I stickied this to remind myself to get back to it.
Starting with the this rate of force development thing it's a little bit weird to me that the guy from the organization that has so completely overemphasized 'speed work' for maximal force development (oxy-moron?) should talk about intentionally lifting slowly.
Look, no matter what you do it takes a certain amount of time to develop maximum force. The athletes who are concerned with power development, when they compete they never come close to exerting maximal force. There is simply not enough time.
So let me make this clear. There is NO danger that if you push really hard and fast on a load that you will "exert too much force and waste it". That is asinine. Force development doesn't happen instantaneously. The confusion here is "strength potential" not actually strength used or not used.
Everybody is always quoting Zatiorsky but so many seem to misunderstand it. So let's look at what Zatiorsky says.
The time to peak force, on average, when measured isometrically, is .3 to .4 seconds (the actual times vary from person to person and movement to movement, of course). It is actually a bit longer but the end part of the force-time curve gets a little wonky and wobbly so they disregard it.
Here is the curve borrowed from Science and Practice:
He compares that with the typical time certain athletes take to perform several motions:
Look at those times. Compare them with the average force-time curve I gave above of .3 to .4 seconds.
The nature of force develop means that maximal force CANNOT be attained in those time frames. These athletes are NOT working any where near to their maximum force potential.
Right off the bat notice that the big difference is TIME. To throw a shotput you have to exert as much force possible as soon as possible in order to accelerate the shotput as quickly as possible and have it go further.
There is a relationship between the speed of muscle contraction (shortening) and tension it is able to generate. The tension that a muscle can exert goes DOWN as the speed of contraction increases and UP as the speed decreases. This is the 'force-velocity relationship' and since tension development in the muscles is what determines the force it can exert this means that force and velocity are inversely related.
Maximum speed of shortening means almost no tension developed. Translate that as "when you move a weight as fast as possible there is almost no muscular tension".
There are many variables in moving a weight and not just muscular tension development, especially since we are usually talking about the activity of many muscles and so many other factors of the movement, but compounding the discussion will not get us anywhere.
Trying not to get too technical, let's assume we always push as hard and explosively as possible. Like I said above, we never intentionally lift slow. Let's further assume that you are taking very light bench presses and not controlling the lift but basically doing speed work. As you go lighter and lighter velocity goes up. There comes a time when you would be able to basically throw the barbell up in the air, if such a thing were safe. Velocity is at maximum. Force development is zip or very close to it.
To do a heavy bench press, you need to exert as much force as possible PERIOD. It takes a while to reach that maximum force as discussed.
S&P differentiates between 'maximal force in a given condition' and 'maximal force in most beneficial condition', abbreviated Fm and Fmm respectively.
The maximum force that can be exerted against any object of any weight, as given by Zatiorsky is labeled FM.
This is the maximum force that can be generated in a given condition. On the other hand the highest possible force attainable in the “most beneficial” condition is FMM to designate “maximum maximorum
So when I say FM I mean the maximal force reached during a certain motion…like throwing a shotput and when I say FMM I mean the maximal force possible, say, if the same athlete were bench pressing (or for laboratory purpose measuring force isometrically).
Taking the 225 pound bench press and the idea of "pressing it like it's 300 pounds' that simply means you are attempting to explosively accelerate the bar. With a light load (assuming 225 is light) there is less time to apply force which means basically that no matter how "hard" you try, you are not going to bring more force to bear than is strictly possible to generate in the time frame given.
The fact is, when lifting lighter weights explosively you are "giving up" force development. The lighter the load the further you are from Fm. The harder you try to accelerate the less the maximum force you generate. In fact, it is your ability to reach the maximum force possible in a short time frame that is at play in accelerating the bar and this is termed explosive strength. The maximum force is F little m..the maximum force you can bring to bear under those conditions. Not Fmm your "maximal maximal" force.
It is impossible to exert a high force by pushing a barbell too fast. If you intentionally slow down, more muscular tension develops and more force is eventually generated regardless of load. The very fact that you slow down is what makes this possible. If you shoot a light barbell off your chest, you simply cannot exert any more force during the mid rage of the movement. The ONLY way you could actually exert MORE force and "waste strength" is if the barbell was tied down artificially while you pushed against it with all your might and then said barbell was suddenly released.
At the extreme end of things, the ability to achieve maximal velocity and maximal force are two completely different skills.
We established that at the beginning when this thread was started. Tate is talking about high reps and acting like you are exerting too much force and thus too much effort if you lift the bar fast. When it should be pretty obvious that more TUT results in more fatigue…there is much more metabolic energy being used. Why the hell do we use the RE (repeaded effort) method? More fatigue to recruit more motor units at the end.
But F = ma results in m going down as a goes up. And vice versa.
