JC's Musings

Rate of Force Development and Maximal Force

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Was chatting with Danny Lum, Lead S&C at the Singapore Institute of Sport who has just completed his PhD on isometrics. We discussed some of his findings using isometrics to improve sporting performance. His favourite study (https://lnkd.in/grGkhjG) was a kayaking intervention, where both groups performed a similar strength training program twice a week for six weeks. However, half the volume for squat, bench press and prone bench pull for the traditional group (TRAD), were replaced by isometric equivalents (fast and as hard as possible for 3 sec) for the isometric trained (IST) group. In short, the inclusion of IST resulted in greater improvement for sprint kayaking and isometric strength performances than the TRAD training.

The IST undertaken was ballistic in that the intent was to move the load as fast and hard as possible. Isometrics can be ramped also, when you gradually achieve maximal force over a time period e.g. 6 sec. Which type of approach do you think is better for changing RFD and which for maximal force? Researchers have also shown that if you want to assess RFD reliably then a ballistic approach (produce as much force as you can in a second) is a better option. Makes sense?