Translating Strength into Speed

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MIKE MCGURN, INTERNATIONAL STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING COACH

Rate Of Force Development

The rate of force development (RFD) is a measure of explosive strength, or simply how fast an athlete can develop force.

The definition of RFD is the speed in which the contractile elements of the muscle can develop force (1). Therefore, improving an athlete’s RFD may make them more explosive, as they can develop larger forces in a shorter period of time. Developing a more explosive athlete through strength and power developed in the gym and a combination of plyometrics, may improve their sporting performance.

There is very strong evidence to suggest that combining strength and power training with plyometrics to improve
RFD will improve jumping ability (2,3,4) sprinting (5,6,7,8) and weightlifting (9,10).

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