PSTM Conference 2019 – Summary #1

Over the following days, I will briefly go over some of the lectures at this year’s PSTM conference in Wroclaw. These short articles will not be exhaustive summaries but rather a collection of bullet points on the most important concepts and ideas (in my opinion). Today, I cover Dr. Mike Young’s lecture on developing strength that transfers to sports performance.

Biomechanics are the basis to understanding the demands of sport. F = m×a, so given a constant bodyweight, an athlete who can produce more force will accelerate more. Likewise, at a given force, the lighter (leaner) athlete will be faster. Sprinters generate ground reaction forces upwards of sevenfold their bodyweight in top speed running. What is more, they generate that force in around 0.08 seconds. These stats are much higher than anything that can be replicated in the weight room. Force and alteration are directional vectors. During acceleration, concentric forces play a big role while during top speed running, eccentric strength is more important. Squat strength is highly correlated with sprint speed, so squats should be amongst the 20% of things that make up 80% of the program. The strength velocity curve is reversed during eccentric contraction. This means that concentric muscle production yields the highest forces at slow speeds, eccentric forces are highest at fast speeds. Traditional strength programs fall short here.

Eccentric training, release-catch type exercises and plyos can close the gap. Most important, though, do not forget to include actual sprinting in the program.

Tomorrow I will post the next summary, so stay tuned.

So long, don’t get hurt

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