New research in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, examined audience presence and competition on weightlifting performance. Researchers tested 32 recreationally trained subjects, who performed a 1 rep max bench press, during 3 separate trial conditions. The trial conditions including; coaction, competition, and audience presence.
The coaction trial was a condition similar to a gym setting or a weight room where the subjects independently performed the same type of activity. The competition trial had participants performing individually but competing between each other. The audience trial included an audience as spectators watching the lifts.
Results of the study indicated that both men and women were able to perform to their maximum ability and PR with an audience present. Researchers found that the competition trial also elicited sub maximal performances of the lift. This new research suggests that performing a maximal lifts in the presence of an audience or in competition does facilitate performance. Coaches and athletes should experiment with these variables within the training season to enhance power and strength performance.