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How does Flywheel training compare with traditional Weight Training?​

With traditional weights, resistance is generated by moving against gravity as when you stand from a squatting position. Flywheel training uses inertial discs to create resistance and the faster you stand up the faster it will pull you back down. This extra force must be controlled and the body uses high-threshold motor units to do this. This recruitment/activation leads to an improvement in coordination and the ability of the body to produce power.

The muscles are stronger in the lengthening or ECCENTRIC phase of motion than the shortening or concentric phase and in many traditional Weight training movements it is difficult to overload the ECCENTRIC phase.

For many years leading strength coaches have known about the value of  ECCENTRIC training  to create activation in certain motor units. They have used various methods like  Super Slow Negative work with assistance on Bench Press

Eccentric vs Concentric

Adding Weight by attaching Weight-releases to the barbell on both Bench Press and Back Squat, Which will Fall off at the Start of the Concentric Phase

Read our latest article on Comparing Traditional Strength Training With Desmotec Isoinertial Training

ECCENTRIC Overloading attempts with Bench Press and Back Squat

Or by using Plyometric Box Drops

Whilst this has been effective it has also been limited. Flywheels devices make this process of  ECCENTRIC OVERLOADING, much easier

The Science

Eccentric Overload(EOL) training is a methodology used to improve sports performance, and it is commonly generated from flywheel devices because it is easiest done this way.

They create more power in less time than other methods of work in a functional way(from 20-60% more than Concentric isometric contraction)

Eccentric contractions exploit greater muscular mechanical efficiency in comparison to concentric contractions because greater levels of force can be produced with less energy.  (Hody et al 2019, Zamparo et al 2015)

Accentuated Eccentric muscle contractions can elicit a few beneficial neuromuscular adaptations: 

  1. Improved motor unit synchronization
  2. Selective Recruitment of Higher -order Motor Units
  3. Greater motor unit discharge rate(Hody et al 2019)

These responses represent key aspects for muscular strength and power development(Douglas et al 2017) and,of course, also in rehab.

1. Effects of Postactivation Potentiation(PAP) after an Eccentric Overload bout on Countermovement Jump and Lower-Limb muscle strength- Marco Beato,Adam Stiff and Giuseppe Coratella
This paper found that Eccentric Overload Training(EOL) was a valid exercise to stimulate PAP. An EOL bout increased the jump height, peak power, impulse and peak force during a CMJ, as well as the quadriceps and hamstrings isokinetic strength in male athletes. Optimal time window for PAP was 3-9 minutes post exercise but also some increments were observed at 1 minute

2. Effect of Volume on Eccentric Overload–Induced Postactivation Potentiation of Jumps Kevin L. de Keijzer, Stuart A. McErlain-Naylor, Antonio Dello Iacono, and Marco Beato
This  paper found that Eccentric Overload  Training(EOL) was most effective with 2 or 3 sets of 6 repetitions with a 2 minute passive rest recover.

Meaningful PAP occurred after 6 minutes rest.

3. The effect of flywheel training on strength and physical capacities in sporting and healthy populations: An umbrella review Kevin L. de KeijzerID1,2, Javier Raya GonzalezID3 , Marco BeatoID1,2*

This paper looked at whether flywheel training was a  valid alternative to traditional resistance training for enhancing muscular strength

It was found that the Eccentric Overload Training(EOL) created a reater magnitude of muscle hypertrophy.

There were small acute improvements in isokinetic concentric and eccentric knee flexor strength. PAP protocols were adapted to enhance rapid and power-based tasks more than strength measurements

Similar strength gains to traditional but larger Power performance

4. Validity and reliability of a flywheel squat test in sport Marco Beato , Adam Fleming , Alexander Coates & Antonio Dello Iacono

Flywheel devices operate as Isoinertial machines as opposed to the common strength training methods implementing isotonic movements.

This paper found that Eccentric mechanical load can not be easily attained during traditional resistance exercises and that Augmented mechanical loads and the associated eccentric contractions are advantageous for enhancing athletic performance. The easiest way to apply this Eccentric Overload training(EOL) is via flywheel devices.

5. -, Dr.Damien Harper

This thesis found absorbing more energy in less time is key to preventing injuries and increasing the performance. This absorbing of energy was best done by improving Eccentric strength and that by Eccentric Overload(Eol) training with Flywheel devices.

(see also our article on Deceleration in sport-

To read the scientific papers:



Paul Gagne(Posturologist and Strength Coach-Ice Hockey)

Found after a bout of squats with the Desmotec D Full that he and his players noticed an  Immediate increase in verticle Jump and a greater activation/power of the legs on the ice.

..and many many more

  • To hear what the experts say about the Desmotec devices

  • To view our devices and why Desmotec Devices

Why Desmotec

  • Engineering
  • Design
  • Load Cells(Force Plates)
  • Safety
  • Large range of Inertial Discs
  • Software
  • Light and portable
  • Exclusive Design Features

Because of the above features it is possible to go as fast as 3 reps per second’

Read our latest Post about Deceleration:

During eccentric contraction the load on the muscle is greater than the force developed by the muscle itself. This increases mechanical tension which forces the muscle to respond. This is  what is termed ECCENTRIC OVERLOAD.

The ECCENTRIC OVERLOAD produces a greater activation in the motor control units( the body’s breaking system) and thus a greater neuromuscular response. Promoting control and stability. These high level ECCENTRIC contractions also produce greater hypertrophy of fast twitch fibres and thus increases the explosive Power of the athlete. As well as increased power there is a body of scientific evidence that states that ECCENTRIC and training is also leading to strength gains.

The flywheel forces the user into continuous work. Concentric to Eccentric to Concentric continuously. Therefore more work occures in a shorter period of time. Sessions are shorter, repetitions fewer.