If I asked you to exert maximal force against a basketball you couldn't do it. No matter how hard you tried the magnitude of force would be very small due to the velocity.
In almost all motor tasks the greater the velocity the lower the magnitude of force.
I'm always saying to accelerate as hard as you can in ALL cases. But it's the muscle's force-velocity curve that is at play. AS you accelerate then the velocity changes or whatever so let's just say the faster you move the bar the LESS force your muscles can apply to it. Ever increasing acceleration would result in ever increasing force if F=ma, just as it stands were at play, right? But only if force remained constant. It doesn't.
Yes, when you accelerate the bar off the chest you are just carrying it through if the weight is very light, but even in those instances where the bar is not simply floating there is a PHYSICAL limitation to the muscles ability to contract that coincides with the speed of contraction. The faster you shorten a muscle the less total force it can develop.
So with F = ma in human movement as acceleration goes up mass goes down. Mass being the pounds applied or whatever. And when mass goes down acceleration goes up. So basically the faster you are able to accelerate a barbell the less pounds you are exerting on it. Pounds being what most people think of as 'strength'.
It's rate of force development that is at play at the fastest speeds but at slower speeds it is total force development. Those with the greatest maximal (total) force development have a faster rate of force development but only up to a point. Thereafter more maximal force does not increase rate of force development very much at all.
A common example would be applying the barbell squat to vertical jumping ability. Vertical jump is all about RFD. However, for a novice trainee, increasing maximal force through the barbell squat increases rate of force development.
But only at first. Going from a 350 pound squat to a 500 pound squat will not increase your vertical jump. Whereas going from a 50 pound squat to a 200 or 250 will.
You will exert MORE energy to move it slow because there is more TUT. If you have to generate 300 pounds of force to accelerate a 225 barbell off the chest the force exerted would go down as the bar accelerated. However, Tate makes it sound like the muscles must produce exactly 225 pounds to move the barbell s-l-o-w-l-y and so this means you are not "wasting" strength.
Which further makes Tate's statement asinine. BUT he didn't say "energy". He talked about pounds of force. And the point is that slower speeds not faster speeds result in MORE force development. When they measure force potential in laboratory settings, they use isometric means. NO acceleration which results in all the time needed to develop the most force in the muscle. In this case I think force is thought of as "something that will tend to result in movement of an object"
Let's look at the 225 versus 300 pounds he's talking about. IF your maximum bench press is 300 then 225 is 75% of that. So let's say in a bench press test you can hit that 10 times. Are we saying that we can take a 75% maximum load and by accelerating it hard at the beginning achieve our maximal force? We can only achieve our maximum force against our maximum weight.
There is no way in hell that you can generate your maximal force against a 75% load. Are you getting this. You can't take your ten rep maximum and exert the same force you would against your one rep maximum! It is PHYSICALLY IMPOSSIBLE.
And if we are saying that our max is NOT 300 but more than that then the weight is going down for us so acceleration is increasing so we are getting further and further from exerting maximum against the bar.
He called it a "strength deficit" which is another term he regurgitates from S&P. The strength deficit is just a theoretical amount for our cases but in experimental cases it is the difference between your absolute force and maximal force. The absolute force is the highest force you are capable of producing under some kind of ideal circumstance and the maximal force is the force you actually exert when you lift a maximal weight. Sources differentiate between training and competition but let's assume we are not emotional wimps and we can exert maximal force when we want to even without a competitive environment.
So the strength deficit is that additional amount of force, called absolute, that we are supposed to be able to produce, say involuntarily if someone were to shock the hell out of our muscles.
Applying more force than necessary would not be producing a deficit. I think that would be a surplus if anything so I don't know what it means to say that you are producing a deficit of 75 pounds by pushing a 225 lbs bar like it is 300.
Strength deficits are used to determine what kind of training is needed to produce favorable performance changes in a given motor task.
Now every time I turn around I see someone talking about ESD, 'explosive stength deficit' and quoting Zatiorsky. That being the difference between the force they can produce explosively (high RFD) and the maximum force they can produce, given time. So they invariably say that a bench presser should work on decreasing his ESD by doing speed work or plyometrics or a combo depending on who you ask.
Well Zatiorsky also talked about the time deficit and said that there is little use of performing movements in the time deficit zone for improving maximum force. Most of the improvements in that zone will BE in that zone.
When you talk about reducing the ESD what you are doing is to improve force production in explosive types of movement. People talk about decreasing the ESD as if it has something to do with going from a 475 to 500 pound bench press. A guy who has that kind of bench press, if he works on decreasing ESD he will see improvement for tasks that require a decreased ESD. His max bench won't change.
Strong people do not necessarily have a high rate of force development. BUT in general, faster people are stronger than slower people.