Notes from Science of Speed with Matt Jordan

Other ways besides maximum lifting

·         If you don’t have an athlete that doesn’t respond to maximal lifting then find a new way.

·         You cannot blanket the athlete into the same category as the others. Make training individual.

·         He uses EMG and measures dynamic lifting and compares it to maximal strength training. (He compares the two stimuli)

·         There is a potent neuromuscular response to lifting moderate weight explosively.

·         If an athlete is later in their career (like 10 to 15 years in) how do you get them through the wear and tear injuries they have had over their career. (Compare and contrast heavy lifting for your athlete)

·         David Dame is a researcher from Canada. He put out an article on rate of internal rate of force development vs external speed of movement.  Results showed that when you are lifting a heavy weight and moving it slow if you internally looked at the contractile of the muscle you would be having high rates of force development.  You will be getting the high threshold of motor units recruited and have a high level of internal rate of force development. You will be able to tap into the high motor neuron drive to the muscle. It is definitely beneficial to a speed athlete.

·         Following a block of heavy resistance training you have a shift in the type IIx fibers to type IIa fibers. You are essential lifting the fastest fast twitch to more of an oxidative fiber. What is the potential down side of that for a speed athlete? No real research on this yet out there but if an athlete gets stronger they get faster.

Talking on Zatsiorsky book Science and Practice

·         Two ways to go about increase the maximum strength or increase the rate of force development. –

·         Athletics are done in the 100 ms range for how quickly things happen. It’s not about how much force you can produce it’s about how quickly can you produce force and how much force can you produce given the time frames that occur in your sport.

Dynamic method

·         Zatsiorsky said in the book, dynamic method using lower and middle intensities at maximum speed is good for rate of force development. This is hard to measure so there is not a lot of studies on this.  First 50 to 100 ms is governed by the rate at which motor unit’s fire.

·         This is also heavily dependent on the contractile properties of that muscle and type of fibers you have. When you get into late phases of a contraction then you are looking at rate of force development of 200 ms and this is seen in measures like maximum strength. So you can further break down rate of force development into time intervals.

·         What Zatsiorsky was referring to was if you are training dynamically you are working more on the firing rate which is really critical for producing force quickly. (Neural adaptation to it)


·         Contractile impulse is related to your momentum. Momentum is related to your mass that you are moving x velocity. If you have a big rate of force development (Or contractile impulse) that quantifies what your limb will be doing in a sporting movement and end velocity that you are trying to reach.

Practical Part-

·         Spend doing time doing your sport. This is practiced all the time in track because they are always doing their sport. Where he sees this break down is in hockey. The athletes/coaches have them practicing acceleration in dryland. It doesn’t have the same transfer as doing your acceleration work on the ice.

·         Heavy lifting is the best way to increase tendon cross sectional area. A thicker tendon will be able to handle more strain. This will also help you handle more training.

·         Multifaceted strength training approach is the best way to develop your athlete. (Blend of maximal strength and dynamic strength)

·         Matt Jordan spends time in the 60% and below range or at the 85%. He does not spend time mainly in the middle range between the two because the load is not enough to get the adaptation of max strength. The speed is too low in the middle area to elicit the adaptation you need.

·         Middle zone is more for muscle hypertrophy.

Matt uses Isometric training for the following reasons

·         When he sees angle specific weakness and training torque angle specific.  Great thing for hockey because of the joint angle when skating.

Eccentric Training Adaptations

·         Get more sarcomeres

·         You can make a muscle fiber longer which then increases the velocity of shortening and also increase the range over which the muscle can produce forces


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