Post Activation Potentiation Doesn’t Always Work: What Is It?
In short, post activation potentiation (PAP) is a phenomenon where your body’s ability to perform certain tasks increases after you have performed them. For example, if you were to lift weights for a long period of time without resting or doing any other form of training, your muscles would become weaker over time due to lack of use. However, if you then performed those same exercises with only brief rest periods between sets, your muscles would become stronger than they were before. PAP is one of the most common phenomena in strength training.
Why Does Post Activation Potentiation Work?
The reason why PAP works is because it allows your body to recover from previous activities while still performing new ones. If you had trained for several hours straight, your muscles would become exhausted and weak. By having some brief rest periods during your workouts, you are able to build up your strength and endurance even further.
How Do You Use PAP?
You can use PAP in many different ways. One of the most common examples is to perform exercises that work larger muscle groups before smaller ones. For instance, if you were going to perform chin-ups, you should first perform squats, and then chin-ups after resting for several minutes. Due to the fatigue caused by the heavy squats, you wouldn’t be able to perform as many chin-ups without the PAP method.
Another method is to perform compound exercises before isolation exercises. For example, if you were going to do bench press, you would do overhead presses before benching to get the most out of your workout. This would be useful if you had limited time and wanted to focus on specific muscles.
What Are Some Common Mistakes?
The most common mistake with PAP is to rest for too long or not long enough between exercises.
Sources & references used in this article:
What might the brain know about muscles, limbs and spinal circuits? by GE Loeb – Progress in brain research, 1999 – Elsevier
Effects of plyometrics performed during warm-up on 20 and 40 meter sprint performance by CCC Creekmur – 2011 – rave.ohiolink.edu
What Is Post-Activation Potentiation? by S Stevenson – elitefts.com
Viagra at altitude and other performance-related highlights of the ACSM 2006 annual meeting by JC Martin, LM Burke – Sportscience, 2006 – go.gale.com
Post-activation state: a critical rite of passage of memories by Y Dudai – Memories: Molecules and circuits, 2007 – Springer