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Abstract

Aim: To analyze the effects of two resistance training (RT) programs that used the same relative loading but different repetition volume, using the velocity loss during the set as the independent variable: 15% (VL15) vs. 30% (VL30). Methods: Sixteen professional soccer players with RT experience (age 23.8 ± 3.5 years, body mass 75.5 ± 8.6 kg) were randomly assigned to two groups: VL15 (n = 8) or VL30 (n = 8) that followed a 6-week (18 sessions) velocity-based squat training program. Repetition velocity was monitored in all sessions. Assessments performed before (Pre) and after training (Post) included: estimated one-repetition maximum (1RM) and change in average mean propulsive velocity (AMPV) against absolute loads common to Pre and Post tests; countermovement jump (CMJ); 30-m sprint (T30); and Yo-yo intermittent recovery test (YYIRT). Null-hypothesis significance testing and magnitude-based inference statistical analyses were performed. Results: VL15 obtained greater gains in CMJ height than VL30 (P < 0.05), with no significant differences between groups for the remaining variables. VL15 showed a likely/possibly positive effect on 1RM (91/9/0%), AMPV (73/25/2%) and CMJ (87/12/1%), whereas VL30 showed possibly/unclear positive effects on 1RM (65/33/2%) and AMPV (46/36/18%) and possibly negative effects on CMJ (4/38/57%). The effects on T30 performance were unclear/unlikely for both groups, whereas both groups showed most likely/likely positive effects on YYIRT. Conclusions: A velocity-based RT program characterized by a low degree of fatigue (15% velocity loss in each set) is effective to induce improvements in neuromuscular performance in professional soccer players with previous RT experience.
Effects of Velocity Loss During Resistance Training on Performance in Professional Soccer Players
by Pareja-Blanco F, Sánchez-Medina L, Suárez-Arrones L, González-Badillo JJ
International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
© 2016 Human Kinetics, Inc.
Note. This article will be published in a forthcoming issue of the
International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance. The
article appears here in its accepted, peer-reviewed form, as it was
provided by the submitting author. It has not been copyedited,
proofread, or formatted by the publisher.
Section: Original Investigation
Article Title: Effects of Velocity Loss During Resistance Training on Performance in
Professional Soccer Players
Authors: Fernando Pareja-Blanco, Luis Sánchez-Medina, Luis Suárez-Arrones, and Juan
José González-Badillo
Affiliations: Faculty of Sport, Pablo de Olavide University, Seville, Spain.
Journal: International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
Acceptance Date: August 1, 2016
©2016 Human Kinetics, Inc.
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1123/ijspp.2016-0170
Effects of Velocity Loss During Resistance Training on Performance in Professional Soccer Players
by Pareja-Blanco F, Sánchez-Medina L, Suárez-Arrones L, González-Badillo JJ
International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
© 2016 Human Kinetics, Inc.
EFFECTS OF VELOCITY LOSS DURING RESISTANCE TRAINING ON
PERFORMANCE IN PROFESSIONAL SOCCER PLAYERS
Fernando Pareja-Blanco
Luis Sánchez-Medina
Luis Suárez-Arrones
Juan José González-Badillo
Type of article: ORIGINAL INVESTIGATION
Contact author: Fernando Pareja-Blanco
Facultad del Deporte, Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Ctra. de Utrera, km 1, 41013 Seville,
SPAIN
Tel + 34 653 121 522, Fax: +34 954 348 659, email: fparbla@gmail.com
Preferred running-head: VELOCITY LOSS AS A RESISTANCE TRAINING
VARIABLE
Word count for abstract: 250
Word count for main text: 3922
Tables: 2
Figures: 3
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Effects of Velocity Loss During Resistance Training on Performance in Professional Soccer Players
by Pareja-Blanco F, Sánchez-Medina L, Suárez-Arrones L, González-Badillo JJ
International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
© 2016 Human Kinetics, Inc.
Abstract
Aim: To analyze the effects of two resistance training (RT) programs that used the same
relative loading but different repetition volume, using the velocity loss during the set as the
independent variable: 15% (VL15) vs. 30% (VL30). Methods: Sixteen professional soccer
players with RT experience (age 23.8 ± 3.5 years, body mass 75.5 ± 8.6 kg) were randomly
assigned to two groups: VL15 (n = 8) or VL30 (n = 8) that followed a 6-week (18 sessions)
velocity-based squat training program. Repetition velocity was monitored in all sessions.
