ACCOMMODATING RESISTANCE AND

ACCENTUATION
FOR INCREASED POWER
By
Jason Shea, C.S.C.S, PES



ACCOMMODATE: uh-kom kom kom kom-uh-deyt to make suitable or consistent; adapt: to become
adjusted or adapted.



In the world oI strength and conditioning and perIormance enhancement,
scientiIic research Iindings are vastly improving training methodologies program
models, and equipment design. There are three major mechanisms Ior strength
training involving dynamic voluntary muscle contraction against external
resistance. Those being Iree weights, selectorized or plate loaded machines, and
band (elastic tension) training. Each mechanism has its beneIits and negative
aspects. But, which is the best, iI any, and why?

Weight Stack or Leverage Machines isolate/recruit prime movers while the athlete Iollows the
restricted range oI motion designed into the machine. Typically Iorce is generated in only one plane oI
motion, with minimal recruitment in other planes. The body has no input on stabilizing the spine, pelvis, or
knees during movement as the seated/prone position against a stable platIorm does this Ior you, thus 'there
is a decrease in neural activation oI the stabilizer musculature. (1)¨ In other words, the body does not need
to maximally recruit any stabilizer muscles oI the working limb because no control oI the weight is
necessary in that the welded lever arm only has one set range oI motion. Beside a 'rehab patient instructed
to isolate beIore they integrate (2)¨, this mechanism oI training does not yield a high transIer oI training to
on Iield activities. Isolation is the preIerred training method Ior bodybuilding, not multi Iunctional athletes.
When does one typically see a Iootball player sitting down perIorming any type oI work? Perhaps sitting on
the bench drinking a Gatorade between plays.

Free weights and weight resistance cable machines are a great mechanism Ior overloading the
body as they provide resistance throughout an entire range oI motion and require activation oI the body`s
stabilizer mechanisms to control movement. The speed oI movement can vary Irom isometric to ballistic,
while maximally recruiting large groups oI muscle Iibers. Free weights do have a shortcoming when it
comes to perIormance enhancement Ior athletes. One is limited in the amount oI weight they can liIt by the
weakest point oI the range oI movement (3).¨ AIter working through the
'sticking point¨ (weakest point), as the joint angle nears end range oI
motion, the muscles have greater leverage to perIorm the movement. So
the greatest overload on the muscle is decreased as one works toward the
end range oI motion, which just so happens to be where most sporting
movements occur (i.e.: the vertical jump, sprinting, pitching, etc). Watch
any athletic event and look Ior a true 90degree knee Ilexion as Iound in the
parallel squat. For example the drive phase (Ioot in contact with ground) oI
sprinting typically occurs with knee Ilexion oI about 135degrees or greater
and the same can hold true (not always, though) Ior some oI your best
perIormers in the vertical jump test. Compare this to the aIorementioned
parallel squat. An athlete may max out at 315 in the parallel squat, but may max out at 375 in the quarter
squat. The limiting range oI motion oI the parallel squat is parallel (bottom position with joint angle oI
roughly 90 degrees), and Ior the quarter squat it may be 130 degrees. It is at these points that the muscle
tension and overload are the greatest. But once the athlete has driven through the weakest point oI motion,
and accelerates up to approximately 180 degrees, the liIt becomes progressively easier as the joint angle
increases. With this in mind, the 315lbs may not be enough to overload the working muscles at the end
range oI motion, creating less transIer oI training to on Iield results. Another issue lies in the Iact that, when
training Ior power, the athlete will accelerate with load great velocity. As the athlete nears the end range oI
motion, the muscle tension will be minimal in that momentum has taken over Ior the last 10-20 degrees oI
extension, creating a deactivation like symptom in the musculature, when the greatest muscle activation is
necessary.

So why not perIorm quarter squat as they Iollow the speciIicity guidelines with regard to lower
extremity joint angles? In essence this makes sense, in that the end ranges oI motion are going to receive
greater stimulation due to heavier loads, but the maximal muscle recruitment patterns are altered with squat
depth. To run Iaster and jump higher, an athlete needs to be capable oI generating great Iorce Irom the
powerIul hip extensor mechanism. The major hip extensors are the gluteus maximus, adductor magnus, and
hamstring musculature (biceps Iemoris, semimemranosis, semitendinosis). In 2002 Caterisano et al
conducted a study on thigh muscle contribution during the partial, parallel, and Iull squat. 'During the
partial squat they Iound 69° recruitment Irom the quadriceps, 16.9° recruitment Irom the gluteus
maximus, and 13.37° recruitment Irom the biceps Iemoris (Not sure why adductor magnus was not
tested??). In contrast, the parallel squat had 56.64° recruitment Irom the quadriceps, 28° recruitment Irom
the gluteus maximus, and 15.35° Irom the hamstrings (4).¨ The glute activation nearly doubled, when
increasing the range oI motion Irom quarter squat to parallel squat, while the hamstring recruitment stayed
the same. With this knowledge, an athlete lacking in posterior chain development, speciIically hip extension
power Irom the glueus maximus, may want to perIorm squats to at least the parallel position, assuming no
pre-existing injuries in the low back or knees.

