Repeatability and Specificity of Eccentric Force Output and the Implications for Eccentric Training Load Prescription

Melissa Harden, Alex Wolf, Gregory Haff, Kirsty Hicks, Glyn Howatson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
51 Downloads (Pure)


Harden, M, Wolf, A, Haff, GG, Hicks, KM, and Howatson, G. Repeatability and specificity of eccentric force output and the implications for eccentric training load prescription. J Strength Cond Res 33(3): 676-683, 2019-Prescribing supramaximal eccentric (ECC) loads based on repetition maximum, isometric (ISO), or concentric-only (CON) strength overlooks the possibility that individuals have a different tolerance for ECC exercise. To inform the prescription of ECC training regimes, this study implemented a test battery that included maximal accentuated-eccentric (ECC+), traditional coupled eccentric-concentric (TRAD), and 2 ISO conditions (90 and 120° knee-joint angle [ISO90 and ISO120, respectively]). The study aimed to determine the repeatability and specificity of ECC+ force output and assess the methodological accuracy when using nonspecific measures of strength to prescribe ECC+ training loads. Results show that the test battery was repeatable (p > 0.05, intraclass correlation coefficient >0.95, coefficient of variation: <5.8%) and force output was specific to each task; ECC+ (4,034 ± 592 N) was higher (p < 0.001) than ISO90 (3,122 ± 579 N) and TRAD (3,574 ± 581 N), but less (p < 0.001) than ISO120 (6,285 ± 1,546 N). Although estimations of ECC+ strength were not different from observed ECC+ values (p > 0.05), estimations were associated with up to a 7% error. This investigation confirms that force output is task-specific; therefore, prescribing ECC loads based on strength during another task will likely lead to discrepancies in intended and actual ECC exercise intensity. Consequently, using an ECC-specific approach to assess ECC strength qualities will provide a more accurate platform to prescribe individualized ECC training programs and a more definitive evaluation of ECC strength.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)676-683
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Strength and Conditioning Research
Issue number3
Early online date16 Jan 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2019


Dive into the research topics of 'Repeatability and Specificity of Eccentric Force Output and the Implications for Eccentric Training Load Prescription'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this