Question, is RFD a general neural quality that is developed, or is it specific to movement. I ask this because westside does RFD for squat and deal, while ben did no RFD specific to bench pressing or squatting and put up world class numbers. As well for charlie, were the velocity of bens lifts high?

I would say you already have an answer to the first question in your own words-assuming you realize what Ben did most of the time…sprinting!
Interesting question though!


RFD is a trainable component of the F:V curve, AND it’s specific expression is dependent on many variables, some of which include:

the force being acted upon, F=MxA, accordingly, mass and acceleration yield the specific force which must be acted upon

joint angles/biomechanics of the sport specific movement will affect the degree of force which must be acted upon/overcome/generated etc…

" It should be noted that acceleration and velocity are vector quantities, so that any change in direction, and not only magnitued, will also be associated with a change in force." Supertraining, Siff

As for Johnson’s big lifts in the absence of no weight lifting specific RFD training (eg DE benching/squatting, with or without accomodating resistance) there are many probable reasons for this. Charlie has commented on Ben’s track work having a positive effect on increased loads lifted in the squat lift.

This, in my view, is an illustration of the RFD, reactive strength, starting strength, etc., developed on the track having a positive carry over to the expression of limit strength under a loaded barbell. As strengthening one part of the curve serves, to a certain point, to develop the whole curve.

HOWEVER, one must not be mislead into thinking that track work is a means for overcoming plateaus in limit strength as expressed by means of lifting heavy barbells.

As always, the training means and their efficacy with regards to improving certain abilities are strictly reliant upon the athletes level of physical preparedness/strengths.

The more elite one becomes in expressing their respective sport skill, the more specialized the training must become in order to yield further development of sport skill.