The optimum power load: a simple and powerful tool for testing and training

Irineu Loturco*, Antonio Dello Iacono, Fabio Yuzo Nakamura, Tomas T Freitas, Daniel Boullosa, Pedro Valenzuela, Lucas Adriano Pereira, Michael McGuigan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
37 Downloads (Pure)


Purpose: The optimal power load is defined as the load that maximizes power output in a given exercise. This load can be determined through the use of various instruments, under different testing protocols. Specifically, the “optimum power load” (OPL) is derived from the load-velocity relationship, using only bar-force and bar-velocity in the power computation. The OPL is easily assessed using a simple incremental testing protocol, based on relative percentages of body-mass. To date, several studies have examined the associations between the OPL and different sport-specific measures, as well as its acute and chronic effects on athletic performance. The aim of this brief review is to present and summarize the current evidence regarding the OPL, highlighting the main lines of research on this topic and discussing the potential applications of this novel approach for testing and training.

Conclusions: The validity and simplicity of OPL-based schemes provide strong support for their use as an alternative to more traditional strength-power training strategies. The OPL method can be effectively used by coaches and sport scientists in different sports and populations, with different purposes and configurations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-159
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
Issue number2
Early online date23 Dec 2021
Publication statusPublished - 28 Feb 2022


  • muscle strength
  • resistance training
  • muscle power
  • track and field
  • team-sports
  • combat athletes


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