Band resistance lies on the opposite end oI the spectrum as Iree weight training. At the
beginning range oI motion, the band will have minimal iI any resistance. As the athlete progresses through
the range oI motion, the resistance increases, with the greatest resistance being at the end range oI motion,
where most sporting movements occur. Taking into account joint angles and accommodation oI these angles
Ior transIer oI training, this method oI training makes sense. 'The use oI bands can also cause an overspeed
eccentric eIIect, pulling the body down Iaster than gravity (5).¨ This increased eccentric acceleration raises
the neuromuscular demand, thereIore making the body stronger and more eIIicient at absorbing Iorces. The
more Iorce an object can absorb, the more power it can generate. The negative side to this method oI
training lies in the beginning range oI motion, where maximal recruitment oI speciIic muscles occurs. II an
athlete perIorms the parallel squat with bands only, there would be no tension at the bottom range oI motion,
leading to minimal gluteus maximus recruitment. With weak or underdeveloped gluteus maximus, the
athlete may once again lack hip extension power. So what is the best method? The answer lies between Iree
weights and band training.

Accommodated resistance is used to 'develop maximal tension throughout the complete range
oI motion rather than at a particular (e.g. weakest) point (6).¨ The use oI Iree weights combined with bands
(chains, weight releasers, or lightened method oI accommodation) allows Ior increased resistance at the end
range oI motion, while accommodating Ior the joint angles throughout the entire range oI motion. This
method combines the positive aspects oI both Iree weights and bands, while minimizing the negative eIIects.
In the parallel squat example, the athlete will have adequate resistance Irom the load on the bar at the
parallel position. This ensures maximal gluteus maximus activation during the squat. As the athlete
accelerates the weight upward, the tension on the band will increase, thus providing more resistance at the|

end ranges oI motion, where the sporting movements occur. As the athlete nears the top oI the
motion, the total tension (load) will be the greatest, providing adequate stimulus (tension) throughout the
movement. Momentum will not be a Iactor at the end oI the range oI motion, thereIore no potential
muscular deactivation can occur at the top. In a study perIormed by the late Mel SiII, he set out to 'compare
the eIIectiveness oI combined method (band and weights) and Iree weight training (7).¨ The results clearly
show the beneIits oI accommodated resistance training.


1. Greater mean and peak forces were generated throughout the movement
2. The descent was accelerated above the normal gravitational rate of 9.8m/s
3. The stronger eccentric loading and brief transition period provided neuromuscular
stimulation similar to that found in Plyometric training
4. The force generated during the later stages increased, in strong contrast to that of
normal squatting in which force production tends to decrease significantly.¨
SiII M. (2003), Supertraining Pg 412



The eIIectiveness oI this method oI training is clear, but one should maintain great restraint when
training in this manner. The demand on the joints and neuromuscular system is very high, so proper
technique, periodization, repetition counts, training experience, rest intervals, prehab and recovery methods
must be implemented prior to beginning a program utilizing accommodated resistance.
Recommendations:
a. Programming: PerIorm weight release (eccentric emphasis) Ior 1 week,
Iollowed by 3 weeks accommodated resistance (bands or chains). Follow with
minimal oI 3 weeks non-accommodated resistance training.
b. Reps: 1-3 reps is preIerred, with 1-2 Ior squats, and 2-3 Ior bench press. Reps
should be at 1 second in total duration. For example, 2 reps oI squats should be
perIormed in 2 seconds.
c. Load on the Bar: II goal is power, approximately 50-70°. II goal is strength
70-90°
d. Set Count: In Russian Conjugated programming, one may see 10 sets oI 2
repetitions in the squat on Dynamic EIIort day. This should be at the
elite/advanced level.
e. Rest Interval: Approximately 60-90s.
I. Prehab/recovery: SMFR with Ioam roller, reciprocal muscle stretching prior
to sets, Static stretching aIter workout, and post workout contrast shower.



