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F. Javier Núñez, Luis J. Suarez-Arrones, Paul Cater, and Alberto Mendez-Villanueva

The aim of this study was to examine the kinematics and kinetics (force, velocity, and acceleration) and blood lactate concentration with the VersaPulley (VP) device in comparison with free-weight (FW) exercise at a similar external load. Fifteen rugby players randomly performed 2 training sessions of 6 sets of 6 repetitions with 20 s of recovery between sets of the high-pull exercise with the VP and the FW. The training sessions were separated by 72 h. Barbell displacement (cm), peak velocity (m/s), peak acceleration (m/s2), mean propulsive velocity (m/s), mean propulsive acceleration (m/s2), propulsive phase (%), and mean and maximal force (N) were continuously recorded during each repetition. Blood lactate concentration was measured after each training session (end) and 3 min and 5 min later. Barbell displacement (+4.8%, small ES), peak velocity (+4.5% small ES), mean propulsive acceleration (+8.8%, small ES), and eccentric force (+26.7, large ES) were substantially higher with VP than with FW. Blood lactate concentration was also greater after the VP exercise (end +32.9%, 3 min later +36%, 5 min later +33.8%; large ES). Maximal concentric force was substantially higher with FW than VP during the 6th set (+6.4%, small ES). In the cohort and exercise investigated in the current study, VP training can be considered an efficient training device to induce an accentuated eccentric overload and augmented metabolic demands (ie, blood lactate concentration).