Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports

Cover image for Vol. 28 Issue 2

Edited By: Stephen Harridge

Impact Factor: 3.331

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2016: 9/81 (Sport Sciences)

Online ISSN: 1600-0838

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Effects of resistance training using known vs unknown loads on eccentric-phase adaptations and concentric velocity

The ability to develop high rates of muscle is a key component of performance of tasks which involve short contraction times. Such explosive movements are often characterized by muscle actions involving the sequential combination of eccentric and concentric, otherwise known as the stretch-shortening cycle. Although the potentiating effects of the stretch shortening cycle are well described the mechanisms responsible are still unclear. In an article published in this month's issue of SJMSS by Hernández-Davó and colleagues the changes in eccentric and concentric rebound bench press throw performances after a 4-week resistance training intervention were studied. For each repetition, the load was dropped and then a rebound bench press at maximum velocity was immediately performed. For the training participants, who were trained handball players, used either known loads or loads to which they were “blinded” during contractions. In the unknown loading group significantly greater improvements in concentric velocity at 50% and 70% 1-RM loads were observed, with the improvement potentially being explained by increases in the speed (as well as stiffness and kinetic energy) of the eccentric phase. It is hypothesised that the withholding of load information when receiving the barbell was associated with an increased in pre-activation of the of the muscles involved as a response to the over-estimation of the unknown load. The data have implications for the use of unknown loads for the improving the performance of multi-joint stretch- shortening cycle movements.

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