Assessments performed before (Pre) and after training (Post) included: estimated one-
repetition maximum (1RM) and change in average mean propulsive velocity (AMPV) against
absolute loads common to Pre and Post tests; countermovement jump (CMJ); 30-m sprint
(T30); and Yo-yo intermittent recovery test (YYIRT). Null-hypothesis significance testing
and magnitude-based inference statistical analyses were performed. Results: VL15 obtained
greater gains in CMJ height than VL30 (P < 0.05), with no significant differences between
groups for the remaining variables. VL15 showed a likely/possibly positive effect on 1RM
(91/9/0%), AMPV (73/25/2%) and CMJ (87/12/1%), whereas VL30 showed possibly/unclear
positive effects on 1RM (65/33/2%) and AMPV (46/36/18%) and possibly negative effects on
CMJ (4/38/57%). The effects on T30 performance were unclear/unlikely for both groups,
whereas both groups showed most likely/likely positive effects on YYIRT. Conclusions: A
velocity-based RT program characterized by a low degree of fatigue (15% velocity loss in
each set) is effective to induce improvements in neuromuscular performance in professional
soccer players with previous RT experience.
Keywords: velocity-based resistance training, full squat, velocity specificity, athletic
performance, training volume, strength training
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Effects of Velocity Loss During Resistance Training on Performance in Professional Soccer Players
by Pareja-Blanco F, Sánchez-Medina L, Suárez-Arrones L, González-Badillo JJ
International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
© 2016 Human Kinetics, Inc.
Introduction
One of the main problems faced by strength and conditioning coaches is the issue of
how to objectively quantify and monitor the actual training load undertaken by athletes in
order to maximize performance.1 There exist different methods to prescribe and monitor
exercise intensity during resistance training (RT). Traditionally, the one-repetition maximum
(1RM) has been considered the main reference to prescribe training directed towards
developing strength and power abilities. However, during a RT program, athletes experience
daily variations in neuromuscular performance and training readiness, and the actual 1RM
values for a given subject and exercise may change from one training session to the next.
Therefore, and since the current 1RM may not correspond with that measured on previous
days or weeks, it cannot be ensured that the loads (%1RM) being used on each particular
training session truly represent the intended ones. Another commonly used method is to
prescribe loads from a test of maximum number of repetitions (nRM). This method implies
that training sets are conducted to muscle failure, an approach which might not be optimal for
some athletes.2 Recently, velocity-based RT has been introduced. According to this novel
approach, the training load for each session is set to match a given %1RM, which has its
corresponding mean concentric velocity.1 A pioneering study1 analyzed the relationship
between %1RM and mean propulsive velocity in the bench press. The extremely close
relationship observed between %1RM and bar velocity (R² = 0.98) makes it possible to
determine with considerable precision which %1RM is being used as soon as the first
repetition of a set is performed with maximal voluntary velocity. Additional research has
analyzed the load-velocity relationship in other exercises (prone bench pull, half-squat, squat,
and leg press).3-6 All these studies have found strong relationships between loading
magnitude and bar velocity, which allows the estimation of the 1RM value in each training
session with a reasonable degree of accuracy.1,3-6 A very important practical application of
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Effects of Velocity Loss During Resistance Training on Performance in Professional Soccer Players
by Pareja-Blanco F, Sánchez-Medina L, Suárez-Arrones L, González-Badillo JJ
International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
© 2016 Human Kinetics, Inc.
this methodology is the possibility of monitoring, in real-time, the actual load (%1RM) being
used by measuring repetition velocity during training.1,3-6 Even more important is the fact that
strength and conditioning coaches can observe the changes in strength that occur during the
course of a training program, without the need to perform the often demanding, time-
consuming and interfering 1RM assessments every few training sessions.1 Interestingly, the
predictive power of these equations (R² = 0.96-0.98) seems independent of the training
background and the athletes’ strength levels.1,4 Therefore, monitoring repetition velocity
during training would allow to determine whether the proposed load (kg) truly represents the
%1RM that was intended for each training session.
During RT in isoinertial conditions, and assuming every repetition is performed at
maximal voluntary velocity, an unintentional decrease in force, velocity and hence power
output is observed as fatigue develops and the number of repetitions approaches failure.7-8 It
has been shown that monitoring repetition velocity is a practical and non-invasive way to
estimate the acute metabolic stress, hormonal response, muscle damage, autonomic
cardiovascular response and mechanical fatigue induced by RT.8,9,11 Thus, the repetition
velocity loss experienced during each resistance set may serve as an objective indicator to
monitor the actual degree of fatigue. A recent study10 has compared the effects of two squat
training programs that only differed in the magnitude of repetition velocity loss allowed in
each set: 20% vs. 40%. It was found that while a 40% velocity loss (which led to muscle
failure in 56% of the training sets) could maximize the hypertrophic response, it also resulted
in a fast-to-slow shift in muscle phenotype, whereas a velocity loss of 20% resulted in similar
or even superior strength gains, especially in high-velocity actions such as the vertical jump.
