Thursday, December 3, 2009

you don't have to move fast to develop enhanced explosive capability

Just to add to the controversy

Effects of strength training with eccentric overload on muscle adaptation in male athletes

The enhanced eccentric load apparently led to a subtly faster gene expression pattern and induced a shift towards a faster muscle phenotype plus associated adaptations that make a muscle better suited for fast, explosive movements.
So the negatives - not "fast" moves - worked towards making the athletes faster....


Bryce said...

Damn you, Chris, for your mind-grenades!

heh. Perhaps I'll be called "impure" by members of both camps, but recently I've been incorporating fast concentrics and very slow eccentrics to reap the benefits both have to offer. While a HIT exponent might suggest I'm deloading the muscle with momentum, I find that if the loading is right, then by the last rep, my "fast" concentrics become slow because the muscle is so fatigued, even though I'm trying to move as fast as I can.

Thanks for influencing my thinking on all of this.

Neal W. said...

Micro changes don't always manifest at a macro level.

Chris said...


thanks for the comment.

Interesting isn't it. When you reach failure you are moving as fast as you can anyway....but not moving

Chris said...

This is another interesting one

do a google on Athletic Quickness too. Speed via isometrics.

Daniel said...

Isn't it known basic physiology that it's the eccentric and NOT the concentric that causes the most muscle damage and resultant strength gains? It goes against what seems logical, but it's true. I also concentrate a bit more on the eccentric in my workouts.

The issue would be to how to have a heavier relative load on the eccentric than the concentric (I'm not really going to worry about it). Seems that could only be done with a machine and impossible to do with free weights. Is there a machine that does such a thing? I know there are eccentric machines, but they then unload the muscle during the concentric.

Steven Low said...

Yeah, muscle damage is mostly in the eccentric. If you want more information google the 'popping sarcomere' theory.

I read a study a little while back on influence of muscle growth with eccentrics. The ones that stimulated the biggest type II fiber gains were actually very fast eccentrics with heavy overload. Basically, I think they compared 180 degrees of motion eccentrics in 1 second vs. 5ish seconds (IIRC) and 1 second covering 180 degrees showed bigger gains in type II fibers than the slower eccentric.

It was pretty interesting stuff to say the least. I may go back and try to find it if I have some time.

Mike T Nelson said...


I have seen those studies and I think (would have to look at the studies again) it may be related to the higher forces generated by a faster eccentric.

Chris (and others)
Great study!!! I have wondered about this for awhile since when teaching plyos or any new movement, you need to concentrate on learning how to land/decelerate first.

Your brain is so smart that it will NOT allow you to generate say a vertical jump force that may induce injury on the way down (eccentric portion).

Ecc Overload without machines
You can do this with weight releasers

Rock on
Mike T Nelson PhD(c)
Extreme Human Performance