Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Health and Nutritional Sciences

First Advisor

Matthew Vukovich


back squat, performance, power clean, relative strength, sprinting, strength and conditioning


The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between relative maximal (1RM) strength (i.e. back squat and power clean) to sprinting performance in 60-400m collegiate sprinters. A secondary purpose was to determine the distribution of athletes within the theoretical relationship between relative squat strength and performance capabilities. Fifty-six (n = 56) male and sixty-four (n = 64) female collegiate track and field sprinters were observed from DI (n = 88) and DII schools (n = 32) that participated in a year round strength and conditioning program. Maximal strength was divided by body weight to calculate relative strength and were classified into one of three categories of strength based on relative squat strength: strength deficit (male and female = 0), strength association (male = 24, and female = 51), strength reserve (male = 23, and female = 5) based on Suchomel’s theoretical model [36]. Pearson product moment correlation coefficient was calculated (JMP v.13.0, SAS Institute Inc.) to determine the relationship between relative maximal strength of the power clean and back squat with the performance times of 60-400m sprints. For female sprinters, the power clean and squat were significant correlated to 60m (clean: r=-0.42, p ≤0.017, r=-0.55 squat: p ≤0.001) and 100m (clean: r=-0.55, p ≤0.001, squat: r=-0.51, p ≤0.003) performance times with P-values approaching significant for 200m (clean: r=-0.29, p ≤0.06, squat: r=-0.29, p ≤0.07) times and there was no relationship between relative strength and 400m times. For male sprinters, significant correlations were only found between the squat and 100m (r=-0.43, p ≤0.01) performance and between the power clean and 200m (r=-0.36, p ≤0.04) performance. Our results demonstrate an association of strength and performance in female athletes, but not in male athletes. Suchomel’s theoretical [36] model demonstrating a relationship between relative back squat strength and performance may help explain the results.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Sprinting -- Training.
College athletes.
Muscle strength.


Includes bibliographical references (pages 25-28)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University



Rights Statement

In Copyright