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Purpose:

To explore the effects of training against mechanically different types of loads on muscle force (F), velocity (V), and power (P) outputs.

Methods:

Subjects practiced maximum bench throws over 8 wk against a bar predominantly loaded by approximately constant external force (weight), weight plates (weight plus inertia), or weight plates whose weight was compensated by a constant external force pulling upward (inertia). Instead of a typically applied single trial performed against a selected load, the pretest and posttest consisted of the same task performed against 8 different loads ranging from 30% to 79% of the subject’s maximum strength applied by adding weight plates to the bar. That provided a range of F and V data for subsequent modeling by linear FV regression revealing the maximum F (F-intercept), V (V-intercept), and P (P = FV/4).

Results:

Although all 3 training conditions resulted in increased P, the inertia type of the training load could be somewhat more effective than weight. An even more important finding was that the P increase could be almost exclusively based on a gain in F, V, or both when weight, inertia, or weight-plus-inertia training load were applied, respectively.

Conclusions:

The inertia training load is more effective than weight in increasing P and weight and inertia may be applied for selective gains in F and V, respectively, whereas the linear FV model obtained from loaded trials could be used for discerning among muscle F, V, and P.

Djuric, Cuk, Sreckovic, Mirkov, and Nedeljkovic are with the Faculty of Sport and Physical Education, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia. Jaric is with the Dept of Kinesiology and Applied Physiology University of Delaware, Newark, DE.

Address author correspondence to Slobodan Jaric at jaric@udel.edu.