Hollander, D. B., Kraemer, R. R., Kilpatrick, M. W., Ramadan, Z. G., Reeves, G. W., Francois, M., Durand, R. J., & Tryniecki, J. T. (2004). Eccentric and concentric strength differences in men and women. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 36(5), Supplement abstract 2384.

This study determined the difference in maximal eccentric and concentric strength for different exercises in men and women using a recently published method for determining maximal eccentric strength. Healthy male (N = 9) and female (N = 10) recreational weightlifters with resistance training experience participated in the study. Two sessions were performed to establish concentric and eccentric one repetition maximums (1 RMs) for lat pulldown (LPD), leg press (LP), bench press (BP), leg extension (LE), seated military press (MP), and leg curl (LC) on a weight stack machine. Equipment was modified to isolate eccentric/concentric contractions using steel bars and pulleys. A three set warm-up followed by a counterbalanced and randomized trial was employed to determine the concentric and eccentric 1 RM. The 1 RM was determined using a three-second cadence to completion. If S failed to maintain the three-second cadence or could not complete the pre-determined range of motion in the allotted time, the lift was considered a failed attempt. Within two weeks, Ss returned and completed a retest.

Men demonstrated consistent eccentric strength within previously proposed parameters (LPD = 46%, LP = 47%, BP = 37%, LE = 36% MP = 53%, LC = 33%). Women's strength exceeded the proposed parameters for greater eccentric strength in four exercises (LP = 69%, BP = 142%, MP = 212%, LC = 83%). The percent difference in eccentric and concentric strength was greater for women than men for BP, LE, MP, and LC.

Implication. Eccentric strength was 20-60% greater than concentric in men and even greater for women.

Return to Table of Contents for this issue.