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Strength coach Bryan Mann talks Velocity Based Training

I’ll refer to Slide 3B average LRV Model from Section 3 to provide additional over-simplistic examples below. This method has been popularized by powerlifting coach Louie Simmons, who recommends using a load between 50-60% percent of your 1RM in lifts such as the squat, deadlift, and bench press while lifting the weight as fast as possible. He recommends only performing about three reps to maintain maximum acceleration (within the correct mean velocity range) during each rep. Being able to identify how many repetitions an athlete has left in the tank allows the coach to adjust the training load and volume in order to target the desired physical quality.

This refers to the velocity ranges for each trait, which I explained earlier and showed in the chart. Now, you may be wondering, “How do I actually measure these velocities in the gym? There’s a bunch out there, and I’ll talk about them in the next section. Typically this can be using velocity as a component in your progression model, or by setting pre-planned velocity targets to inform autogregulation.

For instance, I was collecting data on a football player, and his maximal squat was .19m/s but, we read in previous studies that an athlete is typically moving the bar at .3m/s on maximal squat attempts. Regardless of any guidelines and rules that are determined, there will always be outliers and exceptions to the rule. The key is to realize who the exceptions are and why they are occurring and not to disregard the rules. For example, if you had 80% of the 1RM listed for that day, the actual relative load may be 98%, which would be way too heavy for that day, or it could be as light as 62%.

  1. In reality, each training session is just a single brick within the larger structure that is long term strength and power development.
  2. By using VITRUVE you can know what is best for your athletes and what to do to unlock their maximum potential.
  3. I suggest quantifying volume for a given lift via relative volume (with a potential certain magnitude of intra-set fatigue/VL that exists on a dose-response continuum that remains to be elucidated when relative volume is equated).
  4. You’re still lifting very heavy weight — around 80-90% of your one rep max.
  5. First off, in order to be accurate, you’re going to need to invest in some kind of technology that measures bar speed.
  6. In this article we share – among others – the 1RM mean- and peak velocities of the Snatch, Clean and Jerk.

The e1RM is well-proven to be accurate and consistent, (although not perfect). When implemented well it can be accurate enough to use for progress tracking, gauging readiness or even to inform daily training loads in %BT programming (I call this percentage based training 2.0). If you are using testing for motivation and competition, then no harm.

Technique adjustments under max efforts

The use of velocity will aid in the selection of training load because the 1RM is so variable and the velocity relationship to % of 1RM is stable. Research by Gonzalez-Badillo (3) found a near perfect relationship between percentage of 1RM and the corresponding velocity on the individual’s velocity profile. This means that when the individual tested their 1RM, their velocity at the corresponding percents of 1RM always stays the same. This is essentially because our nervous system is never constant.

The nearer you get to your 1-rep max the slower the bar will move as you use every single last ounce of strength to shift it. Velocity based training  (VBT) is being used more and more nowadays; by everyone from elite strength coaches to personal trainers and serious athletes. As a training system it helps you optimize progress and keep workouts short, sharp and productive. It’s time to take a look at the new science of speed and power strength… velocity based training. Training using purely velocity readings does have some individualized limitations. For example, speed of movement observed by equipment will be skewed in the squat exercise in athletes with different length femurs and muscle tendon attachments.

Olympic lifts (OL) combine strength, power and neuromuscular coordination in a way that transfers to explosive athletic activities, such as vertical jump performance. They are one of the most common exercises used in velocity based training. In this article we share – among others – the 1RM mean- and peak velocities of the Snatch, Clean and Jerk. So whilst the concept is not new, the common practice of using this method is. This form of training typically uses technology such as linear position transducers (e.g. GymAware device), laser optic devices (e.g. FLEX), and wearable accelerometers (e.g. PUSH Band) to measure movement velocity during an exercise (e.g., back squat).

Without velocity tracking coaches would ask athletes how the set or session is feeling, and how much intent they think they are putting into the bar. Velocity lets us calibrate these subjective feelings with actual data. The final trait is vbt chart starting-strength, which is also a commonly misunderstood concept. Starting-strength is not developed with deadlifts, Anderson squats, bottom up, or bench press. These are actually building absolute strength in a solely concentric manner.

So why is velocity based training important?

I have not discovered why exactly, but I’d wager it has something to do with the engagement of the stretch-reflex. The GymAware unit should be placed close to the athlete, in line with the toes, with the tether attached inside the bar sleeve. Check out our best rated testosterone boosters to increase energy, muscle, strength and libido. Let’s be right – we all like a bit of science when we train as it makes us feel like real athletes. Your body ONLY adapts to the stimulus it’s provided with (this is one of the reasons why cycling on a recumbent bike for 5 minutes won’t make your arms grow for example). Your strength isn’t increasing as much as you expected and your physique is lagging, even though you’re giving it your all.


Strength-speed and speed-strength, have been confused and misunderstood over the years. Bosco’s original continuum had them merged in a non-quantifiable % of 1RM zone due to the overlap and variation between different people. Cody graduated from Montclair State University with a bachelor’s degree in exercise science. He also attended Willamette University, where he was captain of the golf team for two years. After graduating, he competed in Olympic weightlifting for two years.

Based on the velocity loading parameters from session to session, over the course of the 16 training days, subjects progressed from about 70% of their 1rm to 85% of their 1rm. For each of the 3 sets, they performed as many reps as they could until the rep velocity for that set dropped by either 20% or 40% depending on which group they were in. When performing a bench press, for example, it is vital that the athlete attempts to move the barbell as quickly as possible during the concentric phase. The highest mean propulsive velocity recorded during each load should then be used to compute the load-velocity profile (17).

Practical Guidelines for Velocity-Based Training

And while the GymAware is relatively small, the Tendo Unit is far from compact. Both of these units make the most sense for coaches who will be using them to train athletes. Training speed-strength usually involves lifting around 25-45% of your one rep max for anywhere between 3-8 reps. The maximum force you can produce in a single voluntary effect without a time limit, so the maximum amount of weight you can lift in one rep.