Velocity-based training is also a great way to measure fatigue during a set. The closer the set is to failure, the greater the velocity loss. Applying velocity loss thresholds can limit the amount of fatigue-induced in a training cycle and control training volume, depending on the training goal.
WHAT IS VELOCITY BASED TRAINING, AND CAN IT INCREASE STRENGTH AND MUSCLE GAINS SUMMARY
- · Velocity Based Training minimizes fatigue during the set while exerting maximal effort.
- · Velocity Based Training effectively increases strength and enhances peak power output.
UPDATE 4/18/2022: VELOCITY BASED PERIODIZATION: WHICH IS THE MOST EFFECTIVE WAY TO TRAIN?
Researchers wanted to determine the effects of different periodization plans and velocity-based training. Researchers studied the impacts of various periodization plans using velocity-based training. Subjects were assigned to the following:
- Linear programming (intensity increased while intraset volume decreased),
- Undulating programming (intensity and intraset volume were varied in each session or set of sessions),
- Reverse programming (intensity decreased while intraset volume increased), or constant programming (intensity and
- Intraset volume kept constant throughout the training plan).
The 4 models used the same frequency (2 sessions per week), number of sets (3 per exercise), interset recoveries (4 min), and average intensity throughout the intervention (77.5%). The velocity-based method was used to adjust the planned intensity for each model accurately.
The linear, undulating, reverse and constant programming models are similarly effective in improving strength and athletic performance when implemented in a real-context routine.
When considering the effect sizes for the 5 exercises trained, they observed that the undulating programming and constant programming (models induced the highest and lowest strength enhancements, respectively).
4/28: GREATER VELOCITY LOSS IS BETTER FOR MUSCLE GROWTH AND WORSE FOR STRENGTH GAINS.
Velocity loss is the percentage of decrement that occurs over a set. It tracks the bar velocity over a set. A velocity loss of 40% results in more repetitions being performed than a 20% velocity loss. As fatigue sets in, the bar moves slower, and a greater velocity loss occurs.
Velocity Based Training Meta Analysis
A recent meta-analysis compared velocity loss <25% (i.e., training further away from failure) to velocity loss >25% (i.e., training closer to failure). The studies’ review found that those with greater velocity loss (>25% velocity loss) and trained closer to failure had greater muscle gains but less strength gains.
Conversely, those that trained with a lesser velocity loss (<25% velocity loss) had greater strength gains but less muscle growth. The greater fatigue and metabolic stress associated with training with reps closer to failure have been suggested to be a contributing factor to muscle growth.
Those training with a greater velocity loss also performs more repetitions than those with a lower velocity loss. The author suggested that the higher volume associated with greater velocity loss could drive muscle hypertrophy rather than fatigue.
Lower fatigue with lower velocity loss is suggested to provide favorable neuromuscular adaptations to promote strength gains. Training at velocity loss thresholds of 0–25% and lowering fatigue enables the utilization of higher percentages of 1RM more frequently to train the high-force component of the force-velocity profile for 1RM strength adaptations. (15)
If you are trying to get stronger, the research suggests lifting and lowering the weight slightly faster than normal resistance exercise. By using high-velocity momentum during lifts, athletes can improve their power production by using explosive movements with high tension.
Plyometrics are great for developing explosive power because it incorporates teaching your nervous system to fire faster. Lifting a heavy load at high speed facilitates the recruitment of high-threshold motor units.
Davies et al. performed a meta-analysis of 15 studies. They found studies in which subjects lifted quickly (1-second concentric and 1-second eccentric) gained greater strength than moderate to slow repetition speed.
If you have watched Olympic lifters train, it’s amazing how fast they perform the clean, jerk, and snatch. They do all their exercises explosively!
One of the most exciting technologies to be utilized by strength coaches for improving performance is velocity based training devices and barbell velocity trackers. These devices use velocity tracking, which allows a user to see how fast the barbell was lifted in real-time. They can try to lift the barbell more quickly and gauge their performance.
USING VELOCITY BASED TRAINING (VBT TRAINING) FOR MORE EXPLOSIVE POWER
Velocity-based training has emerged as a practical alternative to resistance training intensity (% of an RM). Velocity-based training provides velocity ranges to base the workout around rather than maximally loading the bar with weights.
The disadvantage of a %- based training program is that as you get stronger, you are not using the true, accurate % of a 1-RM. For example, if you perform a squat program and complete 5 reps at 80% of your 1-RM with ease, your 1-RM strength has increased, and you are no longer using a true 80% of a 1-RM. Additionally, people have different levels of effort training with the same relative training load, indicating high variability among subjects.
For example, a runner with high type I fibers will have less difficulty performing 20 reps in the squat than a powerlifter with more type II fibers. Another disadvantage of a % RM is daily fluctuations in strength due to sleep loss, emotional stress, skipping meals, etc.
BAR SPEED TRACKER FOR MEASURING VELOCITY
Velocity-based training improves power because a maximal effort is required for all reps. Therefore, much of the strength gains result from increased access to high-threshold muscle fibers. Some recognize that providing feedback to athletes (e.g., lift the bar more explosively) as they train can enhance velocity and power outputs by up to 10%.
Velocity-based training is also a great way to measure fatigue during a set. The closer the set is to failure, the greater the velocity loss. Applying velocity loss thresholds can limit the amount of fatigue induced in a training cycle and control training volume, depending on the training goal.
It has been found that there is a correlation between velocity loss, lactate (linear relationship), and ammonia concentration, meaning the greater the velocity loss, the greater the fatigue and metabolic response.
A recent meta-analysis of velocity loss concluded that applying velocity loss of 10-20% can reduce fatigue and help induce neuromuscular adaptations. Velocity zones can elicit positive changes in body composition and improve performance parameters.
USING A VELOCITY TRACKER FOR WORKOUT PROGRESS
Feedback on velocity during training motivates athletes to achieve better results and keeps them accountable for their performance. They can see how much velocity was generated with each lift in real time. A recent study compared velocity-based training to traditional resistance training and found that the velocity-based training group had improved maximal strength and jump height, despite using a lower total workload.
It should be mentioned that a meta-analysis of velocity-based training in six different studies found that both % based training (i.e., % 1RM) and velocity-based training were equally effective for increasing strength, jump performance, linear spring, and change of direction.
Velocity-based training increases strength in the squat, bench press, pull-ups, and overhead press. Furthermore, training at high levels of muscle failure is unnecessary to achieve optimal results with velocity-based training.