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Keywords:

  • pediatrics;
  • resistance training;
  • decay;
  • human development

To investigate how maturity status modifies the effects of strength training and detraining on performance, we subjected 33 young men to 8 weeks of strength training twice per week followed by 8 weeks without training. Changes in performance tests were analyzed in three maturity groups based on years from/to age of predicted peak height velocity (PHV): pre-PHV (−1.7 ± 0.4 years; n = 10), mid-PHV (−0.2 ± 0.4 years; n = 11), and post-PHV (1.0 ± 0.4 years; n = 12). Mean training effects on one repetition maximum strength (3.6–10.0%), maximum explosive power (11–20%), jump length (6.5–7.4%), and sprint times (−2.1% to −4.7%) ranged from small to large, with generally greater changes in mid- and post-PHV groups. Changes in force–velocity relationships reflected generally greater increases in strength at faster velocities. In the detraining period, the pre-PHV group showed greatest loss of strength and power, the post-PHV group showed some loss of sprint performance, but all groups maintained or improved jump length. Strength training was thus generally less effective before the growth spurt. Maintenance programs are needed for most aspects of explosive performance following strength training before the growth spurt and for sprint speed after the growth spurt.