The National Football League-225 Bench Press Test and the Size-Weight Illusion
Perceptual and Motor Skills
The purpose of this study was to test reports that size and arrangement manipulations of weight plates (i.e., inducing a size-weight illusion [SWI]) would have an effect on athletic weightlifting performance. The participants were 72 experienced, weight-trained collegiate American football players. Across 3 weeks, each athlete performed three different repetitions-to-fatigue bench press tests (NFL-225, SWI-225, and SWI-215). A multiple regression revealed a positive association between participants' strength relative to the test load and repetitions for NFL-225 and SWI-215, but no association with SWI-225. To explore these results, players were ranked into quartiles based on their one-repetition maximum relative to 102.27 kg (225 lb), and a 3 × 4 repeated measures analysis of variance was conducted. The primary finding was a significant Test Condition × Quartile interaction ( p = .004). Bonferroni-corrected pairwise comparisons revealed that Quartile 4 (those with lowest strength relative to test load) completed more repetitions for SWI-225 compared with NFL-225 ( p = .049). These results suggest that alternate weight plate arrangements may be beneficial for those whose bench press load is near the lifter's one-repetition maximum. However, variations of the SWI do not appear to affect the performance of repetitions-to-fatigue bench press tests for the majority of collegiate American football players.
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from SAGE Publications via the DOI in this record.
Published online 27 March 2017
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