A comparison of ratio and allometric scaling methods for normalizing power and strength in elite rugby union players.
The purpose of this study was to examine 1) if lifting performance in both the weightlifting (WL) and powerlifting (PL) scale with body mass (M) in line with theory of geometric similarity, and 2) whether there are any gender differences in the allometric relationship between lifting performance and body size. This was performed by analyzing ten best WL and PL total results for each weight class, except for super heavyweight, achieved during 2000-2003. Data were analysed with the allometric and second-order polynomial model, and detailed regression diagnostics was applied in order to examine appropriateness of the models used. Results of the data analyses indicate that 1) women's WL and men's PL scale for M in line with theory of geometric similarity, 2) both WL and PL mass exponents are gender-specific, probably due to gender differences in body composition, 3) WL and PL results scale differently for M possibly due to their structural and functional differences. However, the obtained mass exponents does not provide size-independent indices of lifting performances since the allometric model exhibit a favourable bias toward middleweight lifters in most lifting data analyzed. Due to possible deviations from presumption of geometric similarity among lifters, future studies on scaling lifting performance should use fat-free mass and height as indices of body size.