Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 10

Part 3: Practical Examples

An Essential Guide To Velocity Based Training

by Dr. Dan Baker
3. Practical examples of how to use
velocity data to improve coaching &
3a. Using changes in velocity to gauge and monitor changes in strength

As mentioned above, one of the great values of measuring and

monitoring velocity is it allows the coach and athlete to gauge whether
strength changes have occurred without having to regularly test strength.

This does not mean a strength test should not be done as measuring a
spectrum of regularly used training loads as the athlete works up to a
Maximum Effort strength test of either 1, 3 or 5-RM allows the coach to gain
information linking velocity scores to absolute weight lifted. Changes in
velocity scores with these regular training weights would signify a change in

In Table 11 below, we can see the velocity scores for athletes for
different athletes in different exercises. However, even though only four
relatively heavy loads are shown, the velocity scores for other resistances
can be deduced from the fact that a linear relationship exists between
velocity and resistance when those points are close. For example, the strong
bench presser exhibits a decline of 0.05 m/s for every 10 kg increase in
resistance ~ we could assume his velocity with 145 kg would be around 0.37
m/s, even though this resistance was not directly tested. Similarly, for the
squat athlete we could assume a velocity score of ~ 0.45 m/s if he trained
with 160 kg. For the athlete performing pull-ups, we could assume that if he
was to perform sets of three reps with +20kg, his best velocity score would
be ~ 0.54 m/s.

Therefore any changes of around ~ 0.04 m/s from

these best velocity scores with resistances > 70-80%
1RM would indicate a change in strength of around 2-
3% 1RM.

Similarly, Figure 1 graphically depicts the changes in average velocity

while squatting 160 kg (~ 80% 1RM) on 35 different occasions across one-
year in an advanced athlete. The mean velocity of all these occasions was
0.50 m/s, with a variation of 0.05 m/s ~ typically this meant the athletes
strength varied from a 1RM of 195 to 205 kg across this time (+ 2.5% 1RM).
It can be clearly seen that the early part of the year was the build up of
maximal strength and the rest of the year was more related to trying to

An Essential Guide to VBT by Dan Baker

Page 1
maintain strength.

Table 11. A simple work up to maximum effort test allows the coach and
athlete to gain knowledge of velocity scores with not just the resistances
tested, but due to the linear relationship between velocity and resistance, also
knowledge of what velocities would be expected with resistances close to
those actually tested.

Athlete 1. 140 kg 150 kg 160 kg 170 kg

Bench Press 82.5% 88.0% 94.0% 100%
0.39 0.34 0.29 0.24
Athlete 2. 130 kg 150 kg 170 kg 185 kg
Squat 70% 81.0% 89.0% 100%
0.62 0.51 0.38 0.23
Athlete 3. 72 kg (BWT) 87 kg 97 kg 107 kg
Pull-up 67% (+15) (+25) (+35)
(1RM = BWT + 0.86 81% 90% 100%
extra wt) 0.63 0.45 0.23

Figure 1. This graph depicts the average velocity while squatting 160 kg
on 37 different occasions across one-year.

An Essential Guide to VBT by Dan Baker

Page 2
3b. Using knowledge of the Maximum Effort velocity to gauge Effort of
each set and use the RPE system for powerlifting and advanced
strength training.

A key reason for using velocity scores is that they reinforce the Effort
(RPE) system, especially in advanced trainers. What this means is that any
maximum effort (RPE of 10) set has the same final rep velocity. So the
velocity of a 1RM or the third rep of a 3RM or the 5th rep of a 5RM all have
about the same velocity. If an athlete knows their ME velocity, they can
make prudent decisions after each set about whether to add or subtract
resistance to the bar or continue training, if their training is aligned to certain
RPE scores. Figure 2 shows a 1RM bench press test with an velocity of 0.19
m/s and after a 3-minute rest a test of maximum effort for reps was done
with 85% 1RM. The sixth rep had a similar score of 0.17 m/s. So for this
athlete, any bench press set that finishes with a final rep velocity of ~ < 0.20
m/s will be an RPE of 10. Scores on the final rep of ~ 0.25 m/s and 0.32 m/s
will likely be perceived as RPE 9 and 8 respectively, and so on.

Figure 2. The maximum effort (ME) velocity for strength exercises tends to
be the same ~ the 1RM velocity is the same as the sixth rep of a 6RM.

