Training for muscular power adaptations : the role of contraction type and velocity
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Muscular power, an integral component in most sport, is the product of force and velocity. Power is often viewed as synonymous, yet incorrectly, with strength. Where power has an inherent speed component, strength is independent of movement velocity, and is a measure of a muscle’s ability to produce a maximal force. In a majority of athletic events power is requisite to success, and is often more decisive in performance outcomes than strength alone. Currently, results from existing research examining the effectiveness of differing velocities of contraction in improving maximal power are mixed. Common methodologies used in research settings to study muscular power changes are isotonic training, isokinetic training, isometric training, and plyometric training. However, little research has been done examining the potential efficacy of training using inertial loading. This report examines existing research on movement velocities and loads, compares the effects of training velocities for increasing maximal power, identifies shortfalls and information gaps, and recommends future research in training for muscular power adaptations and improved athletic performance. This report also provides a detailed description of inertial load training and establishes a theoretical study design, hypothesis, and reasoning outlining why and how inertial load training may elicit muscular power increases and improved athletic performance.