REFERENCES

1. Wallden M., The Core: Part 2 Personal Training on the Net, 2007
2. Chek P, Scientific Back Training Correspondence Course, CHEK Institute, Sand Diego Ca, 1993, 2002
3. Zatsiorsky V., Kraemer W., Science and Practice of Strength Training Pp 118; Champaign IL, 1995
4. Caterisano A., Moss R., Pellinger T., WoodruIe K., Lewis V., Booth W., Khadra T., The effect of Back
squat depth on the EMG activity of 4 superficial hip and thigh muscles; Journal of Strength and
Conditioning Research, 2002, 16(3) Pp 428-432
5. Simmons, L. The Reactive Method DVD; Westside Barbell, Columbus, Ohio
6. Zatsiorsky V., Kraemer W., Science and Practice of Strength Training Pp 120; Champaign IL, 1995
7. SiII M., Supertraining; Pg 412 Denver Co, 2003
8. Wallace B., Mcguigan M., Winchestor J., EIIects oI Elastic Bands on Force and Power Characteristics
During the Back Squat Exercise, National Strength and Conditioning ConIerence, Minneapolis Min.
2004
9. Ebben W., Jenson R., Electryomyographic and Kinetic Analysis of Traditional, Chain, and Elastic
Band Squats; The Journal of Strenght and Conditioning Research 16(4) Pp547-550
10. DeIranco J., Super Strength DVD, NJ 2006
11. Verkoshansky Y., Fundamentals of Special Strength Training in Sport, Livonia Mi 1986








and for the quarter squat it may be 130 degrees. So why not perform quarter squat as they follow the specificity guidelines with regard to lower extremity joint angles? In essence this makes sense. parallel. So the greatest overload on the muscle is decreased as one works toward the end range of motion. "During the partial squat they found 69% recruitment maximus. which just so happens to be where most sporting movements occur (i.: the vertical jump. and accelerates up to approximately 180 degrees. Compare this to the aforementioned parallel squat. though) for some of your best performers in the vertical jump test.35% from the hamstrings (4). semimemranosis. But once the athlete has driven through the weakest point of motion. the muscle tension will be minimal in that momentum has taken over for the last 10-20 degrees of extension. Watch any athletic event and look for a true 90degree knee flexion as found in the parallel squat. etc).9% recruitment from the gluteus from the biceps femoris (Not sure why adductor magnus was not tested??). It is at these points that the muscle tension and overload are the greatest. Another issue lies in the fact that. in that the end ranges of motion are going to receive greater stimulation due to heavier loads. the parallel squat had 56. but the maximal muscle recruitment patterns are altered with squat depth. and 15. the athlete will accelerate with load great velocity. and hamstring musculature (biceps femoris. when increasing the range of motion from quarter squat to parallel squat. when training for power. An athlete may max out at 315 in the parallel squat. In contrast. while the hamstring recruitment stayed .e. an athlete needs to be capable of generating great force from the powerful hip extensor mechanism. semitendinosis). adductor magnus. sprinting. the muscles have greater leverage to perform the movement. In 2002 Caterisano et al conducted a study on thigh muscle contribution during the partial. 28% recruitment from the gluteus maximus.weakest point of the range of movement (3). The limiting range of motion of the parallel squat is parallel (bottom position with joint angle of roughly 90 degrees). the lift becomes progressively easier as the joint angle increases.37% recruitment from the quadriceps." The glute activation nearly doubled. As the athlete nears the end range of motion. The major hip extensors are the gluteus maximus. the 315lbs may not be enough to overload the working muscles at the end range of motion. creating a deactivation like symptom in the musculature. To run faster and jump higher.64% recruitment from the quadriceps." After working through the "sticking point" (weakest point). pitching. and full squat. as the joint angle nears end range of motion. With this in mind. but may max out at 375 in the quarter squat. creating less transfer of training to on field results. when the greatest muscle activation is necessary. For example the drive phase (foot in contact with ground) of sprinting typically occurs with knee flexion of about 135degrees or greater and the same can hold true (not always. 16. and 13.

