Michael, from a post 1/8/03 Subject: Supertraining Erratum-Final Version!
In general, if the strength deficit is LARGE for a given muscle group, an
increase in speed strength may be produced by maximal or near maximal
neuromuscular stimulation(via weightlifting or plyometric methods). If the
strength deficit is SMALL, hypertrophy must be induced by submaximal
loading methods as commonly used in bodybuilding, following the maximal
efforts against heavy loads.
Corroborating evidence for this:
‘Dr. Gunter Tidow states in ‘New Studies in Athletics’ 93-110, 1990 that
strength deficit is the difference between isometric and eccentric maximal
strength. He points out that a small deficit implies a highly developed
neural activation and consequently only small ‘reserves’ are left, so that
hypertrophy must be the objective of this athlete. On the other hand, large
deficits necessitate improvement of one’s neural activation ability by
means of maximum strength methods.’
[To me it seems logical, especially in non-elite athletes, that if a small reserve would suggest that I’m not using the stretch reflex properly??? - DD]
For the throwing athlete, a test between a throw using the stretch reflex,
i.e., shot putt with the pulling back of the shot and subsequent throw
versus a throw from a ‘cocked’ static position with a hold from 3-5 seconds
(similar to a countermove vertical jump versus a vertical jump from squat
position with no countermove). A baseball player could be tested by a throw
with a ‘windup’ and prestretch with throwing from a static position
extended arm position with a hold of 3-5 seconds.
From the above statement, any muscle group could be tested for the strength
deficit by using a movement from a static or isometric start versus a
movement with a ‘prestretch’ or eccentric action as part of the total
The only problem would be what constitutes a small or large deficit-5, 10
or 25% ? Neither statement sets the bar for the quantification of amount
According to the published experts on this subject, Charlie’s statements are
correct. (In addition to Tidow, refer to Schmidtbleicher’s articles and Dr.
Zatsiorsky’s “Science & Practice Of Strength Training” text.) The smaller the
deficit, the greater the ability to activate one’s musculature, of which stretch reflexes are one component.