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Int J Sports Med. 2010 May;31(5):347-52. doi: 10.1055/s-0030-1248333. Epub 2010 Feb 23.

Movement velocity as a measure of loading intensity in resistance training.

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Pablo de Olavide University, Faculty of Sport, Seville, Spain.


This study examined the possibility of using movement velocity as an indicator of relative load in the bench press (BP) exercise. One hundred and twenty strength-trained males performed a test (T1) with increasing loads for the individual determination of the one-repetition maximum (1RM) and full load-velocity profile. Fifty-six subjects performed the test on a second occasion (T2) following 6 weeks of training. A very close relationship between mean propulsive velocity (MPV) and load (%1RM) was observed (R (2)=0.98). Mean velocity attained with 1RM was 0.16+/-0.04 m x s(-1) and was found to influence the MPV attained with each %1RM. Despite a mean increase of 9.3% in 1RM from T1 to T2, MPV for each %1RM remained stable. Stability in the load-velocity relationship was also confirmed regardless of individual relative strength. These results confirm an inextricable relationship between relative load and MPV in the BP that makes it possible to: 1) evaluate maximal strength without the need to perform a 1RM test, or test of maximum number of repetitions to failure (XRM); 2) determine the %1RM that is being used as soon as the first repetition with any given load is performed; 3) prescribe and monitor training load according to velocity, instead of percentages of 1RM or XRM.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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