Velocity training

Discussion in 'Barbell' started by Simply strong, Nov 30, 2019.

  1. Simply strong

    Simply strong Double-Digit Post Count

    Has anyone used this form of training long term? What were your findings?

    Using Velocity to Autoregulate May Increase Strength Gains • Stronger by Science

    Basically you auto regulate your training by doing each rep with maximum velocity. You stop when bar velocity slows down. This means when your stronger you lift more and lift less when tired. Results in the study found 50% better results than percentage based training.

    How would this compare to cycling?
  2. ClaudeR

    ClaudeR Triple-Digit Post Count

    I cannot comment about the barbell bit, but this is one of the core SF kettlebell ballistics rules, stop when you are about to slow down!

    I guess this could easily be a general principle (i.e. I am not surprised it applies to barbell also).
    Bauer likes this.
  3. LukeV

    LukeV More than 300 posts

    when training multiple sets I terminate each set after the rep where form breaks down, usually signalled by a brief pause, to summon extra effort, before the concentric phase. Bar speed on that rep is slower although I have not attempted to measure it. I don't have any data but terminating the set at that point, where form breaks and bar speed slows, has delivered satisfactory strength and hypertrophy gains
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2019
    Bauer likes this.
  4. Simply strong

    Simply strong Double-Digit Post Count

    Yes when training swings and snatches I do this also. Though the study seems to imply that you should choose your weight for the day based on bar speed which I’ve never done.
  5. Timo Keskitalo

    Timo Keskitalo Triple-Digit Post Count

    I'm curious how are you going to measure that your 1st bench rep lasted .71 seconds, and your 5th rep lasts .89 seconds it's time to call quits? Assuming 0,5m lift. I had to calculate many times to maybe have the times right, starting from 0,7m/s speed.

    Was the reference method of progressive overload the best alternative for comparison?

    I've understood that optimal bar speed depends on intensity. That there's at least explosive strength, speed strength, strength speed, max strength. All on different bar speed. If you base your training on your gut feeling you may be training too light, or too hard?

    I've understood that increasing speed increases kinetic energy, that will require more strength. Thus maximum weight can be lifted when your lift lasts the maximum time that maximum force can be exerted. Which is around 4 seconds. How will you train that if you stop training when bar speed slows down?

    Speed can be used to get past your worst leverages though. Will going for every rep at max strength for max speed overtrain your ...system in the long run?

    But then again. Isn't that exactly how you should be training anyway? As a personal experience; has the lack of training partner lead to lack of using max effort on each rep [group pressure], lack of identifying when you are training just the right amount [observing bar speed]. Can you manage what's planned, or are you on a joyride?

    Having a training partner gives you an easy analysing tool of your progress. Regardless of program?

    Off-topic? Sorry. I have no experience of the method.
  6. Simply strong

    Simply strong Double-Digit Post Count

    This is essentially why I wanted to know if anyone had used the method long term.

    A while ago I trained push ups for max reps in 60s. When testing I could really feel there was a point where reps slowed down. It was almost like night and day. I wonder if this is is the same on bar lifts?
  7. More than 500 posts

    Velocity Training

    Many of the individual on this site employ Velocity Training into their program. Velocity Training often is referred to as Power Training.

    Anecdotal and research data have demonstrated employing Velocity/Power Training is one component that enhances Limit Strength, 1 Repetition Max.

    The Foundation of Velocity/Power

    The foundation of Velocity/Power is Limit Strength. The stronger you are the more force, greater your Velocity/Power production; providing you training program is well written.


    I assume this means, "Too long, didn't read". If so,...

    1) It wasn't long.

    2) "No one every got dumbber by reading a book (research article) Cosgrove


    This should be applied to any program your follow.

    Essentially, if on a training day, you strong, push it a little more. If you strength is lagging, back off.

    Stop When Velocity/Power Drops

    Velocity/Power is developed with explosive movements.

