This study examined the effects of slow-speed resistance training involving concentric (CON, n = 10) versus eccentric (ECC, n = 11) single-joint muscle contractions on contractile rate of force development (RFD) and neuromuscular activity (EMG), and its maintenance through detraining. Isokinetic knee extension training was performed 3 x week(-1) for 10 weeks. Maximal isometric strength (+11.2%) and RFD (measured from 0-30/50/100/200 ms, respectively; +10.5%-20.5%) increased after 10 weeks (P < 0.01-0.05); however, there was no effect of training mode. Peak EMG amplitude and rate of EMG rise were not significantly altered with training or detraining. Subjects with below-median normalized RFD (RFD/MVC) at 0 weeks significantly increased RFD after 5- and 10-weeks training, which was associated with increased neuromuscular activity. Subjects who maintained their higher RFD after detraining also exhibited higher activity at detraining. Thus, only subjects with a lesser ability to rapidly attain their maximum force before training improved RFD with slow-speed resistance exercise.