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  • Author: Juan Carlos Alonso x
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Great Bustards are still vulnerable to agricultural intensification, power line collision, and other human-induced landscape changes. Their world population is estimated to be between44,000 and 57,000 individuals, showing a stable demographic trend at present in the Iberian peninsula, its mainstronghold, but uncertain trends in Russia and China, and alarming declines in Iran and Morocco, where it willgo extinct if urgent protection measures are not taken immediately. Our knowledge of the behaviour and ecologyof this species has increased considerably over the last three decades, allowing us to control the major threatsand secure its conservation in an appropriately managed cereal farmland. This species became 'The Bird of the Year' in Hungary in 2014.

The aim of this study was to determine the effects of a power training cycle on maximum strength, maximum power, vertical jump height and acceleration in seven high-level 400-meter hurdlers subjected to a specific training program twice a week for 10 weeks. Each training session consisted of five sets of eight jump-squats with the load at which each athlete produced his maximum power. The repetition maximum in the half squat position (RM), maximum power in the jump-squat (W), a squat jump (SJ), countermovement jump (CSJ), and a 30-meter sprint from a standing position were measured before and after the training program using an accelerometer, an infra-red platform and photocells. The results indicated the following statistically significant improvements: a 7.9% increase in RM (Z=-2.03, p=0.021, δc=0.39), a 2.3% improvement in SJ (Z=-1.69, p=0.045, δc=0.29), a 1.43% decrease in the 30-meter sprint (Z=-1.70, p=0.044, δc=0.12), and, where maximum power was produced, a change in the RM percentage from 56 to 62% (Z=-1.75, p=0.039, δc=0.54). As such, it can be concluded that strength training with a maximum power load is an effective means of increasing strength and acceleration in high-level hurdlers.