the components is the ability to develop a high power output (force) in single actions during competition. Thus, anaerobic power assessment is an important criterion for the maximal performance in sports in which short-term explosive efforts are made.2 Anaerobic power is exhibited in many sports as highly explosive movements lasting from a fraction of a second to approximately 5 seconds and is energetically fuelled by immediate ATP and creatine phosphate sources without significant contribution from the glycolytic pathway. The various sports activities differ from each other in various ways. Some of them require less energy (Anaerobic power) while others require more energy (Aerobic power). Sportsman suited for a particular sport is dependent upon the sport (Anaerobic or Aerobic) and sportsman’s energy profile. A sport result depends on at least 5 components: energetic capacity, consisting of an anaerobic and aerobic part, tactics, technique, and motivation of the sportsmen for maximum use of their potentials on the sporting field.2 All these components represent complex functional systems, which are created and modified during physical activities. The quality of these interactions determines sport result. Some components can be exactly measured, such as anaerobic and aerobic capacity, by applying different tests (Wingate test, Conconi test, anaerobic threshold, etc.) or techniques by biomechanical research. Anaerobic exercise is a physical exercise intense enough to cause excess lactate to form. It is used by athletes in non-endurance sports to promote strength, speed and power and by body builders to build muscle mass. The aim of this study was to investigate the values of anaerobic energy capacity variables in athletes engaged in different sport disciplines and to compare these values with sedentary control group.

Study design: This study is a cross sectional study. The synopsis of study protocol was submitted to the Institutional Ethics Committee and approval was obtained. Study was conducted in the department of Physiology of a medical college and local sports institute. Sedentary medical students as control group were selected from the medical college. The sportsmen group was selected from a local sports institute.

Selection criteria: Sportsmen in the age group of 18-25 years, playing that game for 3-5 years; healthy sportsmen, without history of major illness in past and non-smokers, non-alcoholics and non-tobacco chewers were included in the present study. Subjects with any cardiopulmonary disease; Smokers, alcoholics, tobacco chewers and medical students doing regular exercise were excluded from the present study. Thus 50 sportsmen and 50 sedentary students fulfilling the inclusion criteria were included in the study as control group. Each of the participant then was subjected to Sargeants jump reach test. In this test, the difference between a person’s standing reach and the height to which he could jump and touch, was measured. For carrying out this test requirements were measuring tape, chalk, wall (for marking) and an assistant. The participant warmed up for 10 minutes and then held the tip of the chalk with the tip of fingers. The participant stood close to the wall with feet 6” apart from each other and reached up as high as possible with one hand and marks the wall with the chalk (M1). The participant then jumped up as high as possible from static position and marked the wall with the chalk on his fingers (M2).The assistant measured and recorded the distance between M1 and M2. Each participant repeated the test 3 times. The maximum value amongst the 3 readings was used to calculate the anaerobic power by using the Lewis formula.

The Lewis formula (Fox and Mathews, 1974) estimates average power.3

  • Average Power (Watts) = √4.9 x mass (kg) x √VJ (cm) x 9.81 Mass - weight in kg. VJ-Distance between M1and M2 in cm.



Statistical analysis: The detailed data was entered into the Microsoft excel sheet and subsequently analyzed by using SPSS (Statistical package for social science) 11.5 software. Values were reported as Mean ± SD. Sportsmen and control group comparison was analyzed by applying unpaired “t” test. Significant P-value was set at less than 0.05 (P < 0.05).


Table 1: Mean values of physical characteristics in sportsmen and control Group

Sr. no.


Control group

(Mean ±SD)


(Mean ±SD)


Stastical Significance


Age (years)


20.18± 2.19

P >0.05



Height (cm)



P > 0.05



Weight (kg)



P > 0.05



Pulse rate (beats/min)


64.94± 4.61

P < 0.05



Table II: Comparison of anaerobic power between Control group and Sportsmen


Anaerobic power(watts)

Control group





SD (Standard deviation)



SEM (Standard error of mean)



P value

P<0.05 (Significant)



Figure 1:

Table II and graph I show comparison of anaerobic power between control and sportsmen. Mean value of anaerobic power in sportsmen was higher than control group. The difference between mean value of anaerobic power of sportsmen and control group was statistically significant (p<0.05).


