Kettlebell Snatch and the transfer effects on vertical jump performance and 1 mile run time.
Thought I would post this incase anyone found it interesting. This was a report I did while working on my B.S. fun assignment!
Abstract: A six week training program was conducted on one male subject in order to evaluate the training response of kettlebell snatches and its transfer effects to vertical jump, and running. Training was conducted with a 20kg kettlebell, 3x per week, at a training volume of 75 reps per arm. Improvements were evident in both the specific mode of training (i.e.kettlebell snatches) with a 30.6% improvement, as well as the generalized but similar mode of training (i.e. vertical jump) with a 5.0% improvement. However, there was a -2.5% decrease in running performance. This result suggests that kettlebell snatches can be used to improve vertical jump performance, but not a mile run time.
Introduction: The following study explores the benefits of kettlebell training and its transfer effects to vertical jump, and 1 mile run time. It has been demonstrated in various studies that Olympic style weight lifting, and ballistic style lifts have been shown to improve vertical jump performance (1, 5, 3, 6). The specificity training model suggests that exercises with similar movement patters will elicit the greatest amount of performance improvement (2). Further more, light ballistic resistance exercises have demonstrated the greatest potential for vertical jump performance (2). In this study, training intensity was manipulated in order to progressively load the neuromuscular system and force training adaptations (3). Considering the kettlebell snatch requires similar biomechanical demands, as well as metabolic demands as the vertical jump, this study hypothesizes that there will be a significant improvement in vertical jump performance. This study also believes that there will be an improvement in run time upon the conclusion of the training program. It has been demonstrated that explosive training has transfer effects to running (4). By manipulated training variables such as rest intervals, and training volume per sets, this study believes one can induce enough stress on the cardiovascular system, as well as produce enough local adaptations in skeletal muscle (i.e. increased mitochondrial and capillary number, fiber type transitions, and buffer capacity), (3) sufficient enough to show transfer effects on an individuals 1 mile run time.
One 26 year old male, 5’9”, 155lbs, with a body mass index of 22.9. The subject did not participate in any other physical training during the six weeks training period. However, the subject has a history in resistance training with kettlebelles, but has not trained with them for an extended time frame before this study in order to influences the results.
Testing: The subject was tested in three different modes of exercise prior to engaging in the training program; Kettlebell snatches, vertical jump, 1 mile run on treadmill.
Kettlebell snatch test: In a 2 minute time period complete as many kettlebell snatches a possible. At the 1 minute mark the individual will switch hands while the kettlebell is in the lowered position behind the gluts. The individual will then repeat the process for another minute with the other hand. Repetitions will be counted in succession upon the switch until the 2minutes time period has concluded.
Vertical jump: The individuals reach height will be taken against the vane apparatus. This is done with the shoes off, flat footed, arms at full extension overhead directly under the vane apparatus. Then the individual will displace the highest possible vane. The individual will then bend the knees to approximately 90* angle while maintaining spinal alignment and lumbar integrity. The individual must come to a complete stop before jumping. Arms will be at full extension behind the individual. Once this position is reached, the individual will jump as high as possible displacing the highest possible vane with a fully extended arm. To determine vertical jump height, the height of the vane apparatus plus the height of the vane displacement will be added together. Form the answer of vane apparatus + vane displaced, one will subtracted the individuals reach height in order to determine vertical jump.
1 mile run: Individual will run 1 mile as fast as possible for time.
Training: The six week training mode was conducted with a 20kg kettlebell, at a frequency of 3x per week. While the overall work volume (or intensity of effort) remained the same at 75 total snatched per arm, aspects of the duration such as; rest periods were decreased; and volume per set was increased (see table below).
Weeks 1 and 2 20kg kettlebell snatches in sets of 15, 15, 13, 12, 10, 10, with 1 minute 30seconds rest between sets.