    Once Velocity/Power drops, you are no longer training it. Continuing the movement means you have shifted the exercise from a Velocity/Power Movement to another component of Strength Training. That is reason you stop.

    Confusing Statement

    I am not sure what you mean by this.

    Muscle fatigue decreases Velocity/Power and Limits Strength.

    One of the downside of muscle fatigue is it alters you technique in a movement; not for the better.

    Increasing Limit Strength with Velocity/Power Training

    Any type of Strength Training initially increase Limits Strength to some degree.

    Limits Strength Training initially increases Velocity/Power to some degree, as well.

    However, at some point, a program that includes both Velocity/Power and Limits Strength Training will elicit a greater training effect than solely focusing on one modality of Strength Training.

    Conjugate Training

    Anecdotal and research data have demonstrated that combining different type of strength training into one's program, elicits a greater training effect, providing on how the program is written and performed.

    Periodization Training

    It works for everyone.

    One of the keys to making progress is a Periodization Training Cycle.

    It's no different from life; a time to work, play and rest.

    Long Term Use Conjugate Training

    I've incorporated Velocity/Power Training along with Limit Strength Training into my Conjugate Training Program for years because it works.

    Kenny Croxdale
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2019
    ShawnM likes this.
  8. Antti

    Antti More than 2500 posts

    I do not have a device that would give me real time data to terminate a set based on. I have done this by feel and to me there is some value in it in some circumstances. I feel like terminating the set with decent bar speed makes me stay more fresh. Quite obvious, really.

    I have some times had a look at the bar speed after a set. Record a video, run it through some software, etc. It appears that the "feel" is mostly right.

    But I'm not sure I would want to do maximal velocity on all of my training. I prefer the idea of constant acceleration. In a sense, the exercise is different if it's done with maximal velocity instead of maximal force.
  9. Philippe Geoffrion

    Philippe Geoffrion More than 500 posts

    Chad Waterbury is a big proponent of such training. The theory is based off of motor recruitment. When one lifts with max velocity in mind, high threshold motor units are called upon to complete the task. These HTMU are reserved for completing short but extremely intense tasks, lifting a car off a baby for the baddest MU’s while lower threshold MU are responsible for more mundane tasks, say, typing.
    A speed drop off can be an indicator of a lack of HTMU recruitment, and as these have the most potential for absolute strength development, it is not ideal for your smaller weaker ones to be left up to the task.
    One can type all day (LTMU) but one can’t deadlift a max everyday (Bob Peoples...HTMU) but since I’m deadlifting heavy everyday, my LTMU will start taking over.

    Long term heavy lifting synchronized the MU activation (Pavel, Beyond Bodybuilding). Not ideal as your LTMU are being called upon to do what the HTMU should be doing. This is where things go south. Motor control and force production become weaker when this boundary is overstepped for too long.

    As far as speed goes in powerlifting, tension is still necessary but the INTENT to move the weight as fast as possible, while not losing the required tension to stabilize the weight, is more important than the actual speed the weight moves, as a heavy weight will always move slower than a lighter weight, all factors being equal. After all, powerlifting is not truly a POWER sport like Olympic lifting or jumping or throwing in Track and field.
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2019
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  10. Antti

    Antti More than 2500 posts

    Isn't motor unit synchronization one of the goals of training? With maximal weights all motor units are recruited. It's the better the better they work together.
  11. More than 500 posts

    Power Factor

    I have the Power Factor device that provides some feed back on Power Output. It was inexpensive.

    It attached to the bar a measure Concentric Power Output.

    It's like a cheap weight scale. The accuracy isn't going to be as good the more expensive lab devices that measure Power Output.

    However, like a cheap weight scale, it provide a plus/minus Watts of Power Output.

    Speed Training Jumps Squats

    Speed Training is developed with load of 10 - 40% of a 1 Repetition Max, with around 30% being the sweet spot.

    In using the Power Factor for Speed Training Jump Squats, my optimal Watt Power Output was obtained with 27% with a plus/minus of the reading.

    By Feel

    I agree. When you are performing a Speed or Power Movement, you develop a feel for each.

