Kabuki Strength Lab Experiment - Part A: Assessing The Launch Pad's Effect on Bar Speed and CNS/Muscle Potentiation

Recently, The AMM team traveled to The Kabuki Strength Lab in Clackamas, OR to take a deep dive into the science behind The Launch Pad with The Kabuki Strength Team. The group conducts a series of tests and measurements unveiling extraordinary data about the Launch Pad's unique abilities to optimize strength training.

In Part A of the Kabuki Strength Lab experiment, Kabuki Strength’s Head Coach, Kyle Young, teamed up with  Advanced Muscle Mechanics’ Andrew Harvot, the inventor of The Launch Pad, to conduct a series tests using a Vitruve Linear Encoder to measure The Launch Pad’s impact on bar velocity & CNS / muscle potentiation and test the PAP/PAPE theory.

CNS stands for central nervous system, which is responsible for transmitting signals between the brain and the muscles. Muscle potentiation refers to the temporary increase in the force output of a muscle after it has been activated or stimulated. This phenomenon occurs due to various factors, such as increased recruitment of motor units, synchronization of firing, changes in muscle architecture or stiffness, and enhancement of reflexes or feedback. Muscle potentiation can be exploited to boost performance in various physical tasks, such as jumping, sprinting, throwing, or lifting. 

One way to test muscle potentiation is through the post-activation potentiation (PAP) or post-activation performance enhancement (PAPE) protocol. PAP/PAPE involves performing a high-intensity exercise or set of exercises that target the same muscle groups or movement patterns as the subsequent performance task. The theory behind this protocol is that the PAP/PAPE creates a priming effect on the neural and muscular systems, leading to an improvement in force production, speed, or power. The concept of CNS/muscle potentiation and the PAP/PAPE protocol presents a promising but complex field of sports science, requiring additional research; nonetheless, this test showcases The Launch Pad's encouraging potential to enhance PAP/PAPE to aid athletes in safely and efficiently achieving their performance goals.

Kyle and Andrew complete a full warm-up, do three working sets, and work their way up to a triple, for their top set, on The Launch Pad. They then remove The Launch Pad and hit their top sets again.

Kindly take note:  To fully understand the warm-up routine, together with the working sets executed before the top set triples with and without The Launch Pad, please refer to the complete video below entitled, "Kabuki Strength Experiment - Part A: Improving Bar Velocity with The Launch Pad."
This article aims to emphasize the outcome of the experiment.
Once Kyle and Andrew compared the measurements recorded by the linear encoder, the following formula was utilized to calculate the percentage change in bar velocity for each repetition.
Kyle and Andrew both experienced significant improvements in bar velocity. The outcomes are detailed in both the chart and video footage below.

We are still trying to comprehend the level of CNS/Muscle Potentiation achieved from warming up or doing some working sets with The Launch Pad, and then removing it and returning to a regular bench.
Typically, as you progress further into your workout, your strength does not increase. However, if you adhere to the previously outlined protocol, you will undoubtedly feel stronger and more locked in when returning to a standard bench. It can be difficult to comprehend and even more astonishing to experience firsthand, but the results speak for themselves!
We have other experiments lined up and will share additional content on those soon.
The Launch Pad is an invaluable tool for optimizing various aspects of bench press performance. It's the perfect solution for anyone looking to improve their bench press technique, strength, and overall performance.

Get yours today and take your training to the next level!