Concurrent Activation Potentiation


This month I want to talk about a phenomenon called “Concurrent Activation Potentiation”. This is a neurological response of the brain to recruit more muscle fibers of an agonist (primary mover) muscle when a concurrent activation of a secondary muscle is also in place. An example to help understand this would

be to clench your teeth while performing a vertical jump. The activation of the jaw muscles while also activating the posterior leg muscles when jumping allows for a greater power output of the agonist muscles. Research has shown as great as 10-12% increase in power output while using this method. Examples used in the research was biting down on a mouth piece while performing vertical jump, pulling the bar down hard into the shoulders while squatting, and performing a maximum core contraction at the beginning of a sprint start. In the research athletes increased their vertical jump by 1-3 inches in some cases, and also dropped .1-.2 seconds during the 40 yd sprint in younger athletes. This has huge implications when looking at training. By adding in this method you can increase the overall power output of a given workout. This, over time, will allow for a greater training effect of the central nervous system for strength and an increase in lean muscle mass. This method is highly recommended for athletes of all age levels. Youth athletes may even see the greatest increases in performance while using this method due to the inefficiency of the central nervous system at such a young age. An olympic level athlete would certainly not have any problem recruiting a large amount of muscle fibers so this method would have a smaller effect on this athlete. These methods, along with many others, are implemented into the training programs for the athletes who train with Ultimate Athlete Performance. We are located inside Hill Road Sports Complex off US 23 in Flint, MI