Review of Research;
Cook (2013) Three Weeks of Eccentric Training Combined with Overspeed Exercises Enhances Power and Running Speed Performance Gains in Trained Athletes. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 27:1280:1286
This research (1) used experienced athletes (rugby players, approx 20 years of age, min. 2 years of structured training), and put them through a 12-week preseason training program, with 4 separate 3 week training blocks. The blocks were eccentric loading with overspeed, eccentric loading with regular speed work, traditional loading (ecc and con) with overspeed, and traditional loading with regular speed. While most of the athletes had large effect size improvements over 12 weeks, the eccentric training groups had the largest improvements in strength measures. For lower body power (in the CMJ) the eccentric with overspeed was the highest, while speed was highest in the tradidional method with overspeed training.
For ‘eccentric training’ researchers used mostly the same exercises as in the traditional loading parameters (power clean, RDL, bent-over-row, etc.) but tried to emphasize the negative or eccentric phase of the lift, while getting a spotter to return it to the start position. Overspeed referred to doing assisted countermovement jumps and sprints down a small grade to enhance jump height and running speed. Traditional speed work was similar but sprinting on flat ground and bodyweight countermovement jumps. More details of the actual training program can be seen in the methods section.
The researchers talk about eccentric-focused loading for enhancing force production since it is known that the eccentric muscle actions can withstand much greater forces. In the treatments they used in this study, the results echoed this. Power and speed are two different concepts, and should always be treated as such. We often lump them into […]