    From training with other and observing them, you learn what Speed or Power look like to a certain degree.

    It's Like Driving A Car

    When coming to a Stop light when driving a car, you don't have devices that determine how much pressure to apply to the bakes based on your speed or how much pressure you need to apply to the brake at certain distances.

    Over time, you get a "Feel" when to start braking and how much pressure to apply to the brakes to stop at the Stop Light.

    Compensatory Acceleration

    More Muscle Fiber are innervated, worked and developed when an effort is made to explosive drive the weight up. That applies to heavy load as well as light to moderate loads.

    Research (McBride) the importance of the "Intent" to explosive drive heavy load; developing strength by engaging more muscle fiber. McBride's research supporting Hatfield's Compensatory Acceleration Training Principle.

    McBride: ...A heavy squat, even when performed in an explosive manner "is an insufficient stimulus for improvements in muscle power…" Source: "The Squat: To Be Explosive, Train Explosive"

    Maximal Velocity/Power With Moderate and Light Loads

    Being explosive with moderate loads (Power Training) and light load (Speed Training) is vital for engaging more muscle fiber; working, training and developing them.

    However, research (that I have previously posted) show with with moderate and light load only a small partial range of the movement is trained and developed.

    A great percentage of the movement is devoted to putting on the brakes and slowing the movement down, which is counter productive.

    Accommodating Resistance

    Attaching Bands and/or Chain to a Ascending Strength Curve Exercise allows you to maintain maintain velocity though a greater range of the movement, rather braking/slowing down the velocity of the movement.

    Thus, Accommodating Resistance Training is a vital necessary in the development of Speed and Power for athletes, Geared as wells as Raw Powerlifters, and in Hypertrophy Training.

    Kenny Croxdale
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2019
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  12. Anna C

    Anna C More than 5000 posts Elite Certified Instructor

    And chains do look really cool... ;)

    I have never tried chains or bands with barbell training... maybe I should give it a go. You make a good case for it.
 likes this.
  13. More than 500 posts

    Accommodating Resistance

    A couple of points...

    1) It allows you to maximize your Power Output with Power and Speed Training; develop it through a greater range of the movement in Traditional Strength Training Exercises like Squats, Bench Press, Leg Press, Deadlift, etc

    2) It allows you to overload the muscles in though a greater range of motion in Limits Strength and Hypertrophy Training.

    In all exercises only one-third of the movement overloads the muscles. The remaining two-thirds of the movement underloads the muscles. Underloading provide a training effect but not as much as Overloading them does.

    Muscle fibers that are not trained are not developed.

    Chains, Bands and Bungees

    1) Chains: You an usually pick them up at some place that caters to heavy construction. I purchased mine from IMSCO (Industrial Mine Supply Company). You can get some fairly heavy chains for a reasonable price from companies that cater to heavy construction.

    Chains are over priced by most fitness companies and the cost of shipping is high.

    Secondly, most fitness companies sell them with special Olympic Bar Collars that drive up the price and aren't worth it.

    It better to get smaller chain to loop around the larger chain. That allows you to vary the length of the chain, as you like based on your height and where you want to increase the loading in the movement.

    It also allows you to place them on the inside of the Olympic Bar, then load the plate behind them.

    The chain sold by fitness companies with the collar involve loading the plates first, then putting the chains on last, behind the plates.

    This is a real pain. Constantly having to take the chain of off to increase the weight on the bar , then them back on.

    Attaching the smaller chains to the larger chains allows your varying the resistance with the chain length. It elicits a slightly different training response. Another topic for another time.

    2) Bands: You can purchase them anywhere. I use and recommend the smaller and medium strength bands.

    The resistance and be increased by wrapping the band around the bar two or three time more.

    You can also Reverse Load the Bands. Attach them to the top of a Power Rack, then increase the bar weight.

    3) Bungees: This work the same as the Band. I purchased them years ago from Mike Berry/Strength Systems. Mike passed away year ago. The company is no longer around.

