The Inter-Session Reliability of Isometric Force-Time Variables and the Effects of Filtering and Starting Force

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Gavin L. Moir, Aaron Getz, Shala E. Davis, Mario Marques, Chad A. Witmer

The purposes of the present study were to assess the inter-session reliability of force-time variables recorded during isometric back squats and also to assess the effects of applying a filter to the data prior to analysis and assess the effects of different starting force thresholds on the force-time variables. Eleven resistance trained men (age: 22.5 ± 1.9 years; body mass: 90.3 ± 13.5 kg) attended two sessions where they performed isometric squats on force plates allowing the determination of force-time variables of maximal isometric force (Fmax) and different measures of the rate of force development (RFD). The force-time variables were calculated from both raw and filtered force signals. The start of the force application was determined using force thresholds of 1% or 5% of body mass (BM). Inter-session reliability for the force-time measures was assessed by calculating the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) and the coefficient of variation (CV) of the measures. The ICC and CV ranged from 0.03 to 0.96 and 4.6 to 168%, respectively. The application of the filter significantly reduced Fmax and peak RFD (p < 0.004) and increased the reliability of the peak RFD. The use of the 5% BM threshold increased the magnitude of many of the RFD measures (p < 0.004) and resulted in slight improvements in the reliability of these measures although the resulting temporal shift in the force-time signal would preclude accurate assessment of the early phase of the RFD (< 100 ms). The use of a 1% BM starting force threshold without a filter is recommended when using the isometric back squat protocol presented here. Furthermore, the RFD calculated within specific time intervals is recommended.
DOI: 10.2478/hukin-2018-0049
Key words
isometric back squat, isometric force, rate of force development, reliability

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