Absolute Strength and Speed-strength and Strength-speed

In order to do this though the player’s absolute strength would
have to be very good. Surely (as an untrained observer) developing
absolute strength is essential to developing good speed strength. Can
you help me with this issue as you seem to be debating this topic?
Or developing speed-strength is essential to
developing 'absolute strength?

Absolute strength is the governing factor in all activities strength/power development related, specifically when considering activities which require a greater dominance of limit strength vs pure speed. The larger the resistance which must be acted against/overcome the more value there exists in developing absolute strength. Alternatively, the less the resistance which must be acted against/overcome the less value there exists in developing absolute strength.

For example: a shot putter must always possess higher levels of absolute strength then a javelin thrower. The primary reasoning for this is because the shot has greater mass than the javelin.

One may only develop speed strength to a degree. At this point, the defining factor in further development is dependent upon an increase in absolute strength. Consequently, as the development of absolute strength slows, one must now shift the emphasis back to developing speed strength, and so the cycle continues.

For those of you who plan to attend, I know that this will be convered in detail at the Verkhoshansky/Yessis seminar.

I am not following. Please break it down for me or perhaps define more clearly what Absolute-Strength is compared to Speed-Strength. The whole things seems like a paradox to me. One is dependent upon the other which is dependent on the other which is…ad infinitum. How is Absolute-Strength increased compared to Speed-Strength?

Absolute strength may be viewed as the organisms involuntary capacity to produce maximum achievable force.

Siff states that Speed-strength may be characterized by the ability to quickly execute an unloaded movement or a movement against a relatively small external resistance

Absolute strength may be developed by voluntary means (maximal effort training) however it may not be demonstrated voluntarily. Thus, it is part of the ‘fight or flight’ mechanism.

However, the higher the classification of the lifter, the greater percentage of absolute strength he/she may demonstrate voluntarily, this is maximum or limit strength.

As absolute strength is developed, so are all other manifestations of strength along the curve, to varying degrees.

Thus, as absolute strength increases so does speed strength. However, in order to fully realize the full capacity of the organisms ability to demonstrate speed strength, speed strength must be specifically trained for.

Speed strength may be developed through utilizing dynamic effort training percentages, however, it’s development is dependent upon the current level of absolute strength.

Here lies the cycle.

Again, this is all relative to the sport/training goal, as different strength/power development sports require varying levels of absolute and speed strength in order to most optimally express sport skill.

So your saying absolute strength underlies all speed related performance as long as you train specifically with speed-strength or strength speed exercises?!
Sorry…but isn’t this just saying one has to train specifically for one’s event???

I’m not sure i can do it, as it may refrain some “copyright” rules, but i allow myself to show here a part of a message posted by Dr. Yessis in “supertraining” group few days ago (if not allowed, then delete the post!) :

"Re: Relation between maximal strength and speed-strength/explosiveness

I was surprised to read your comment that studies have shown that there is nocorrelation between absolute strength and speed-strength. How was
speed-strength tested and who were the subjects? I guess it also depends upon how the terms are defined. I define speed-strength as explosiveness or
explosive power (not power as in powerlifting). Suffice it to say that there is
a very close relationship between absolute strength and explosiveness in
training but perhaps not as separate entities. If you examine the term,
speed-strength, it should be obvious that there is a close relationship between strength and speed (or explosiveness). The more strength you attain, the more speed you can attain, but only to a certain point. It depends on several factors-what is your beginning level of strength and your beginning level of speed or quickness? How much strength are you gaining in comparison to your speed? When will one negatively affect the other, i.e., a greater increase in strength will lead to a decrease in speed and vice versa.

There is no simple answer that applies to all athletes or all sports. Each one
must be looked at individually.
In regard to the question by N.T., whether they should lift heavy
weights or light weights explosively, I don’t think it is possible to lift light
weights explosively unless you modify the exercise greatly to work on the
switching from eccentric to concentric. Rugby players need both strength and
explosiveness and both should be trained. The explosiveness, however, should
not come from typical strength exercises. More advantageous is to do specific
exercises to duplicate the movements in an explosive manner.
Also, when and how to work on strength and explosiveness depends upon the
periodization scheme that you use. Part of it should be working on separate
entities; part of it should be working on both entities simultaneously. The
final answer on how this should be done is really in your hands. No one can
tell you when to change or how to change because this can only be determined on how your athletes are performing. Only then you make the changes accordingly.

Michael Yessis, Ph.D"


I wasn’t even sure if they were still having the seminar because not a lot of people have registered. This business is full of procrastinators and it pisses me off!! I put on a biomechanics seminar with one of the states (Texas) top presenters about two years back and I ended up paying $500 dollars out of my own pocket to have the guy come because all of the coaches were “comfortable” with their knowledge on the subject. What have you heard about the Verkhoshansky/Yessis seminar as of late?

This was posted on the ST list;

"I am writing to announce that our seminar in February will take
place as originally planned. Registration has been brisk over the
last month and we are assured of the required attendees.

I have had several people inquire as to whether the information
offered will be entry level. I can emphatically say no. Many
concepts that will be brought are discussed but rarely fully
grasped. This is apparent as one looks at different protocols and
realizes that very few implement the most advanced ideas on training.

To add to the quality of the seminar, we have added John Gray to
the guest lecturer group as well as Don Yance and Patrick Jacobs who
will speak on Adaptogens and vibration training respectively. We
will also add at least one more lecturer in the next month.

I believe this seminar will be one of the most educational and high
quality events in recent memory for our field. If anyone has any
questions, feel free to contact me."

One of the members posted;

“developing speed-strength is essential to developing ‘absolute strength.’” And mentions Charlie? Is that right?

It is true that there was some speculation, a while back, that a potential cancellation was possible. However, I spoke with Tony Schwartz on the phone a month or so ago and he ensured me that the seminar is good to go without a doubt.

Your experience with having to take up the slack for the all knowing coaches is an amazing testimony to the miserable state of affairs here in the states. Unbelievable, no wait, very believable and totally F%$*ED UP!

Certainly, it goes without saying that one must train specifically for their own event.

However, with respect to strength/power development activities, when assessing the specific motor requirements which are required to most optimally express sport skill, and balancing this off of ones current level of abilities, one must determine how much training volume must be allotted to either absolute strength or speed strength development.

The farther out from competition, or during the off season, is a time in which most of these types of athletes are more likely to increase absolute strength levels so that later in the cycle, as competition approaches, the development of speed strength/explosive strength is now taking priority along with sport skill perfection.

Of course, in my view, all required motor abilities are placed in conjugate sequence, thereby, creating a situation in which all other abilities are always being maintained throughout a primary abilities training block.

The concurrent development and or maintenance of all during the conjugate sequence of the primary.

Thanks for reply James…i hope I didn’t come across too sarcastc!

No problem.

Most or many track and field programs are conjugate training.