Forces and Force Development

If there is one thing to take away from Bondarchuk’s most recent book, it is that what we call strength is not a singular concept. The book is a difficult read, but it is does lay out why the athletes with the highest maximal strength are not necessarily the fastest or the most explosive. Each of those activities feature different types of strength and should be trained differently.


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8 replies
  1. nikboa
    nikboa says:

    I also have used the shot put example from Zatsiorsky book many times to explain what our goals are in the weight room. nice article!

  2. Duncan Atwood
    Duncan Atwood says:

    It’s the age old trap of equating weight lifting strength to strength in other movements and actions. People can gain huge amounts of strength doing other activities than weight lifting. Whether or not those other activities transfer to the event is the same question as whether weight training transfers to the event (throwing) in question.
    For years I’ve heard discussions about strength that assume weight lifting strength IS strength. It’s one type of strength, not all types of strength. After a season of riding a bicycle fast up hills, my legs got very strong. It transferred wonderfully to javelin throwing, but not to weightlifting. Was it enough for javelin? No, I needed weights too. But weightlifting alone was insufficient. So know your strengths! Don’t assume weightlifting is the only way to gain useful strength for throwing.

  3. Matt
    Matt says:

    Great article Martin! Very interesting information and examples. I used the 21m thrower with a 220-240kg bench example as a means for trying to “back in” to a prediction of how far I would throw given my bench PR and it was pretty darn close to reality. Has anyone tried calculating out a predicted distance based upon a wider range of bench press values to illustrate the non-linear relationship between rising Fmm and distance thrown? It would be very interesting to see such a graph and then compare it to a given individual’s PR for the throw and the BP. Perhaps I will have to go bug one of the physics guys here at my office (ha ha) to build a little spreadsheet! What might also be interesting would be to poll your readers to have them input their respective PRs for shot and bench and see how that plots out. Could be an interesting follow up article assuming everyone is truthful. Thanks again for the great article.


Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] attempted to explain the difference between forces and force development last year on HMMR […]

  2. […] When trying to determine how much strength is enough, it is important to remember that the end goal is the rate of force production for most sports, not the maximum force you can generate. There is a big difference between the two. […]

  3. […] Forces and Force Development – Part of the reason many people rely so heavily on maximum strength is a confusion between how maximum force and the rate of force development are related. Maximum strength can increase the rate of force development for beginners, but not always for experienced athletes. This post quotes from Zatsiorsky’s book Science and Practice of Strength Training, which is a highly recommended read for any coach and reviewed by us here. […]

  4. […] too long the focus has been on maximum strength, but that neglects the big difference between forces and the rate of force development. For more on how this works at the muscular level, I recommend reading Science and Practice of […]

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