Furthermore, it has been observed that reductions in the ability to rapidly apply force up to 48
h following resistance exercise to failure can negatively interfere with other components of
physical training.9,11
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Effects of Velocity Loss During Resistance Training on Performance in Professional Soccer Players
by Pareja-Blanco F, Sánchez-Medina L, Suárez-Arrones L, González-Badillo JJ
International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
© 2016 Human Kinetics, Inc.
In light of these considerations, instead of performing a fixed number of repetitions
with a certain amount of weight, the velocity-based RT approach proposes to prescribe
training in terms of two variables8: 1) first (usually fastest) repetition’s mean velocity, which
is intrinsically related to loading magnitude;1,3 and 2) the maximum percentage of velocity
loss allowed in each set. Therefore, the aim of this study was to analyze the effects of two RT
programs with the same loading magnitude but different volume, using the velocity loss
during each set as the independent variable, defined as either 15% (VL15) or 30% (VL30).
Methods
Subjects
Twenty highly trained male soccer players (age 23.8 ± 3.4 yr, height 1.74 ± 0.07 m,
body mass 75.5 ± 8.6 kg) from a professional soccer club volunteered to participate in this
study. Typical in-season weekly training for this team included: specific soccer training (5
sessions), physical conditioning (3-4 sessions, of which 2 were strength training) and
competitive play (1 game per week), totaling approximately 16 h per week on average. All
subjects had RT experience and were accustomed to performing the full squat (SQ) exercise
with correct technique. Subjects were randomly assigned to one of two groups, which
differed only in the magnitude of repetition velocity loss allowed in each training set: 15%
(VL15; n = 10) or 30% (VL30; n = 10). Only those players who complied with at least 85%
of all training sessions were included in the statistical analyses. Due to injury or illness, four
players missed too many training sessions or were absent from the post testing session. Thus,
of the 20 initially enrolled players, sixteen players remained for statistical analyses (VL15, n
= 8; VL30, n = 8). Once informed about the purpose, testing procedures and potential risks of
the investigation, all subjects gave their voluntary written consent to participate. The present
investigation was approved by the Research Ethics Committee of Pablo de Olavide
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Effects of Velocity Loss During Resistance Training on Performance in Professional Soccer Players
by Pareja-Blanco F, Sánchez-Medina L, Suárez-Arrones L, González-Badillo JJ
International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
© 2016 Human Kinetics, Inc.
University, and was conducted in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki. None of the
subjects was taking drugs, medications or dietary supplements.
Experimental design
Subjects trained three times per week (48-72 h apart) over a 6-week period for a total
of 18 sessions. A progressive RT program which comprised only the SQ exercise was used
(Table 1). The two groups trained at the same relative loading magnitude (%1RM) in each
session but differed in the maximum percent velocity loss reached in each exercise set (15%
vs. 30%). As soon as the corresponding target velocity loss limit was exceeded, the set was
terminated. Sessions were performed in a research laboratory under the direct supervision of
the investigators, at the same time of day (±1 h) for each subject and under controlled
environmental conditions (20ºC and 65% humidity). In addition, players performed their
normal training routine for the duration of the present investigation. Both VL15 and VL30
groups were assessed on two occasions: before (Pre) and after (Post) the 6-week training
intervention. Both Pre and Post testing took place in two sessions separated by 48 h. The first
session comprised the sprinting, jumping and squat loading tests (performed in that order,
interspersed with a 5 min pause, and described later in detail). The Yo-Yo Intermittent
Recovery Test (YYIRT) was performed on the second session.
Testing procedures
Sprint and vertical jump tests
Vertical jump and sprint running ability were assessed as indicators of explosive force
production and lower limb whole muscle dynamic performance. Players performed two
maximal, 30 m indoor sprints, with a 3-min rest between sprints. A standing start with the
lead-off foot placed 1 m behind the first timing gate was used. Sprint times were measured
using photocells (Polifemo Radio Light, Microgate, Bolzano, Italy). The shortest time to
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Effects of Velocity Loss During Resistance Training on Performance in Professional Soccer Players
by Pareja-Blanco F, Sánchez-Medina L, Suárez-Arrones L, González-Badillo JJ
International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
© 2016 Human Kinetics, Inc.
cover 30 m (T30) was recorded. Five maximal countermovement jumps (CMJ) with 90° of
knee flexion were performed, with 20 s rests between each jump. CMJ height was registered,
the highest and lowest values were discarded, and the resulting average kept for analysis.
