Learn about Velocity Based Training and how it can aid in precision within a training cycle. This guide covers what VBT is, why we use it,...
RepOne's In-Depth Guide to Velocity Based Training Methodology
- Force Velocity Curve
- Velocity Targets
- Minimum Velocity Threshold/v1RM
- RPE Targets
- Speed Targets
- Neuromuscular Fatigue
- Passive VBT
- Force-Velocity Curve
Target velocity will shift based on the goal. For example, a powerlifter will typically aim for the lower speeds or maximal strength end of this force-velocity curve (figure 2)(Weakley et al., 2021). However, basketball or football athletes might dance around the curve, ranging from maximal strength to speed (Table 2). This also shifts maximal strength capability and a subsequent shift in velocities presented at different intensities.
- Progressive overload is key in an effective training program. Therefore, incrementally decreasing velocity targets can be a great way to generate progress.
For example, let's say you have a goal squat set of 5 repetitions with a velocity target of 0.55 - 0.65 m/s for the day. Furthermore, in the following microcycle, one can decrease the velocity range target to 0.45 - 0.55 m/s to progress the difficulty of the squat.
This takes the guesswork of loading out of the equation and allows you to just focus on execution and trusting your RepOne sensor.
Velocity stop can be a more dynamic method of capping the training volume based on fatigue accumulation within a set. Velocity stop occurs when the decrease of velocity results in the cessation of a set. A downside to velocity stop is the unpredictable session volume and hypertrophic effects of the rep range.
Implementing velocity-stop protocols can prevent an athlete from overshooting within a session.
Velocity loss is utilized to aim for specific energy systems when training:
- Hypertrophy/Maximal Effort
- Higher velocity loss can lead to greater hypertrophic or a muscle-building effect.
- Speed/Submaximal Effort
- Lower velocity loss percentages will yield less fatigue and higher reps in the tank.
Velocity loss also allows for dynamic load adjustments to account for daily readiness. This means that we can adjust loads based on recovery state since your velocity loss per rep will increase with decreased recovery.
Minimum Velocity Threshold/v1RM
Minimum velocity threshold or V1RM is the speed at which a 1 repetition max (1RM) will move. Knowledge of the speed in which a 1RM moves can be a valuable insight into whether or not you are in proximity to failure during a typical training day.
Depending on the exercise and type of athlete you are, whether you are a powerlifter, Olympic, or sports athlete, your training age, morphology, etc., the V1RM will vary.
Load Velocity Profile
Create a load-velocity profile (LVP):
We made a personalized load-velocity profile builder that will help you estimate the velocity of bench presses and squats that should correspond with the projected RPE for a given rep count.
RepOne Building Context Whitepaper - Velocity Calibration Table Generator
For further depth and implementation of VBT we also wrote a paper that contains existing data and corresponding velocity values, as well as how to effectively build a VBT protocol.
Calculate e1RM daily
A limitation of training is that maximal effort within a training program cannot be tested often within a cycle. The maximal ability for an exercise fluctuates between sessions and can be estimated with the use of a VBT device.
The RepOne Sensor is designed to help estimate daily 1RM and this can be useful in trending progression, calculating training intensity, and allowing for the flexibility of each set.
Base % backoffs on decreasing velocity targets
Extending from the calculated 1RM that is generated from the RepOne Personal app, you can determine the % zones in which you are working. Different from traditional percentage-based training, % velocity is a more flexible framework when compared to the percentage lifted.
Since fatigue and maximal effort fluctuate each day, an estimated 1RM due to the velocity of the lift will correspond with one’s readiness to perform. Percentage-based training will only utilize the number that is tested in a maximal effort session, while VBT can increase the daily precision of what maximal effort might look like.
We can use this to leverage the zone in which we are performing our backoffs with. This ensures that we are not under or overshooting our backoffs with the goal of maintaining explosiveness and technical prowess.
As previously mentioned, recovery and ability to perform are moving targets, and autoregulating intensity and volume with the implementation of VBT can help maximize the effectiveness of a training program.
Between sessions, data can be accumulated on velocity values that are associated with reported RPE. This approach can individualize the velocity measure, exercise, and RPE that is matched with the person.
Aggregating velocity data between sessions and building a set of rolling averages can be great data to reference for daily readiness. In the past, many methods have been utilized to assess daily readiness or accumulated neuromuscular fatigue such as grip, vertical jump heights, readiness questionnaires, heart-rate variability, etc.
Velocity can be implemented to demonstrate objective values in decreased performance resulting in overtraining or increased readiness. This data can be used to pivot towards a deload or taper or an impromptu maximal effort session fueled by exceptional velocity values that indicate increased readiness.
Velocity For Competition
Velocity based training has fuelled the competitive atmosphere in collegiate weight rooms. Existing research has demonstrated how valuable intent is in the expression of strength and velocity.
Intent increases with competition and the immediate feedback that VBT produces can be valuable for building effective culture and competition between friends and teammates alike.