Variable Resistance Training Increases Power Development: Flywheel Training?
Flywheel training is a type of training where the resistance varies with each repetition. For example, if you perform 10 reps of bench press, then 20 reps, then 30 reps, then 40 reps and so on until failure at which point you stop performing repetitions. A flywheel trainee will vary their resistance throughout the range of motion (ROM) to develop maximum strength and power development.
The term flywheel comes from the fact that when you perform a set of 10 reps, it takes approximately 1 minute to complete. If you do not perform any additional weight during this time period, your body will begin to fatigue and eventually fail to produce enough force to continue performing the movement. When this happens, the weights are removed and another set begins. You repeat this cycle over and over again until you reach failure.
Inertial Exercise Machines: Isometric Training?
Isometric training involves holding a position or pose for a predetermined amount of time. An example would be holding a plank position for 2 minutes, or holding a push up position for 15 seconds. These types of exercises are often used to improve flexibility and balance, but they can also increase strength and power. High rep training has it’s place and history in the field of strength and conditioning. In fact, the very first squat racks designed for lifters were used primarily for high rep training. The limitations of barbell technology at the time meant that only so much weight could be effectively loaded on a barbell to safely train with. As such, lifters would often perform sets of 10-12 reps to increase muscular endurance and train muscles outside of their one rep max.
Today, high rep training is a highly specialized tool used by powerlifters, strongman competitors, and professional weightlifters who have reached a point of diminishing returns with lower reps. The use of high repetition training has been shown to increase muscular endurance, work capacity, and in some cases even strength when used for those who have hit a plateau in their normal one-rep max.
Sources & references used in this article:
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Isokinetic versus isotonic variable-resistance training by MJ Smith, P Melton – The American journal of sports …, 1981 – journals.sagepub.com
Alterations in speed of squat movement and the use of accommodated resistance among college athletes training for power by MR Rhea, JG Kenn, BM Dermody – The Journal of Strength & …, 2009 – journals.lww.com
Variable resistance training promotes greater strength and power adaptations than traditional resistance training in elite youth rugby league players by M Rivière, L Louit, A Strokosch… – Journal of strength and …, 2017 – ingentaconnect.com
Effects of variable resistance training on maximal strength: a meta-analysis by MA Soria-Gila, IJ Chirosa, IJ Bautista… – The Journal of …, 2015 – journals.lww.com
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Effect of concurrent endurance and circuit resistance training sequence on muscular strength and power development by M Chtara, A Chaouachi, GT Levin… – The Journal of …, 2008 – journals.lww.com