Repeatability and specificity of eccentric force output and the implications for eccentric training load prescription
Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research
School of Medical and Health Sciences / Centre for Exercise and Sports Science Research
Harden, M, Wolf, A, Haff, GG, Hicks, KM, and Howatson, G. Repeatability and specificity of eccentric force output and the implications for eccentric training load prescription. J Strength Cond Res 33(3): 676-683, 2019-Prescribing supramaximal eccentric (ECC) loads based on repetition maximum, isometric (ISO), or concentric-only (CON) strength overlooks the possibility that individuals have a different tolerance for ECC exercise. To inform the prescription of ECC training regimes, this study implemented a test battery that included maximal accentuated-eccentric (ECC+), traditional coupled eccentric-concentric (TRAD), and 2 ISO conditions (90 and 120° knee-joint angle [ISO90 and ISO120, respectively]). The study aimed to determine the repeatability and specificity of ECC+ force output and assess the methodological accuracy when using nonspecific measures of strength to prescribe ECC+ training loads. Results show that the test battery was repeatable (p > 0.05, intraclass correlation coefficient >0.95, coefficient of variation: 0.05), estimations were associated with up to a 7% error. This investigation confirms that force output is task-specific; therefore, prescribing ECC loads based on strength during another task will likely lead to discrepancies in intended and actual ECC exercise intensity. Consequently, using an ECC-specific approach to assess ECC strength qualities will provide a more accurate platform to prescribe individualized ECC training programs and a more definitive evaluation of ECC strength.