Jump height was determined using an infrared timing system (Optojump, Microgate,
Bolzano, Italy). The same standardized warm-up protocol which incorporated several sets of
progressively faster 30 m running accelerations and some practice jumps was conducted at
Pre and Post tests. Test-retest reliability measured by the coefficient of variation (CV) were
0.8% and 3.1% for T30 and CMJ, respectively. The intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs)
were 0.98 (95% confidence interval, CI: 0.95-0.99) for T30, and 0.98 (95% CI: 0.96-0.99) for
CMJ.
Isoinertial squat loading test
A Smith machine (Multipower Fitness Line, Peroga, Murcia, Spain) was used for the
isoinertial progressive loading test. The players performed the SQ from an upright position,
descending at a controlled velocity (~0.50-0.70 m·s-1) until the top of the thighs were below
the horizontal plane, then immediately reversed motion and ascended back to the upright
position at maximal intended velocity. Initial load was set at 20 kg and was progressively
increased in 10 kg increments until the attained mean propulsive velocity (MPV) was ~1.00
m·s-1 (range: 0.961.04 m·s-1).12 This resulted in a total of 6.4 ± 1.2 increasing loads
performed by each subject. The subjects performed 3 repetitions with each load. The inter-set
recovery time was 3 min. Warm-up consisted of 5 min of joint mobilization exercises,
followed by two sets of six repetitions (3 min rest between sets) with a 10 kg load. An
identical warm-up and progression of absolute loads for each subject was used in the Pre and
Post tests. Strong verbal encouragement was provided to motivate participants to give a
maximal effort. All velocity measures reported in this study correspond to the mean velocity
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Effects of Velocity Loss During Resistance Training on Performance in Professional Soccer Players
by Pareja-Blanco F, Sánchez-Medina L, Suárez-Arrones L, González-Badillo JJ
International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
© 2016 Human Kinetics, Inc.
of the propulsive phase of each repetition; i.e. the mean propulsive velocity (MPV). The
propulsive phase was defined as that fraction of the concentric phase during which barbell
acceleration was greater than the acceleration due to gravity.13 Only the best repetition at
each load, according to the criterion of fastest MPV, was considered for subsequent analysis.
The following variables derived from this progressive loading test were used for analysis: a)
estimated 1RM value, which was calculated from the MPV attained against the heaviest load
of the test, as follows: %1RM = -2.185 · MPV2 - 61.53 · MPV + 122.5 (R2 = 0.96; SEE =
5.5% 1RM),14 and b) average MPV attained against all absolute loads common to Pre and
Post tests (AMPV). Since the change in movement velocity against the same absolute load is
directly dependent on the force applied, an increase in repetition velocity is an indicator of
strength improvement.1 Thus, the AMPV value was used in an attempt to analyze the extent
to which the two training interventions (VL15 vs. VL30) affected the SQ load-velocity
relationship10,15. A linear velocity transducer (T-Force System, Ergotech, Murcia, Spain) was
used to measure bar velocity. Instantaneous velocity was sampled at 1,000 Hz and smoothed
using a 4th order low-pass Butterworth filter with no phase shift and 10 Hz cut-off frequency.
The system’s software automatically calculated the relevant kinematics of every repetition,
provided auditory and visual velocity feedback in real-time and stored data on disk for
analysis. Mean relative error in the velocity measurements for this system was found to be
<0.25%, whereas displacement was accurate to 0.5 mm. When simultaneously performing 30
repetitions with two devices (range: 0.3-2.3 m·s-1 mean velocity), an ICC of 1.00 (95% CI:
1.00-1.00) and CV of 0.57% were obtained for MPV.8
Yo-Yo intermittent recovery test level 1
This test consists of 2 x 20 m shuttle runs at increasing speeds, with 10 s of active
recovery between attempts. The test was carried out indoors, and the running pace was set
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Effects of Velocity Loss During Resistance Training on Performance in Professional Soccer Players
by Pareja-Blanco F, Sánchez-Medina L, Suárez-Arrones L, González-Badillo JJ
International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
© 2016 Human Kinetics, Inc.