Week 3 and 4 20kg kettlebell snatches in sets of 20, 15, 15, 15, 10
1 minute and 30 seconds rest will be taken between the first and second set. Between the 3rd and fourth set on 1 minute rest will be allowed.
Week 5 20kg kettlebell snatches in sets of 20, 20, 15, 10, 10
1 minute and 30 secounds rest will be taken between sets 1 and 2, and 1 minute rest time between 3 and 4.
Week 6 20kg kettlebell snatches in sets of 25, 25, 15, 10
1 minute rest will be allowed between each set.
Apparatus and Measurement:
Kettlebell Snatch: A 20kg kettlebell was used for the snatch test. Time was kept by another individual in order to insure the two minute time limit of the test was managed accurately. The setting of this training program took place inside the subjects living room. Strength, power, and improved fitness was measured by an increase in repetition max in 2 minutes at the end of the training program.
Vertical jump: The vertical jump was assessed on a vane apparatus. The testing took place at a local gym where such training equipment was found. Power was reassessed at the end of the 6 week training program, and was defined in the increase in distance between the individuals feet and ground during the jump.
1 mile run: The 1 mile run was assessed in a treadmill at the local gym. The individual was told to run 1 mile as fast as possible. The improvement in aerobic fitness was assessed after the 6 week training program, and was defined by the improvement in time it took to complete the mile.
Design and Analysis:
The vertical jump and 1 mile run where conducted on the same day, in the same sequence as worded. One day rest was given before the snatch test was conducted. In order to accurately evaluate training results, the following formula was used; [(post test – pre test) / pre test]. In order to accurately evaluate transfer effects results were calculated with the following formula; (result gain of similar mode/result gain of specific mode) and (result gain of dissimilar mode / result gain of specific mode).
In the table below are the results of the pre and post test anthropometric measurements. Although, these values were not part of evaluating the training results, these values can possibly add insight and help explain the reason for the training results. As shown below, one can clearly see a significant change in body fat, lean body weight, and at free weight. These results suggest, that 6 weeks of ballistic training can increase lean muscle mass and muscular hypertrophy (4,3,6).
Pre Training Post Training Post – Pre (Post-Pre)/Pre
Age (years) 26 26
Stature (in) 69” 69” 69” 69”
Weight (lb) 155.6 160 4.4 2.8%
Body Mass Index (kg*m-2) 22.9 23.7 .8 3.4%
Body Fat (%) 13.9 5.4 -8.5 -61.1%
Lean Body Weight (lb) 141 159 18 12%
Fat-Free Weight (lb) 136.1 154.6 20.5 15%
In table 2 (below), displays the pre and post training values, as well as the percent change.
Adaptation Categories Pre Test Training Post Test Post - Pre (Post-Pre)/Pre
20kg Kettelbell Snatch 49 √ 64 15 30.6%
Generalized – Similar Mode
Vertical Jump 28.68in NO
30.12 1.44 5.0%
Generalized – Dissimilar Mode
Mile run for time 5:39 NO 5:53 14sec -2.5%
Over 6 weeks of training, there was a 30.6% increase in the 20kg snatch. This was evident in a 15 rep increase in a 2 minute period. In the generalized similar mode of exercise (i.e. vertical jump) there was a 5.0% increase in performance, which correlates to a 1.44inch increase in vertical jump ability. In contrast, there was a decrease in performance in the 1 mile run. This was expressed by a -2.5% difference in the pre and post test results. This percent decrease was made evident by a 14 second differential between post and pre test results.
Adaptation categories % Transfer
Vertical Jump 16.3%
Mile run for time -8.1%
The following table shows the transfer effects of 6 weeks of kettlebell snatch training. A 16.3% transfer from the kettlebell snatch to the vertical jump was calculated. This result, proves the hypothesis of the study to be correct. In contrast, there was no transfer effect to the 1 mile run time. As a matter a fact, a decrease in performance was measured at the end of the six weeks. The magnitude of decrease was made evident by a -8.1% transfer. This result proves the second hypotheses of the experiment wrong. Six weeks of kettlebell training does not improve 1 mile run time.
