…Conversely, pennation angle significantly increased in the CONV (35%), but not in the ECC (5%)
Isn’t pennation angle correlated highly with speed? If I remember, there are studies that show pennation angle being one of the most reliable descriminators between elite and sub-elite. Does this mean that conventional lifting, while making you stronger, also increases pennation angle, which reduces the functional potential of that new found strength?[/quote]This is true. There are two studies out of Japan which indicate that better sprinters have lower pennation angles compared to their lesser counterparts. It’s not totally clear how this relationship works….are they faster because they have these angles in the first place or does the training that makes them faster create these lower angles.
I think there’s enough anecdotal and research evidence to suggest that heavy lifting combined with sprint work should increase the functional and speed capacity of the muscle but it definitely brings up an interesting consideration. Namely, most programs are concentric contraction dominant in practically everything that is done. Perhaps a program that is 70+% eccentric contraction dominant (just throwing out a number) would be more beneficial. This may explain why programs that are heavy on plyo work (and even to a lesser extent tempo work) can achieve performance benefits similar to those using concentric-focused weight lifting protocols extensively.