using a beep signal. The test ended when the subjects failed to reach the finish line at the
beep signal on two consecutive occasions. The total distance covered was recorded as the
final result of the test.16
Resistance training program
The descriptive characteristics of the RT program are presented in Table 1. Both
VL15 and VL30 groups trained using only the SQ exercise, as previously described. Relative
magnitude of training loads (%1RM) and number of sets and inter-set recovery periods (4
min) were kept identical for both groups in each training session. Relative loads were
determined from the load-velocity relationship for the SQ since it has recently been shown
that there is a very close relationship between %1RM and MPV.1,3,14 Thus, a target MPV to
be attained in the first (usually the fastest) repetition of the first exercise set in each session
was used as an estimation of %1RM, as follows: 1.13 m·s-1 (~50% 1RM), 1.06 m·s-1 (~55%
1RM), 0.98 m·s-1 (~60% 1RM), 0.90 m·s-1 (~65% 1RM), and 0.82 m·s-1 (~70% 1RM); i.e. a
velocity-based training was performed, instead of a traditional loading-based RT
program.10,15,17 The absolute load (kg) was individually adjusted to match the velocity
associated (± 0.03 m·s-1) with the %1RM intended for each session. Loading magnitude
progressively increased from 50 to 70% 1RM over the course of the study (Table 1). The
groups differed in the degree of fatigue experienced during the exercise sets, which was
objectively quantified by the magnitude of velocity loss attained in each set (15% vs. 30%)
and, consequently, differed in the number of repetitions performed per set and the total
number repetitions completed during the training program (Table 1). During training,
subjects received immediate velocity feedback from the measurement system while being
encouraged to perform each repetition at maximal intended velocity.
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Effects of Velocity Loss During Resistance Training on Performance in Professional Soccer Players
by Pareja-Blanco F, Sánchez-Medina L, Suárez-Arrones L, González-Badillo JJ
International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
© 2016 Human Kinetics, Inc.
Statistical analyses
Values are reported as mean ± standard deviation (SD). Test-retest absolute reliability
was assessed using the CV, whereas relative reliability was calculated using the ICC with a
95% CI, using the one-way random effects model. The normality of distribution of the
variables in the Pre test and the homogeneity of variance across groups (VL15 vs. VL30)
were verified using the Shapiro-Wilk test and Levene’s test, respectively. Data were analyzed
using a 2 x 2 factorial ANOVA using one between factor (VL15 vs. VL30) and one within
factor (Pre vs. Post). Statistical significance was established at the P ≤ 0.05 level. In addition
to this null hypothesis testing, data were assessed for clinical significance using an approach
based on the magnitudes of change.18-19 Effect sizes (ES) were calculated using Hedge’s g on
the pooled SD. Probabilities were also calculated to establish whether the true (unknown)
differences were lower, similar or higher than the smallest worthwhile difference or change
(0.2 x between-subject SD).20 Quantitative chances of better or worse effects were assessed
qualitatively as follows: <1%, almost certainly not; 1-5%, very unlikely; 5-25%, unlikely; 25-
75%, possible; 75-95%, likely; 95-99%, very likely; and >99%, almost certain. If the chances
of obtaining beneficial/better or detrimental/worse were both >5%, the true difference was
assessed as unclear.18-19 Inferential statistics based on the interpretation of magnitude of
effects were calculated using a purpose-built spreadsheet for the analysis of controlled
trials.21 The rest of the statistical analyses were performed using SPSS software version 18.0
(SPSS Inc., Chicago, IL).
Results
No significant differences between the two groups were found at Pre for any of the
variables analyzed. Descriptive characteristics of the training actually performed by both
groups are reported in Table 1. The repetitions performed in different velocity ranges by each
group are shown in Fig. 1. Subjects in the VL15 group trained at a significantly faster mean
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Effects of Velocity Loss During Resistance Training on Performance in Professional Soccer Players
by Pareja-Blanco F, Sánchez-Medina L, Suárez-Arrones L, González-Badillo JJ
International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
© 2016 Human Kinetics, Inc.
velocity than those in VL30 (0.91 ± 0.01 vs. 0.84 ± 0.02 m·s-1, respectively; P < 0.001),
whereas VL30 performed more repetitions (P < 0.001) than VL15 (414.6 ± 124.9 vs. 251.2 ±
55.4). Furthermore, VL30 completed more repetitions at slow velocities (0.4-0.9 m·s-1) than
VL15, whereas no differences between groups was found for the number of repetitions
performed at high velocities ( 0.9 m·s-1) (Fig. 1). The mean fastest repetition during each
session, which indicates the %1RM of the load being lifted, did not differ between groups
(0.98 ± 0.02 vs. 0.97 ± 0.02 m·s-1, for VL30 and VL15, respectively). The actual mean
velocity loss was 28.6 ± 1.8% for VL30 vs. 16.3 ± 1.3% for VL15. Mean repetition velocity
attained in each set and training session for VL15 compared to VL30 is shown in Fig. 2.