Taking into account joint angles and accommodation of these angles for transfer of training. This method combines the positive aspects of both free weights and bands. while minimizing the negative effects. Band resistance lies on the opposite end of the spectrum as free weight training. the tension on the band will increase. while accommodating for the joint angles throughout the entire range of motion. or lightened method of accommodation) allows for increased resistance at the end range of motion. the band will have minimal if any resistance. specifically hip extension power from the glueus maximus.the same. So what is the best method? The answer lies between free weights and band training. weakest) point (6).g. there would be no tension at the bottom range of motion. At the beginning range of motion. thus providing more resistance at the] . If an athlete performs the parallel squat with bands only. As the athlete progresses through the range of motion. this method of training makes sense. As the athlete accelerates the weight upward. an athlete lacking in posterior chain development. may want to perform squats to at least the parallel position. leading to minimal gluteus maximus recruitment. weight releasers. where most sporting movements occur. where maximal recruitment of specific muscles occurs." The use of free weights combined with bands (chains. assuming no pre-existing injuries in the low back or knees. the resistance increases. "The use of bands can also cause an overspeed eccentric effect. With weak or underdeveloped gluteus maximus. This ensures maximal gluteus maximus activation during the squat. therefore making the body stronger and more efficient at absorbing forces. the athlete may once again lack hip extension power. pulling the body down faster than gravity (5). the athlete will have adequate resistance from the load on the bar at the parallel position. The more force an object can absorb. Accommodated resistance is used to "develop maximal tension throughout the complete range of motion rather than at a particular (e. With this knowledge. the more power it can generate." This increased eccentric acceleration raises the neuromuscular demand. The negative side to this method of training lies in the beginning range of motion. In the parallel squat example. with the greatest resistance being at the end range of motion.

prehab and recovery methods must be implemented prior to beginning a program utilizing accommodated resistance. e. Momentum will not be a factor at the end of the range of motion. 2 reps of squats should be performed in 2 seconds. followed by 3 weeks accommodated resistance (bands or chains). The stronger eccentric loading and brief transition period provided neuromuscular stimulation similar to that found in Plyometric training 4. Programming: Perform weight release (eccentric emphasis) for 1 week. providing adequate stimulus (tension) throughout the movement. . If goal is strength 70-90% d. b. and post workout contrast shower. Recommendations: a. This should be at the elite/advanced level. therefore no potential muscular deactivation can occur at the top. Reps should be at 1 second in total duration." The results clearly show the benefits of accommodated resistance training. approximately 50-70%. so proper technique. where the sporting movements occur. The descent was accelerated above the normal gravitational rate of 9. one may see 10 sets of 2 repetitions in the squat on Dynamic Effort day. f. For example. Supertraining Pg 412 The effectiveness of this method of training is clear. with 1-2 for squats. and 2-3 for bench press. Static stretching after workout." SiffM. Follow with minimal of 3 weeks non-accommodated resistance training. Set Count: In Russian Conjugated programming. c. Rest Interval: Approximately 60-90s. The force generated during the later stages increased. Reps: 1-3 reps is preferred.end ranges of motion. (2003). Load on the Bar: If goal is power. Greater mean and peak forces were generated throughout the movement 2. reciprocal muscle stretching prior to sets. in strong contrast to that of normal squatting in which force production tends to decrease significantly. but one should maintain great restraint when training in this manner. training experience. he set out to "compare the effectiveness of combined method (band and weights) and free weight training (7). the total tension (load) will be the greatest. repetition counts. periodization. In a study performed by the late Mel Siff. Prehab/recovery: SMFR with foam roller. 1. rest intervals. As the athlete nears the top of the motion.Sm/s 3. The demand on the joints and neuromuscular system is very high.

Champaign IL. Zatsiorsky V. Ebben W. 2004 9. Khadra T. 2002. L. 2003 8. The Journal of Strenght and Conditioning Research 16(4) Pp54 7-550 10. 4.. The Core: Part 2 Personal Training on the Net.2002 Zatsiorsky V. CHEK Institute.. 2007 Chek P. Westside Barbell. Moss R. Simmons... Woodrufe K. Supertraining. 1993.REFERENCES 1. Lewis V... Sand Diego Ca. Winchestor J... Booth W. Scientific Back Training Correspondence Course. Chain. Science and Practice of Strength Training Pp 118. Kraemer W. SiffM. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research... Verkoshansky Y. 1995 7.. Pellinger T. Livonia Mi 1986 . 1995 Caterisano A. Effects of Elastic Bands on Force and Power Characteristics During the Back Squat Exercise.. Columbus. Electryomyographic and Kinetic Analysis of Traditional.. Wallden M. Mcguigan M. Champaign IL.. Ohio 6. Super Strength DVD.. Kraemer W. The Reactive Method DVD. Jenson R. Pg 412 Denver Co. National Strength and Conditioning Conference... 3. Wallace B. 16(3) Pp 428-432 5. Science and Practice of Strength Training Pp 120.. and Elastic Band Squats. Minneapolis Min.. 2. Defranco J. Fundamentals of Special Strength Training in Sport. NJ 2006 11.. The effect of Back squat depth on the EMG activity of 4 superficial hip and thigh muscles.