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The degree of success of an athlete in a sport or competition comes down to which athlete can produce the most force in the time allowed for efficient movement andskillful performance.
Athletes generate maximal forces based on two components. The first component is the maximal force capabilities of the individual muscles. The second component is the coordination of the intra-muscular and inter-muscular activity by the central nervous system (CNS).
Muscular hypertrophy and the capability of individual muscles to produce force are determined by the specific training methods (Specificity of Training) andForce and the rate at which it is produced is determined by the coordination of muscle activity and is a learned neuromuscular activation pathway.
Training on the RPT leads to increase in force production of mono and bi-articulated muscles and in their rate of force production.
The counter-movement of the RPT produces micro-oscillations which are rapid changes to the state of the point of force application. During this training the athlete attempts to maximize the velocity in both directions of movement – extension and flexion.
Rapid accelerations seen in both directions of this method require rapid transitions between eccentric, concentric and isometric contractions within the same muscle. In order for rapid accelerations to occur, there must be a simultaneous, immediate relaxation of the antagonist muscle group while the agonist muscle group is being recruited.
The net torque generated about a joint and the force and velocity of a muscle and movement are the sum of the force developed by the activation of the agonist minus the force developed by the antagonist. Unnecessary levels of co-activation of the antagonist may impair the athlete’s ability to fully activate the agonist impeding both force and velocity.
The RPT is specifically designed to train the central nervous system in the relaxation of the antagonist muscles at high velocity by reducing the co-activation of agonist muscles. By focusing on the “pushing” and “pulling” motion during the counter movement (micro-oscillations), this trains the CNS to relax the muscles faster, causing less co-contraction to occur, leading to a faster rate of force development. This method of training is the Antagonist Facilitated Specialized Method (AFSM) and Oscillatory Training or (OC).