An Essential Guide to VBT by Dan Baker

Page 3
3c. Using knowledge of velocity to determine the appropriate training
weight, sets and reps in VBT training

It was shown in the Spanish studies that while higher repetition sets
that are closer to fatigue or have a higher velocity decline may be a quicker
route to hypertrophy and gaining muscle size, this may also not be the best
route for true power athletes like shot-putters, pitchers and so on because of
the possibility of fiber type changes or conversions. In Table 12 below, we
can see a comparison of 3 x 10 @ 75% 1RM compared to 6 x 5 @ 75% 1RM
performed by the same athlete in the same training week in the same total
training time, for comparison purposes. Note that the VBT training entailed
the athlete lifting 22 out of 30 reps > 0.40 m/s and with an average of 0.41
m/s per rep across the 30 total reps. However, FBT had no reps out of 29 >
0.40 m/s and an average velocity @ 0.28 m/s per rep for the 29 completed

Please note, this does not mean higher rep sets should not be
performed, but we should be aware of the consequences. For many
athletes, the quicker route to hypertrophy is acceptable or preferable, but for
some pure power athletes, the higher velocity route may prove better in the
long run.

Table 12. Comparing “fatigue based training” (FBT) to Velocity Based

Training (VBT). The same weight and total reps were used and completed in
the same total time period with the same training week.

Set 1 Set 2 Set 2

Fatigue- Highest rep = 0.39 m/s Highest rep = 0.34 m/s Highest rep = 0.34 m/s
based Lowest rep = 0.24 m/s Lowest rep = 0.22 m/s Lowest rep = 0.18 m/s
3x10@7 Set average = 0.30 m/s Set average = 0.28 m/s Set average = 0.26
5% m/s
* Only 9-reps
Velocity Set 1 Set 2 Set 3
-based Highest rep = 0.43 m/s Highest rep = 0.44 m/s Highest rep = 0.45 m/s
6x5@75 Lowest rep = 0.40 m/s Lowest rep = 0.41 m/s Lowest rep = 0.38 m/s
% Set average = 0.41 m/s Set average = 0.42 m/s Set average = 0.42
Set 4 Set 5 Set 6
Highest rep = 0.44 m/s Highest rep = 0.46 m/s Highest rep = 0.44 m/s
Lowest rep = 0.37 m/s Lowest rep = 0.34 m/s Lowest rep = 0.36 m/s
Set average = 0.41 m/s Set average = 0.41 m/s Set average = 0.40

An Essential Guide to VBT by Dan Baker

Page 4
3d. Using knowledge of velocity to improve dynamic effort or power

Table 13 below depicts some very general guidelines for some key
dynamic effort/power exercises like pressing, squatting and power cleans,
for both Peak and Average velocity. However, athletes and coaches do not
need to be constrained by the number depicted. For example, some elite
high jump athletes, whose height and innate explosiveness affords them the
ability to generate higher peak velocities than many other athletes, often
perform power cleans with as heavy a resistance that they can while still
attaining Peak velocities of either 2.0 m/s or 2.2 m/s (General preparation or
Peaking phases).

So while general guidelines do exist, the athletes and coaches now

have the options of exploring a wider range of training resistances and
finding velocities that they associate with success or “peaking”

Table 13. General guidelines for some key dynamic effort/power exercises
for both Peak (PV) and Average (AV) velocity in m/s.

Training Exercise type Velocity ranges

objective (eg)

Lower body Jumps BWT jumps = PV > 3.0 m/s (> 3.5-4.0+ is
Ballistic explosive)
& = AV > 1.4 m/s
Maximal Jump squats
Power 10-45% 1RM = PV 1.8 - 2.8 m/s
= AV 1.0 - 1.4 m/s
Lower body Squats with 50-60+%+B/C = PV 1.10 -1.50 m/s
Explosive bands/chains = AV 0.7- 1.0 m/s
Strength Power clean 60-90% 1RM = PV 1.30 – >1.90 m/s
= AV 1.00 – 1.40 m/s
Upper body Medicine ball eg. 5kg = PV > 3.5 m/s
Ballistic & throws
Maximal Bench press 15-45% 1RM = PV 1.3 - >2.2 m/s
Power throws = AV 1.0 – 1.8 m/s
Upper body Bench press 45-65%+B/C = PV 1.00 - >1.25 m/s
Explosive with = AV 0.75 - 1.0 m/s
Speed- bands/chains
Strength 60-90% = PV 1.30 - 1.90 m/s
Push press = AV 0.75 - 1.2 m/s

An Essential Guide to VBT by Dan Baker

Page 5
3e. Using knowledge of velocity to make athletes accountable for their
effort and performance in the gym

One of the best things about measuring and monitoring velocity

scores during resistance training is the fact that it affects the amount of
volitional effort applied in each set, as the athletes become accountable for
their velocity scores. This may be especially so for exercises that the athlete
does not like or where they may “go through the motions”. Below is an
example where an athlete performs a set of Romanian Deadlifts (RDL’s) but
the coach is not overly happy with the effort the athlete applied and tells
them so. In the second set, the athlete responds with a set that is 10%
higher in velocity. They have been called into account and have responded.

