Document Type


Date of Degree

Spring 2011

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In

Physical Rehabilitation Science

First Advisor

Yack, H John

First Committee Member

Bilodeau, Martin

Second Committee Member

Burns, Trudy L

Third Committee Member

Maluf, Katrina S

Fourth Committee Member

Nielsen, David H


The global intent of this research was to confirm the validity of the interpolated twitch technique (ITT) to voluntary torque model (first study) and then to utilize this technique in developing definitive criterion measures enhancing the study of training strategies on central fatigue (second study) and velocity specific (third study) voluntary activation (VA) and force production outcomes.

The first study assessed the contribution of non-stimulated synergists to the non-linearity of the ITT voluntary torque relationship for elbow flexion contraction. Since multiple synergist stimulation was found not to significantly improve the ITT to voluntary torque relationship, follow-up pilot work was conducted in which the quadriceps femoris was identified as a valid ITT test model muscle.

The first training study investigated the effects of high volume, maximum voluntary isometric contraction (MVIC) resistance training of the quadriceps femoris on MVIC levels of force and VA prior to, during, and recovery from a standardized fatigue test protocol. Results showed significant increases in pre-fatigue MVIC VA and force, increases in resistance to early fatigue, but also increased overall rate of fatigue resulting in non-significant changes in total force volume and endurance time. Post-fatigue analysis showed significant training increases in rate and level of recovery for both MVIC VA and force production.

The second training study investigated the effects of high resistance ramp versus ballistic type MVIC strength training of the quadriceps femoris on central adaptations in submaximal and maximal levels of MVIC VA and force production. Results showed similar ramp and ballistic group training increases in MVIC force and VA on both ramp and ballistic tests. Ballistic group, ballistic test change scores were significant but not for the ramp test, suggesting ballistic group test-training specificity. The ballistic group showed significant force increases on the submaximal 150ms ballistic test, while the ramp group showed non-significant training changes, further supporting test-training specificity for the ballistic group.

Results support utility of the ITT and provide valuable information with regard to training and test-training specificity considerations.


Ballistic Muscle Contraction, Central Fatigue, Interpolated Twitch Technique, Quadriceps femoris, Resistance Training, Voluntary Activation


xiv, 162 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 152-162).


Copyright 2011 David Monte Williams