Poliquin Live

Tip 92: Tapering Should Follow the Speed-Strength Continuum

Tuesday, May 24, 2011 9:21 AM
The speed-strength continuum ranks athletic activities on a scale such that the activities requiring the highest speed of movement are on one end and those requiring the highest levels of strength are on the other end. The scale graphically expresses the concept that there is an inverse relationship between speed of movement and muscle tension, such that the more muscle tension required to complete a task, the slower the movement. Thus, powerlifters can lift heavier weights than weightlifters, but do so at a much slower lifting speed.

The speed-strength continuum can be used to determine how long an athlete needs to taper before a competition. In the throwing events in track and field, a javelin thrower would need more rest than a discus thrower, a discus thrower more rest than a shot-putter, and a shot-putter more rest that a hammer thrower. Moving to a team sport such as football, a cornerback would need more rest than a linebacker, and a linebacker would need more rest than a nose guard. Using this approach, coaches will be able to design programs that would help them peak at the appropriate time.

Copyright ©2011 Charles Poliquin




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