Table 14. The change in velocity scores between sets of RDL’s when an
athlete applies more volitional effort.

RDL Rep #1 #2 #3 #4 #5 #6 #7 #8 Set

Set #1 0.56 0.53 0.56 0.54 0.56 0.54 0.51 0.45 0.53
Set #2 0.65 0.68 0.64 0.58 0.54 0.56 0.60 0.52 0.59

3f. Using knowledge of velocity to improve the provision of coaching

cues to athletes to improve their technique

In the example below, an athlete is performing push press behind the

head, but the coach notices that the athletes technique is deteriorating
across the first three reps ~ after the third rep, the coach tells the athlete the
corrective cue, which the athlete immediately implements. There is a sudden
and large change in average velocity for the fourth to sixth reps. This change
in velocity, which is shown to the athlete after the set, helps to reinforce the
importance of the corrective action that the coach provided them.

In an another example depicted in Figure 3, the athlete is performing

explosive strength-speed squats with 50% 1RM + an extra 15% 1RM in
band resistance, with a goal of attaining an average velocity of ~ 0.70 m/s
every set. However, on the second rep, the coach notices the athlete is not
pushing back on the bar enough and is getting pushed forward when coming
out of the bottom of the squat. The coach quickly provides the corrective
cue of “Push back on the bar” which the athlete knows means to push back
on the bar when coming out of the bottom of the squat to reinforce a rigid
trunk for effective force transmission. The result is that the velocity increases
from a poor score of < 0.60 m/s to 0.75 m/s and again reinforces to the
athlete the importance of the corrective action for them to attain technical

An Essential Guide to VBT by Dan Baker

Page 6
Table 15. Change in velocity scores during push press once the corrective
cue was provided to an athlete whose technique was deteriorating.

Rep #1 #2 #3 #4 #5 #6

Mean Velocity 0.92 0.88 0.81 0.99 0.98 0.99

Figure 3. Change in velocity during dynamic effort squats, from below 0.60
m/s to 0.75 m/s once the athlete was told by the coach to “push back on the
bar” when coming out of the bottom of the squat.


This updated PUSH guide has attempted to reduce the science to a

bare minimum and provide more applied examples of how to use your PUSH
band to measure and monitor velocity scores during resistance training. You
can ask further questions on the PUSH Huddle Facebook page.

An Essential Guide to VBT by Dan Baker

Page 7
The majority of the references for this manuscript are contained in the
original guide, therefore this list will only contain more recent references or
references highly relevant to the above paper.

Glassbrook et al. The high-bar and low-bar back-squats: A biomechanical

analysis Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 2017 (published
ahead of print)

Gonzales-Badillo et al. Short-term Recovery Following Resistance Exercise

Leading or not to Failure. Int. J Sports Med. 37(4):295-304. 2016.

Helms et al. RPE and Velocity Relationships for the Back Squat, Bench
Press, and Deadlift in Powerlifters. Journal of Strength and Conditioning
Research. 31(2): 292-297. 2017.

James et al. The Neuromuscular Qualities of Higher and Lower-Level Mixed

Martial Arts Competitors. International Journal of Sports Physiology and
Performance. 2016. Published ahead of print.

Mitchell et al. Variable Changes in Body Composition, Strength and Lower-

Body Power During an International Rugby Sevens Season. Journal of
Strength and Conditioning Research. 30(4): 1127-1136. 2016.

Pallares et al. Imposing a pause between the eccentric and concentric

phases increases the reliability of isoinertial strength assessments . Journal
of Sport Sciences. 32:1165-1175. 2014.

Pallares et al. Effects of velocity loss during resistance training on athletic

performance, strength gains and muscle adaptations. Scand J Med Sci
Sports. March. 2016.

Sanchez-Medina et al. Velocity- and power-load relationships of the bench

pull vs. bench press exercises. Int J Sports Med. 35. 209–216. 2014.

Sanchez-Medina et al. Velocity loss as an indicator of neuromuscular fatigue

during resistance training. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 43:1725–1734. 2011.

Zoudos et al. Novel resistance training-specific RPE scale measuring

repetitions in reserve. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.
30(2): 267–275 2016. 

An Essential Guide to VBT by Dan Baker

Page 8