Date of Award

January 2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Kinesiology & Public Health Education

First Advisor

Grant Tomkinson


Numerous training modalities have been used to improve aerobic fitness and performance. Concurrent strength and endurance training is considered an effective modality to improve aerobic outcomes, although little is known about the effectiveness of concurrent plyometric (jump) training. The aim of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to determine the effectiveness of plyometric training on aerobic fitness (operationalized as maximal oxygen uptake [V ̇O2max] and running economy [RE]) and performance (time trial performance). Five online databases were used to identify peer-reviewed studies published from 1980 onwards — the year the first concurrent training study was published. Studies were included if they used a randomized control trial design and matched these criteria: population (endurance-trained adult runners with at least 3 months training experience), intervention (concurrent plyometric training lasting at least 6 weeks), comparison (normal endurance training), and outcomes (changes in aerobic fitness and performance). Separate random effects meta-analyses were conducted for each outcome, with standardized mean differences (SMD) and percent mean differences (PMD) calculated. Four studies, using short periods (6 to 9 weeks) of small to moderate frequency (1 to 3 sessions per week) and moderate to high volume (~1000 to ~4000 jumps) concurrent plyometric training, met the inclusion criteria. Concurrent plyometric training had a moderate favorable effect on RE (SMD [95% CI]: 0.73 [0.35 to 1.11]; PMD: ~4.4%), a small favorable effect on time trial performance (SMD [95% CI]: 0.21 [−0.26 to 0.68]; PMD: ~2.6%), and a negligible effect on V ̇O2max (SMD [95% CI]: 0.04 [−0.50 to 0.58]; PMD: ~0.8%). In conclusion, concurrent plyometric training is an effective training modality to improve RE in endurance-

trained adult runners, and has implications for runners who do not routinely perform plyometric exercise.