The Full Speed Device is a training tool that enables specific weak points ( sticking points ) and specific areas of a movement to be overloaded in a targeted manner.
The full speed device consists of two pins that are loaded with discs and attached to a barbell by two loops. When lowering, the weight of the barbell is reduced by the weight loaded on the full speed device at the point where the pins touch the ground. And conversely, at the point where the full speed device leaves the ground, the loaded weight is increased. If a 100kg barbell is loaded on the left and right with 10kg each on the full speed device, the barbell weighs 120kg in the upper position with the full speed device hanging in the air. As well as in the lower position where the full speed device touches the ground 100kg. In contrast to chains and bands, the most common tools in the field of adapted resistance ( engl. Accomodating resistance ), the resistance of the barbell does not change gradually, but selectively.
The Benefits of Accommodating Resistance
Chains and bands were popularized in strength training in the 1990's by Louie Simmons (Westside Barbell, Ohio). Chains and bands influence the resistance curve and ideally adapt it to the strength curve.
Resistance Curve: This curve determines how resistance changes during the concentric phase of the rep. The resistance curve for deadlifts, squats and bench presses is even, the barbell weighs the same on the top one as it does on the bottom one
Strength Curve: This curve determines how the strength level changes during the concentric phase of the repetition. The strength curve can be ascending (squats and bench press), descending (chin-ups), or bell-shaped (standing curls).
Chains are excellent for exercises with an increasing strength curve, such as bench presses, squats, and deadlifts, to alter the resistance curve so that it increases as well.
Example: bench press has an increasing strength curve, which means that you are stronger in the upper part than in the lower part. If you now hang chains that reach to the floor from the two ends of the barbell, the resistance curve changes to an increasing one. The further you lift the barbell, the more links in the chain lift off the floor - the weight gets heavier and the resistance increases. Conversely, the classic use of chains (chains touching the floor) for exercises with a decreasing strength curve such as curls and rows would be counterproductive - the muscles are overloaded over a smaller part of the range of motion, and the training effect thus decreases.
The adapted resistance in the form of chains and bands as well as the Full Speed Device is therefore primarily suitable for exercises with an increasing strength curve.
For example, exercises such as deadlifts, squats, and bench presses with an increasing strength curve are ideal for using matched resistance to match an increasing resistance curve with the increasing strength curve, thereby overloading the movement more. The three primary benefits of this resistance to strength curve fit are:
1. More hypertrophy - through greater recruitment of muscle fiber and therefore greater stimulus to protein synthesis
2. More power gains - through higher tension over a greater range of motion resulting in higher activation of high threshold motor units
3. More acceleration - the increasing resistance increases the intention to accelerate the barbell as much as possible
These three advantages speak for integrating tools such as chains and bands as well as the full speed device into the training to prevent and overcome plateaus.
The difference between chains & bands and the full speed device
Chains and bands gradually overload the resistance. The full speed device selectively. On the one hand, a certain point, which is the primary limiting factor in the movement sequence of an exercise, can be specifically overloaded by adjusting the length of the loops of the Full Speed Device so that the weight lifts off the ground at exactly this point.
So the full speed device can be used for a month in the training program to specifically overload this area. If in the following month in the next training program, the exercise is then performed without a full speed device, this weak point will be gone.
It is also possible to overload a specific range of motion. For example, I often use barbell bench presses with a shoulder-width grip as part of an arm program. Using the full speed device on this exercise and setting it up to primarily overload the upper third, which primarily recruits the triceps, overloads them even more. And thus leads to major adjustments in the development of hypertrophy, strength and acceleration.
A video of the YPSI Full Speed Device training during the 2017 YPSI Invitational-Only Seminar on the 30° LH Incline Press
The Origin of the Full Speed Device
The Full Speed Device was developed about 20 years ago by an American football coach in the American Midwest. His intention was to use a training tool that would improve the linemen's ability to accelerate through abrupt resistance. Similar to a football game where linemen accelerate their own body weight first and as soon as they make contact with the opposing opponent, the resistance increases abruptly. Physically, it is vital for linemen to accelerate through this sudden resistance at full speed to prevent the opponent from going through the line.
The Full Speed Device simulates this effect exactly and is therefore used in this case in particular for squats and bench presses.
In my gym, the YPSI in Stuttgart, I have had a full speed device since 2009 that a colleague from the USA built for me. In recent years I have regularly used the Full Speed Device at seminars. Since there was no manufacturer in Europe or the USA, my recommendation to the trainers was to build it yourself, which turned out to be a hurdle for most of them. In the last 2 years I have tested a number of prototypes with the aim of optimizing the existing version. Together with VA7 we have now developed the most advanced version of the Full Speed Device, which is finally available.
Training programs with the Full Speed Device
Here is a training program with the Full Speed Device for squats:
A1 LH Full Speed Device Squats, 8 sets of 2 to 4 reps, 4010 tempo, 120s rest
A2 Leg curl, lying down, toes in and neutral, 8 sets of 4 to 6 reps, 4010 tempo, 120s rest
Here is a training program with the Full Speed Device for bench press:
A1 LH Bench Press, shoulder-width grip with full speed device, 8 sets of 2 to 4 reps, 4010 tempo, 120s rest
A2 pull-up, supine, shoulder-width grip, 8 sets of 1 to 3 reps, 4010 tempo, 120s rest
Notes on the training plans:
• Gradually increase the weight of each exercise to one heavy set per workout
• Record the weight used for each set in each workout
• Increase the one heavy set per workout by one rep or one level in weight in each workout
• Train the same program twice a week.
• An explanation of A1 A2 dual station training here
• An explanation of Tempo here
Good luck with training with the Full Speed Device!
Picture: The YPSI Full Speed Device in cooperation with VASEVEN and Wolfgang Unsöld.