Do fencers require a weapon-specific approach to strength and conditioning training?

Turner, Anthony N. ORCID logoORCID:, Bishop, Chris ORCID logoORCID:, Cree, Jon ORCID logoORCID:, Edwards, Michael, Chavda, Shyam ORCID logoORCID:, Read, Paul J. and Kirby, David M. J. (2017) Do fencers require a weapon-specific approach to strength and conditioning training? Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 31 (6) . pp. 1662-1668. ISSN 1064-8011 [Article] (doi:10.1519/JSC.0000000000001637)

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There are three types of weapon used in Olympic fencing: the foil, épée and sabre. The aim of this study was to determine if fencers exhibited different physical characteristics across weapons. Seventy-nine male (n = 46) and female (n = 33) national standard fencers took part in this study. Fencers from each weapon (male and female), i.e., épée (n = 19 and 10), foil (n = 22 and 14) and sabre (n = 13 and 10) were (mean ± SD) 15.9 ± 0.7 years of age, 178.5 ± 7.9 cm tall, 67.4 ± 12.2 kg in mass and had 6.3 ± 2.3 years fencing experience; all were in regular training (~ 4 times per week). Results revealed that across all performance tests (lower body power, reactive strength index, change of direction speed and repeat lunge ability) there was no significant difference between weapons (p = 3.66). Differences were found however, when comparing genders, with males performing significantly better during the countermovement jump (p = 0.001), reactive strength index (p = 0.002), change of direction speed (p < 0.001) and repeat lunge ability (p < 0.001). The former findings may be due to similarities in bout intensity and time, movement types (lunging and changing direction) and the need to execute competition actions as explosively as possible. Based on the findings of the current study, it could be indicated that épée, foil and sabre fencers do not require a weapon specific approach to strength and conditioning training. Each fencer should target the area they are weakest at, rather than the area that they feel best represents the unique demands of their weapon.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology > London Sport Institute > Strength and Conditioning at the London Sport Institute
Item ID: 21979
Notes on copyright: This is a non-final version of an article published in final form in: Turner, A. N., Bishop, C. J., Cree, J. A., Edwards, M. L., Chavda, S., Read, P. J., & Kirby, D. M. J. (2017). Do Fencers Require a Weapon-Specific Approach to Strength and Conditioning Training? Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 31(6), 1662–1668. doi:10.1519/jsc.0000000000001637
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Depositing User: Anthony Turner
Date Deposited: 13 Jun 2017 10:09
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2022 20:53

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