    Berry had a special Bench Press Bungee Set Up. You hook a strap to the based of the Bench Press. You attached the Bungees to the anchor and then to a Daisy Chain that is attached to the bar. The Daisy Chain has three loops that allows you to increase the tension or decrease the tension based on close or farther the Bungee is attached to the bar.

    Picture below


    Base Bench Press Daisy Chains
    C.A.M.P. USA Daisy Chain Twist | REI Co-op

    REI or a store that caters to climbers has these Daisy Chain that will probably work for the base.

    Bar Bench Press Daisy Chains
    Daisy chain loops for pulling, chins, lifts -

    These IronMind Daisy Chains/Loops are wrapped around the bar, allowing you to hook the Bungees to them.


    Available everywhere.

    Research Report

    The research and anecdotal make the case for employing them in some part of your training as a way of optimizing Speed, Power, Limits Strength and Hypertrophy Training.

    Why perform an exercise that only overloads the muscles in one-third of the movement when you can overload it in close to 100% of the movement?

    More is definitely better in this case.

    Kenny Croxdale
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2019
    Anna C likes this.
  14. william bad butt

    william bad butt More than 300 posts

    I like using reverse bands for squats to get used to heavier weights. I used to also use reverse bands on my bench and chains for the deadlift in order to get accustomed to heavier weights. However, I've found that if I use them close to my meet they actually work against me (reinforce being "less explosive") and negatively impact my raw bench/deadlift.
  15. Antti

    Antti More than 2500 posts

    Why would I want to develop more strength through a greater range of motion?

    I want to develop more strength at my sticking point.

    All strength development comes with an opportunity cost. I want to spend my training capacity where it matters.
  16. Timo Keskitalo

    Timo Keskitalo Triple-Digit Post Count

    Because strength training isn't about sticking point. It's about recruiting the biggest number of muscle cells to co-operate during the whole lift.

    If you train your sticking point, you'll just shift it to another place.

    Nevertless, I plan to apply "half squats" at some point. I think it helped me.
  17. Philippe Geoffrion

    Philippe Geoffrion More than 500 posts

    yes, in truth if you recruit your HTMU, you’re recruiting all the ones smaller than them as well. Henneman size principle. So it makes sense that if you recruit the largest, you’re using all available to you.
    In this case of synchronization, Pavel is reffering to the firing synchronization of motor units, which usually take turns firing like in running, one leg fires then the other. Smooth and rhythmic. When they synchronize, in the sense that they fire simultaneously as opposed to firing alternately, motor control is lost, and movements become jerky like broad jumping. You can do MAYBE 3 broad jumps with max intent before they begin to deteriorate, form wise or distance wise. Long term heavy lifting puts you in that “deteriorated form” state. In this case, heavy means when form breaks down. Just training shy of where form breaks, rep speed plummets or range of motion is intentionally cut to continue a set, will keep you clear of such a state, which we call “Overtrained”. Varying the exercises, reducing volume or cycling the load are ways to continue training if you unintentionally arrive there. But I think it’s safe to say since the nervous system controls our muscle movements and force production, toner training exists there, not necessarily in a specific muscle tissue.
  18. Antti

    Antti More than 2500 posts

    Yes, when the fast/big units fatigue, the slower ones try to take over, and it's not pretty, especially if they've never been close to the task. And they fatigue quickly. I agree with the periodization.

    I checked the article in BB and I'm not sure I understood all of it. I wonder if becoming the so called elephant is unavoidable for the powerlifter.
    Philippe Geoffrion likes this.
  19. Antti

    Antti More than 2500 posts

    I'll quote Zatsiorsky & Kramer: "There is no need for athletes to train maximal strength over the full range of motion if the maximal force is required only in only a small part of the range." Why would I wish to overload the last 20% of a squat, for example? When will I ever miss a squat there? Still, training that part will have an effect on my overall fatigue.

    Strength training is all about identifying one's weaknesses and getting stronger and more balanced.
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