Table I shows mean values of physical characteristics in sportsmen which were age in years (20.18 ± 2.19), height in cm (170.3±6.39), weight in kg (64.96±8.55) and pulse rate/min (64.94± 4.61).The mean values of physical characteristics in control group were age in years (20.12 ± 2.22), height in cm (179.7±6.08), weight in kg (63.82 ± 8.72), and pulse rate/min (80.72 ± 7.71). There was no significant difference in age, height and weight between the 2 groups. This implies that all the groups were comparable with respect to these parameters. However pulse rate was significantly higher for control group as compared to sportsmen (p<0.05). Anaerobic power in sportsmen (1019.48±166.81) watts was higher than in control group (852.56±131.73) watts.The difference between anaerobic power values of sportsmen and control was statistically significant. [Table II and Graph I] Priest and Hagan also found that maximum steady state training results in increase in maximum anaerobic power by 3.7%.4 Steve Sieler et al conducted a study in collegiate football players by using vertical jump test (Lewis formula). They used vertical jump test to measure anaerobic power.5 Zajac Adam, Waskiewicz and Litkowycz compared aerobic and anaerobic power in black and white athletes. The result showed more anaerobic power in black athletes and more aerobic power in white athletes.6 William J Kraemer et al published paper on physiological changes with periodized resistance in women tennis players. Nine-month resistance training resulted in significant increase in anaerobic power, in women tennis players as compared to the control group.7 A peak power is usually reached at the age of 20 years for men and few years earlier for women. It has been mentioned that reliable method to measure anaerobic power is still lacking. Athanasios Kasabalis et al evaluated anaerobic power in volleyball players using Wingate anaerobic power test. It was observed that there was a maximum increase in anaerobic power in volleyball players as compared to non-athletes.8 Tomasz Boraczynski and Jersy Urniaz showed significant increase in VO2 max and anaerobic power in handball players after the 4 week training programme.9 J M Crielaard and F. Primi compared anaerobic and aerobic power of top level sprinters, long distance runners and untrained students.10 They observed higher anaerobic power in top level athletes as compared to untrained students. Popadic Gaccsa et al evaluated anaerobic power in athletes of different sports. Wingate tests were conducted on 145 athletes. The highest value of anaerobic power was observed in volleyball players and lowest value of anaerobic power was observed in handball players.11 CemSinan Aslam et al studied the effect of height on the anaerobic power of sub elite athletes. The result showed that there was a significant difference in anaerobic power between the two groups.12 Ronald K. Hetzler et al found more values of anaerobic power in American football athletes.13 Mustafa Kurahan found more anaerobic power in volleyball players as compared to handball and basketball players. Anaerobic performance probably improves in late adolescence.14 Anaerobic power plays an important role in sport and is a good indicator of the physical performance in many sports’ disciplines.15,16,17 A significant part of its development is genetically conditioned but the type and intensity of the applied sports training has a great share in its stimulation.18 A high level of anaerobic power was recorded in volleyball and basketball groups11, weightlifters19,power-lifters and wrestlers20 but low among long distance runners21 and handball players.11 The above-mentioned types of anaerobic power among various sports’ groups are supported by laboratory tests, which indicate that strength training and plyometric training have a significant influence on the increase of anaerobic power.22 Dea Karaba et all shown more anaerobic power in athletes as compared to non-athletes and more anaerobic power in swimmer.23 Dr. S. P. Surwase et al24 observed more anaerobic power in football players as compared to control group.24



The anaerobic power is significantly higher in sportsmen when compared to controls. Strength training increases maximal anaerobic power. Anaerobic power may be improved with the help of specific training and conditioning and physiological parameters play an important role in performance of sportsmen in various types of physical activities.



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