JC's Musings

Inertial Load in Flywheel Training

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Can you remember the linear formula for force?

Force = mass x acceleration.

What is its angular equivalent? Well, a turning or rotational force is called a torque.

Mass in angular terms is inertia (I) which is a function of mass and how the mass is distributed around the axis of rotation (AR). You can have larger inertia by having heavier flywheels or wider diameter flywheels (mass distributed further away from the AR - see red vs blue in picture).

As you can see the inertia is printed on the plate. So, one way of increasing angular force/torque is to increase the inertial load.

The angular equivalent to linear acceleration is angular acceleration or the acceleration around the AR (α). So we can also increase torque by increasing angular acceleration of the flywheel.

So what you have to get your head around with FRT is not force but it’s angular equivalent torque.

We can quantify peak torque (peak force/1RM).

Could we represent subsequent loads as a % of peak torque (%1RM)?

Could we plot torque-time (force-time) and torque-angular velocity (force-velocity) curves?

Do we need to be less straight (linear) in our thinking and get angular?