If you have read the last two parts of about N-gas resistance it is becoming more and more apparent that the resistance characteristics hold the keys to the physical adaption characteristics. The concept of linking training velocities/resistance and the physics of force production are reflective of how talent, skill, and ability can be manipulated is not well understood. So by further investigation, this next part is going to put more of the picture together. The removal of mass from the resistance device allowed the user to actually duplicate velocities of the actual sports event (throw, kick, swing) and do it safely when training. This is change in physics equated in changing the velocity without changing input forces and the resistance of the mechanism. This is due to the difference in resistance and how a weight captures/returns muscular forces and how an n-gas spring captures/returns muscular forces. When it comes to sports and the specific training for them, it has been demonstrated that power and speed are more important than strength. This can be observed in motor sports and the parallel is that a lighter vehicle is faster than a heavier one. To make a vehicle go faster, handle better, and increase overall performance, reducing weight is a better solution than increasing the size of the engine.
Much of what was discussed in the previous parts of this article have mostly been about the differences in physics of gas pressure force and weight resistance force. Not only a distinction in how they are different, but how the training can be "tuned" to create different effects as a result of these differences. There is a relationship for sure. To recap this, we can further understand that changes in velocity change inertia, momentum, centrifugal, and centripetal forces that are attached to weights, but not so much with gas pressure. It should be fully understood by now that weights have certain characteristics and limitations that create safety requirements and performance effects. And N-gas resistance force also has unique characteristics of the N-gas spring that create safety and performance effects too. Not only is mass greatly reduced allowing velocity capabilities, but there is something also special about a gas spring in the way it compresses and extends to capture and return force. And this is going to directly influence how a muscle contracts, the increased benefits of that contraction, and the side effects of contractions.
First, let's back up a bit and examine how a n-gas spring works. Basically it works by trapping compressed nitrogen gas in a tube and then trying to slide-compress a shaft that has a seal around it into that tube. The nitrogen gas does not want the shaft to go into the tube, so it "repels" the shaft and wants to push it out. So what we have is a shaft that can move in and out, but is being constantly pushed the "out" direction. "Outside" pressure verses "inside" pressure of the tube has a "spring" effect on the shaft. If the compression force acted upon the shaft is greater than the nitrogen gas pressure inside the tube, the shaft slides in. If the compression force is reduced lower than the gas pressure inside the tube, the shaft moves out, or extends. This "sliding" is called stroke, and it is the amount of shaft travel either in or out based on pressure differences. The TITAN 1000 uses a 12 inch shaft stroke gas spring. Fully extended the gas spring can compress 12 inches. Now comes some of the interesting features of the forces from the gas spring.
The gas springs (NITROSHOX are what we call them) on the TITAN 1000 have a "force" measurements along this stroke. As you saw in the first part of this article you will see that the compression stroke is MORE than the extension stroke. In Part 1, one of the major points of interest was how velocity of these compression and extension stroke phases could be altered by velocity and that inertia, momentum, and other related force characteristics were not changed.
What wasn't discussed until now is you will also see that during compression stroke the force required along that stroke will increase. This is due to the shaft taking up space inside the tube as it enters and the volume inside getting smaller which increases the gas pressure (Boyle's Law). So, the TITAN 1000 uses a gas spring that "starts" compression from a fully extended position and requires 250 pounds of pressure to make it move into the tube. As it moves into the tube the volume is reduced and the pressure goes up creating the gradual rise in compression force. By the time the shaft is almost fully pushed into the tube the pressure has risen and 300 pounds of force is needed to fully compress it. Pertaining to the contraction of the muscle, this would be during the concentric phase and this would give a feeling that the "weight" were increasing.
The force is increasing during the concentric phase ROM and the natural impulse is to recruit more muscle fibers to complete the full ROM. If an adequate amount of force is selected, the N-gas pressure resistance of the TITAN 1000 will do several important things.
-One, it will create a condition of a 100% contraction force before the concentric end of ROM. This is good. Isn't that the goal? 100% contraction force generation for maximum recruitment of ALL fibers. With weights, this is sometimes only observed during 1 or 2 reps and then failure to complete any other repetitions. With N-gas used on the TITAN 1000 it does not matter if you fail during a rep since the ROM is controlled by the machine. So basically no injury will result from failure. During bench press, squats, or over head presses this is a problem with weights. Remember, we are trying to reach failure with 100% certainty and do it safely. With weights, this is a gamble sometimes.
-Two, as the force increases during the compression stroke/concentric contraction ROM, we will try to speed up the motion to get it done before we run out of muscular energy. Since there is no inertia from the gas pressure at the start, this naturally occurs. Since there is no stored energy in the form of momentum to finish the rep, we actively apply more force and speed at the end of the ROM. We learn that it is an advantage to contract with MORE speed all the way through the ROM, and can actually do it. This is a very desirable effect in learning fast sport specific motions. Learning contraction speed through a ROM is very hard with weights. With n-gas, it naturally happens.
-Three, the compression of the n-gas spring is the concentric phase of the muscle contraction and has MORE muscle fiber recruitment leading to more lactate production. This has implications that are not immediately observed, but it has been demonstrated in studies and research. It points to the fact that lactate (lactic acid) is what stimulates higher levels of Hgh and testosterone. And higher levels of both of these are a good thing for all kinds of reasons. Among them are increased anabolic effects on all tissues, fat burning, and telomerase activation. More muscle, less fat, and live longer might get your attention. The ANTI-AGING/YOUTH REGENERATION TRAINING WITH THE TITAN 1000 article is a more in-depth discussion on this.
- Four, when it comes to functional mobility and motor skills the predominant type of contraction is concentric. Yes, isometric and eccentric contractions are important, but if you look at movement, it is initiated with concentric contractions and by a much higher margin. So why not accentuate the coordination