Isoinertial strength assessments
Despite not finding ‘group’ x ‘time’ interactions for any of the isoinertial strength
variables analyzed, practical worthwhile differences between the VL15 and VL30 training
groups seemed evident as supported by the magnitude of the ES and qualitative outcomes
(Table 2). VL15 showed a likely/possibly positive effect on 1RM strength and AMPV,
respectively, whereas VL30 showed possibly/unclear positive effects on 1RM strength and
AMPV, respectively. Furthermore, only VL15 showed significant improvements in 1RM
strength (P < 0.01). Fig. 3 shows the evolution of the estimated 1RM in each training session
for both training groups, based on the relationship existing between MPV and %1RM in the
SQ exercise.14
Vertical jump, sprint ability and endurance capacity
VL15 showed significantly greater gains in CMJ height than VL30 (P < 0.05),
whereas no significant interaction was found for T30 and distance covered in the YYIRT. In
addition, only the VL15 group improved CMJ height (P < 0.05), whereas both groups
attained significant improvements in YYIRT (P < 0.01). The approach based on the
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Effects of Velocity Loss During Resistance Training on Performance in Professional Soccer Players
by Pareja-Blanco F, Sánchez-Medina L, Suárez-Arrones L, González-Badillo JJ
International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
© 2016 Human Kinetics, Inc.
magnitudes of change showed a likely positive effect on CMJ height for VL15, whereas
VL30 showed a possibly negative effect on CMJ performance (Table 2). The effects on T30
performance were unclear/unlikely for VL15 and VL30, respectively. The effects on YYIRT
were most likely/likely positive effects for VL15 and VL30, respectively (Table 2).
Discussion
To our knowledge, this is the first study that has analyzed the effect of two velocity-
based RT programs with the same loading magnitude (%1RM) but different training volume,
using the velocity loss during the set as the independent variable (15% vs. 30%) in
professional soccer players. An important aspect of this investigation was that movement
velocity was measured and recorded for every repetition, using a linear velocity transducer.
The strict control of the actual repetition velocities performed by the two experimental groups
enabled us to isolate the effect of the variable of interest, in this case velocity loss, on the
observed adaptations. The main finding of this study was that training with a velocity loss of
15% (VL15) in each set induced similar gains in squat performance (1RM strength as well as
the velocity attained against all loads, from light to moderate) and endurance capacity
(YYIRT), and greater gains in CMJ height, than training with a velocity loss of 30% (VL30).
These results were observed despite the fact that the VL30 group performed significantly
more repetitions than VL15 (415 vs. 251) during the training program. Even though both
groups performed a similar number of repetitions at high velocities ( 0.9 m·s-1), VL30
completed significantly more repetitions at slow velocities (0.4-0.9 m·s-1) (Fig. 1). It could be
argued that a lower degree of fatigue (velocity loss) would allow higher force application and
hence faster repetition velocities during training. Therefore, setting a certain percent velocity
loss threshold during RT seems a plausible way to avoid performing unnecessarily slow and
fatiguing repetitions that may not contribute to the desired training effect.
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Effects of Velocity Loss During Resistance Training on Performance in Professional Soccer Players
by Pareja-Blanco F, Sánchez-Medina L, Suárez-Arrones L, González-Badillo JJ
International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
© 2016 Human Kinetics, Inc.
Since the study conducted by Delorme,22 repetition to failure has been considered by
many as a cornerstone of RT.23-25 However, recent evidence suggests that despite the high
levels of discomfort and fatigue experienced in training to failure routines, non-failure
training leads to similar or even greater gains in muscular strength.2,10,26-28 In this regard, it
has recently been shown that a lower velocity loss during the set (20%) induces greater gains
in performance, especially in high-velocity actions, when compared with RT characterized by
high velocity loss (40%).10 In the squat exercise, a velocity loss of 40-50% in the set means
that the set is conducted to, or very close to, muscle failure.8,10 In the present study, where
muscle failure was not reached even in the VL30 group, the results seem to be in line with
those findings10 since a velocity loss of 15% resulted in similar gains in performance than a
velocity loss of 30%, and even greater gains in CMJ height. The present results also give
support to previous studies that suggested the existence of an inverted U-shaped relationship
between training volume and performance increase.29-31 Therefore, once a certain amount of
training volume (dose) is achieved, measured in this case by the velocity loss attained during
the resistance exercise set, performing additional repetitions does not seem to elicit further
strength gains and may even be detrimental for improving explosive strength.
