Allometric scaling of isokinetic peak torque: The Nebraska Wrestling Study

Joseph P. Weir, Terry J. Housh, Glen O. Johnson, Dona J. Housh, Kyle T. Ebersole

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Allometric scaling has been used increasingly in the exercise sciences to control statistically for body size differences in physical performance variables. The purpose of this study was to use multivariate allometric scaling to examine the influence of fat-free mass (FFM) on age-related differences in strength in young club (8-13 years) and high-school (14-18 years) wrestlers. The dependent variables were log-transformed values of isokinetic peak torque for leg extension and flexion at 0.52, 3.14, and 5.24 rad · s-1 (30, 180, and 300 · s-1). The independent variables used in the multiple regression analyses were log-transformed values for FFM, age, and the FFM versus age interaction. The resulting regression equations were of the form: log Y = log a + b1 log X1 + b2 log X2 + b(n) log X(n). The initial multiple regression analyses showed significant interaction effects (P < 0.05) for all dependent variables, therefore separate regression analyses were performed for the younger and older groups of wrestlers. The results indicate that for the younger wrestlers there were increases in isokinetic peak torque at all velocities across age after controlling for FFM. The FFM scaling exponents ranged from 0.94 to 1.31. All exponents included 1.0 in the 95% confidence interval, except for extension at 3.14 rad · s-1. For the high-school wrestlers, both FFM and age were significant for the extension data, but only FFM was significant for the flexion data. All FFM exponents included 1.0 in the 95% confidence interval. These results indicate that the relationship between FFM and peak torque differed across age. In addition, with the exception of the flexion data for the high-school wrestlers, within each group increases in isokinetic peak torque occurred across age, independent of increases in FFM. The causes of the age effect for strength are speculative, but it may be due to developmental changes in neuromuscular function, alterations in the distribution of muscle mass as a percentage of FFM and/or the distribution of FFM across body segments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)240-248
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Applied Physiology and Occupational Physiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1999


  • Age
  • Development
  • Fat-free mass
  • Growth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Allometric scaling of isokinetic peak torque: The Nebraska Wrestling Study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this