Optimal Loading for Force Production in the Straight Bar Deadlift: Force-Time Characteristics in Strength-Trained Adults

Chelsey Lawson, Peter Mundy, Mark Lyons, Michael J Duncan

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Lawson, C, Mundy, P, Lyons, M, and Duncan, MJ. Optimal loading for force production in the straight bar deadlift: Force-time characteristics in strength-trained adults. J Strength Cond Res XX(X): 000-000, 2018-This study sought to identify whether there is an optimum load in relation to peak force development and rate of force development (RFD) in the straight bar deadlift and to examine whether baseline strength levels influence this optimum load. Twelve strength-trained men (mean age ± SD; 25.1 ± 5.4 years) performed 3 deadlift repetitions at loads of 10% intervals of 20-90% of their predetermined individual 1 repetition maximum (1RM). Peak vertical force (PFz) and RFD were determined from each repetition. The repetition at each percentage of 1RM that produced the greatest PFz was used for analysis. All data were collected on an AMTI force platform. Repeated-measures analysis of variance indicated significant differences in PFz across loads of 20-90% 1RM (p = 0.001) with a linear increase in PFz with increasing % of 1RM. The highest PFz occurred at 90% of 1RM. For RFD, there was a significant main effect for load (p = 0.018) where instantaneous RFD was significantly higher at 80 and 90% 1RM compared with 20% 1RM. When analyses were re-run using baseline strength as a covariate, the results did not change, indicating that baseline strength did not influence the PFz or RFD output. These results suggest that there is no significant difference in RFD between adjacent loads, but that peak force production was greatest at 90% 1RM in the straight bar deadlift.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)(In-press)
JournalJournal of Strength and Conditioning Research
Early online date25 Jan 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 25 Jan 2019

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  • Resistance training
  • Strength
  • Rate of Force Development
  • Peak Force

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