This blog post is a part of a series where we summarise the current literature on anything health, fitness and well-being related. These are research articles that can give you a better insight into different ways that you can train your clients to get better results - faster. Be sure to sign up to our weekly newsletter to get the latest exclusive contents and offers.
This paper began with the introduction of various training methods. With percentage-based training (PBT) being one of the most recognised. This involves the use of a submaximal load based on the individual's 1-repetition max (1RM). Though this method allows for great manipulation throughout an individual's periodised programme, it could present some real-world limitations. For instance, the individual's level of fatigue, effort or commitment could directly impact their performance to complete the session as prescribed. Other methods are also used in conjunction with PBT to adapt the programme where needed. The rate of perceived exertion (RPE) is widely used as it is a minimal and quick method at gauging the level of fatigue experienced by the client. However, RPE can limit the trainer's ability to design an effective programme for an athlete if they monitor fatigue with a subjective metric. Other methods must be included to assist in programme progression and design.
Velocity-based training (VBT) involves the measurement of maximal concentric velocity (MCV) and its relationship with the loads prescribed. Typically, it involves the placement of a device on the equipment that the individual is performing the exercise. The load-velocity profile (LVP) is based on the movement velocity, load and intent to move it, which can be utilised to predict a client's absolute and relative 1RM. LVPs are reliable across repeated visits and measures with trained athletes; however, limited research has been conducted with regards to its use for adjusting training loads in a periodised programme.
The authors of this paper intended to discover the effects of VBT on strength and power adaptations with trained males against traditional PBT. The rationale of such research will give practitioners a further insight into this area where they could implement such findings to assist their decision to use VBT.
Both groups experienced significant improvement in strength for BS, BP, OP and CD. However, there was no significant group x time interaction effect observed for the BS, OP and CD. VBT significantly improved BP and CMJ than PBT. Interestingly, VBT performed significantly less volume than PBT for the BS, BP and OP.
In short, this study indicated that both VBT and PBT can improve performance over a 6-week intervention for trained males. However, VBT performed less volume than PBT. Implications can be made that VBT is more effective and efficient than PBT - requiring less time and possibly inducing less fatigue. VBT also improved power and other exercises that PBT did not.
The use of velocity-based training in a trained male population with the use of MCV, velocity zones and stops to alter the training load can induce better performance and efficiency. Using MCV provides greater control over the prescribed loads and the level of fatigue experienced without the need for multiple RM protocols.
The tests were performed within an hour session before and after the intervention. This can produce inaccurate results as sequential maximal testing could alter subsequent performance in each RM protocol.
Dorrell, H., Smith, M., and Gee, T. (2019). Comparison of Velocity-Based and Traditional Percentage-Based Loading Methods on Maximal Strength and Power Adaptations. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 34(1), pp. 46-53.