ECCENTRIC TRAINING PRODUCES FASTER STRENGTH GAINS THAN NORMAL TRAINING
Hortobagyi, T., Devita, P., Money, J., & Barrier, J. (2001). Effects of standard and eccentric overload strength training in young women. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 33, 1206-1212.
The load that can be handled with a concentric movement is much less than that which can be supported by eccentric movement. Thus, in normal strength training, the eccentric phase of the action is understimulated. Activities such as plyometrics are designed to increase the load of the eccentric portion of the two-phase power or strength movement.
Sedentary women were tested for eccentric and concentric phases of 3 RM using the left quadriceps. Training was performed for seven consecutive days for two groups. One group used the same load for both phases of the movement whereas the other increased the eccentric load by 40-50%.
Both groups improved in strength. The overloaded eccentric group improved by twice as much as the "normal" group.
Implication. Normal strength training improves strength in untrained women. Manipulating an increased eccentric load accelerates strength gains markedly more.
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