Resistance training for explosive and maximal strength: Effects on early and late rate of force development
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The aim of the present study was to verify whether strength training designed to improve explosive and maximal strength would influence rate of force development (RFD). Nine men participated in a 6-week knee extensors resistance training program and 9 matched subjects participated as controls. Throughout the training sessions, subjects were instructed to perform isometric knee extension as fast and forcefully as possible, achieving at least 90% maximal voluntary contraction as quickly as possible, hold it for 5 s, and relax. Fifteen seconds separated each repetition (6-10), and 2 min separated each set (3). Pre- and post-training measurements were maximal isometric knee extensor (MVC), RFD, and RFD relative to MVC (i.e., %MVC•s-1) in different time-epochs varying from 10 to 250 ms from the contraction onset. The MVC (Nm) increased by 19% (275.8 ± 64.9 vs. 329.8 ± 60.4, p < 0.001) after training. In addition, RFD (Nm•s-1) increased by 22-28% at time epochs up to 20 ms from the contraction onset (0-10 ms = 1679.1 ± 597.1 vs. 2159.2 ± 475.2, p < 0.001; 0-20 ms = 1958.79 ± 640.3 vs. 2398.4 ± 479.6, p < 0.01), with no changes verified in later time epochs. However, no training effects on RFD were found for the training group when RFD was normalized to MVC. No changes were found in the control group. In conclusion, very early and late RFD responded differently to a short period of resistance training for explosive and maximal strength. This time-specific RFD adaptation highlighted that resistance training programs should consider the specific neuromuscular demands of each sport. © Journal of Sports Science and Medicine.