The 1RM or nRM tests have been the most common methods to prescribe RT in
soccer. However, this type of tests requires considerable effort from the subjects and may
involve unnecessary risks and stress. In addition, the direct and precise measurement of 1RM
can be difficult if movement velocity is not adequately monitored.1 A novel velocity-based
RT approach was therefore proposed in which the training load is adjusted based on
movement velocity, due to the high correlation existing between %1RM and MPV (R² =
0.96-0.98).1,3-6 Previous studies have used this methodology with soccer players.12,32-34
However, in such studies the training load (kg) was established according to the velocity
achieved against different loads during an initial squat loading test, and no further load
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Effects of Velocity Loss During Resistance Training on Performance in Professional Soccer Players
by Pareja-Blanco F, Sánchez-Medina L, Suárez-Arrones L, González-Badillo JJ
International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
© 2016 Human Kinetics, Inc.
adjustments were performed during the training intervention. To our knowledge, the present
study is the first to monitor the repetition velocity in each session during a RT program for
soccer players. The estimated 1RM in each training session for every player (Fig. 3) shows
that VL15 training resulted in an increased strength performance during almost all the
training program, whereas the VL30 group showed similar performance to the Pre test values
until session 7 and remained at a lower level of strength performance during most of the
sessions when compared with VL15. This fact is very relevant in sports that require the
maintenance of a high strength performance level throughout the season where competitions
are held every weekend or even every 3-4 days. In addition, resistance exercise characterized
by large reductions in repetition velocity, as it occurs in typical training to failure routines,
requires longer recovery times,9,11 which is an important aspect to consider for most
competitive athletes, since excessive fatigue resulting from RT could interfere with the
development of other components of training.35
Conclusions
Velocity-based RT characterized by a low degree of fatigue (15% velocity loss in
each set) resulted in significant gains in squat strength and endurance performance, and even
greater gains in CMJ height than a RT program that induced greater levels of fatigue (30%
velocity loss), despite the VL30 group performing considerably more repetitions per set than
the VL15 group (10.5 ± 1.9 vs. 6.0 ± 0.9 rep) against the same relative loads (%1RM). These
findings emphasize the importance of finding an optimal dose during RT aimed at
maximizing performance in competitive team sports and strongly suggest that often “less is
more”. Indeed, squatting with a velocity loss of 30% during the set was found less effective
and efficient than squatting with a velocity loss of 15% in professional soccer players. Taken
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Effects of Velocity Loss During Resistance Training on Performance in Professional Soccer Players
by Pareja-Blanco F, Sánchez-Medina L, Suárez-Arrones L, González-Badillo JJ
International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
© 2016 Human Kinetics, Inc.
together, these results suggest that improvements in performance could be compromised
when an excessive repetition volume is exceeded.
Practical applications
The results of the present study contribute to improve our knowledge about the
process and methodology of load monitoring in resistance exercise. The magnitude of
velocity loss attained during each training set may provide valid information about the
optimal degree of fatigue necessary for maximizing performance. Thus, first repetition’s
mean velocity (which is intrinsically related to loading magnitude1) and the percent velocity
loss attained during the set,8 are two variables that should be monitored during a RT program.
Velocity-based resistance training seems a novel, comprehensive and rational alternative to
traditional RT.
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by Pareja-Blanco F, Sánchez-Medina L, Suárez-Arrones L, González-Badillo JJ
International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
© 2016 Human Kinetics, Inc.
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by Pareja-Blanco F, Sánchez-Medina L, Suárez-Arrones L, González-Badillo JJ
International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
© 2016 Human Kinetics, Inc.
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Effects of Velocity Loss During Resistance Training on Performance in Professional Soccer Players
by Pareja-Blanco F, Sánchez-Medina L, Suárez-Arrones L, González-Badillo JJ
International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
© 2016 Human Kinetics, Inc.
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Effects of Velocity Loss During Resistance Training on Performance in Professional Soccer Players
by Pareja-Blanco F, Sánchez-Medina L, Suárez-Arrones L, González-Badillo JJ
International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
© 2016 Human Kinetics, Inc.
Figure 1Number of repetitions in the squat exercise performed in each velocity range by
both training groups. Data are mean ± SD. Statistically significant differences between
groups: * P < 0.05, *** P < 0.001. VL15: group that trained with a mean velocity loss of 15%
in each set (n = 8); VL30: group that trained with a mean velocity loss of 30% in each set (n
= 8). Warm-up repetitions are excluded.
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by Pareja-Blanco F, Sánchez-Medina L, Suárez-Arrones L, González-Badillo JJ
International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
© 2016 Human Kinetics, Inc.
Figure 2 Mean repetition velocity attained in each set and training session for VL15
compared to VL30. Data are mean ± SD. VL15: group that trained with a mean velocity loss
of 15% in each set (n = 8); VL30: group that trained with a mean velocity loss of 30% in each
set (n = 8). Warm-up repetitions are excluded.
