Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2024) 23, 34 - 45   DOI:

Research article
Post-Activation-Performance Enhancement: Possible Contributing Factors
Josef Fischer1,2, , Florian K. Paternoster1
Author Information
1 Department of Biomechanics in Sports, Faculty of Sport and Health Science, Technical University of Munich, Germany
2 Institute of Human Movement Science, Sport and Health, Graz University, Austria

Josef Fischer
✉ Institute of Human Movement Science, Sport and Health, University of Graz Mozartgasse 14, A-8010 Graz, Austria
Publish Date
Received: 16-10-2023
Accepted: 13-12-2023
Published (online): 01-03-2024

This study aimed to narrow down the possible mechanisms of Post-Activation Performance Enhancement (PAPE), especially if they are exclusively found in the muscle. It was therefore investigated whether (1) the PAPE effect is influenced by neural factors and (2) if Post-Activation-Potentiation (PAP) influences PAPE. Thirteen strength-trained participants (26.5 ± 3.2 years) took part in at least one of three interventions (PAP, PAPE-Electrical (PAPEE), and PAPE-Voluntary (PAPEV)). Conditioning contractions (CC) and testing involved isometric knee extensions performed on an isokinetic device at an 80° knee flexion angle. The CC was either performed voluntarily (PAP, PAPEV) or was evoked through electrical stimulation (PAPEE). Testing was performed at baseline and after two seconds, four minutes, eight minutes, and twelve minutes of the CC. Maximum voluntary isometric contractions (MVIC) for the PAPE trials and supramaximal twitches for the PAP trial were used for testing. Parameters of interest were peak torque and rate of torque development (RTD), and electromyography (EMG) amplitude of the quadriceps (only PAPE). Repeated measures ANOVA and simple contrast comparisons were used for statistical analysis. Peak torque (p < 0.001, η2p = 0.715) and RTD (p = 0. 005, η2p = 0.570) increased significantly during the PAP protocol immediately two seconds after the CC and decreased to near baseline values for the following time points (p > 0.05). Peak torque, RTD, and peak EMG showed no significant differences during PAPEE and PAPEV trials (p > 0.05). Due to the lack of a visible PAPE effect, the question of whether neural mechanisms influence PAPE cannot be answered. Due to the time course of the PAP analysis, it is questionable if these mechanisms play a role in PAPE. The assumption that the PAP mechanism influences PAPE cannot be confirmed for the same reason.

Key words: electric stimulation, torque, isometric contraction, quadriceps muscle, phosphorylation, human

           Key Points
  • A post-activation-potentiation-effect was clearly visible in this study immediately after the conditioning contraction.
  • Post-activation-performance-enhancement could not be seen with the employed protocol.
  • The post-activation-potentiation time course seems to be outside of the proposed post-activation-performance-enhancement time window.
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