The Vertical jump is depended on factors such as speed, power, strength, and the ability to utilize the stretch shortening cycle (2). According to the law of specificity, the greatest physiological adaptations occur in response to; muscle actions used, speed of movement, range of motion, muscle groups trained, energy systems used and intensity and volume of training (4,3). Both the vertical jump and the kettlebell snatch require similar biomechanics, and high motor unit recruitment (2). Other studies have concluded similar findings, showing an improvement in vertical jump after engaging in an Olympic lifting training protocol (i.e. ballistic). These findings resulted in an increase in vertical jump performance by; 6.8cm (15%) after 15 weeks of training in division 3 football players, a 5.9% increase in elite volleyball players in 8 weeks of training, and a 5.1 % increase in high school athletes in 6 weeks of training (1,2). Power increase has been shown to improve when the same amount of work is complete in a shorter time period (3). By manipulating this variable, as this study shows, the subject can increase neuromuscular adaptations such as; maximal rate of force development, muscular strength, the stretch shortening cycle, and improved motor recruitment (1, 2, 3). Seeming as the kettlebell snatch and vertical jump share these characteristics, there is a transfer effect. Further more, with increase in these neuromuscular adaptations comes an increase in muscular hypertrophy. Anthropometric measurements were taken before and after training, with increase of girth in the right forearm of .20inches and an increase in the right bicep of .13inches. Although the girth of the legs and gluts were not taken, there is reason to believe that similar effects would have been found in those areas as well. Overall lean body weight increased over the 6 week period by 12%. This study contains further evidence that training at high intensities, with short rest intervals, causes greater muscle hypertrophy (5, 3). Further more, because muscle hypertrophy is defined as an increase in the cross sectional area of the muscle, it enables the muscle to contract more forcefully resulting in greater power output (5). In turn, this power output was evidenced in the increased vertical jump. Lastly, stressing the anaerobic/glycolytic and ATP-PCR energy systems one can cause increase local blood flow to the muscles used, as well as stimulate hormone responses (3). This hormonal stimulation and increased local blood flow, evidence shows an increase protein synthesis (5, 6, 3). The rest intervals which appear to be most affective for creating this response are 1-2min in duration (3). This evidence further suggests that an increase in muscle hypertrophy did occur, and is a contributing factor to increased power output.
In contrast, the finding of this study did not find a transfer effect to running. Although a study has concluded that high explosive resistance training for 9 weeks has improved run time in well trained endurance athletes, without a change in their VO2max (4). This other study found that because improvements in neuromuscular adaptations such as; an increase in net excitation of motorneurons, increased excitatory out put, reduced inhibitory input, and alteration in neural control during the stretch shorten cycle, there was a transfer effect to 5k running (4). A long with these factors this study also believed there would be enough stress the cardiovascular system to ensure transfer effects to running (3). Further more, by manipulating rest intervals, and increasing the training volume per set it, this study believed there would be an increase buffering capacity, and crease mitochondrial density in the local muscles (3) which would result increased muscular endurance therefore improving run time. However, while some if not all of the adaptations occurred over the six weeks, the distance of the run my play a significant factor in the results. In the other study subjects trained for a 9 week period. Individuals engaged in circuit style training over a time period which ranged from 15-90 min (4). By exercising for this extended period of time, subjects would have trained not only trained in an anaerobic/aerobic capacity, but also in a predominantly aerobic capacity (5, 6). This could have allowed the subjects greater capacity to engage both systems, which would be more beneficial to a 5k run then a 1 mile run for time. Another explanation could be the biomechanical factor. While running and the kettlebell snatch both engage the legs, the movement pattern of each is very different. This leads us to believe that transfer effects of training greatly depend on the similar movement pattern of the exercise, more so then neuromuscular adaptations.