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by Pareja-Blanco F, Sánchez-Medina L, Suárez-Arrones L, González-Badillo JJ
International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
© 2016 Human Kinetics, Inc.
Figure 3Evolution of the estimated 1RM strength in the squat exercise in each training
session expressed as: (A) Percentage of the initial Pre-training level; and (B) absolute load
(kg). Data are mean ± SD. VL15: group that trained with a mean velocity loss of 15% in each
set (n = 8); VL30: group that trained with a mean velocity loss of 30% in each set (n = 8).
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International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
© 2016 Human Kinetics, Inc.
Table 1. Descriptive characteristics of the 6-week velocity-based squat training program performed by both experimental groups.
Scheduled
Session 1
Session 2
Session 3
Session 5
Session 6
Session 7
Session 8
Session 9
Sets x VL (%)
VL15
2 x 15%
3 x 15%
3 x 15%
3 x 15%
3 x 15%
2 x 15%
3 x 15%
3 x 15%
VL30
2 x 30%
3 x 30%
3 x 30%
3 x 30%
3 x 30%
2 x 30%
3 x 30%
3 x 30%
Target MPV (m·s-1)
1.13
1.13
1.13
1.06
1.06
0.98
0.98
0.98
(~50% 1RM)
(~50% 1RM)
(~50% 1RM)
(~55% 1RM)
(~55% 1RM)
(~60% 1RM)
(~60% 1RM)
(~60% 1RM)
Scheduled
Session 10
Session 11
Session 12
Session 14
Session 15
Session 16
Session 17
Session 18
Sets x VL (%)
VL15
3 x 15%
2 x 15%
3 x 15%
3 x 15%
2 x 15%
3 x 15%
3 x 15%
2 x 15%
VL30
3 x 30%
2 x 30%
3 x 30%
3 x 30%
2 x 30%
3 x 30%
3 x 30%
2 x 30%
Target MPV (m·s-1)
0.98
0.90
0.90
0.90
0.82
0.82
0.82
0.98
(~60% 1RM)
(~65% 1RM)
(~65% 1RM)
(~65% 1RM)
(~70% 1RM)
(~70% 1RM)
(~70% 1RM)
(~60% 1RM)
Actually
Performed
Fastest MPV
(m·s-1)
MPV all reps
(m·s-1)
Total rep
Rep per set
with 50% 1RM
Rep per set
with 55% 1RM
Rep per set
with 60% 1RM
Rep per set
with 65% 1RM
Rep per set
with 70% 1RM
VL15
0.97 ± 0.02
0.91 ± 0.01
251.2 ± 55.4
10.9 ± 2.0
6.1 ± 1.4
5.0 ± 1.1
4.8 ± 1.6
4.1 ± 1.1
VL30
0.98 ± 0.02
0.84 ± 0.02***
414.6 ± 124.9***
14.7 ± 2.3**
11.9 ± 2.6***
9.5 ± 1.9***
9.1 ± 3.1**
7.2 ± 2.1**
Data are mean ± SD. Only one exercise (full squat) was used in training.
VL15: Group that trained with a mean velocity loss of 15% in each set (n = 8), VL30: Group that trained with a mean velocity loss of of 30% in each set (n = 8)
MPV: Mean Propulsive Velocity
VL: Velocity loss in the set calculated as a percent loss in MPV from the fastest (usually first) to the slowest (last one) repetition of each set
Target MPV: MPV scheduled for the first repetition of the first set in each session, which corresponds with the loading magnitude (%1RM) intended for that session
Fastest MPV: Average of the fastest repetition measured in each session (this value is an indicator of the average loading magnitude, %1RM, achieved during the training program)
MPV all reps: Average MPV attained during the entire training program
Total rep: Total number of repetitions performed during the training program
Rep per set: average number of repetitions performed in each set
Rep per set with a given %1RM: average number of repetitions performed in each set with each of the loads used (50-70 %1RM).
Significant differences between VL15 and VL30 groups in mean overall values: ** P < 0.01; *** P < 0.001
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International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
© 2016 Human Kinetics, Inc.
Table 2. Changes in selected neuromuscular performance variables from Pre- to Post-
training.
Pre
Post
ES (90% CI)
Percent changes of
better/trivial/worse effect
1RM-VL15 (kg)
101.3 ± 18.8
110.3 ± 14.3**
0.43 (0.14 to 0.71)
91/9/0
Likely
1RM-VL30 (kg)
100.2 ± 20.3
106.5 ± 28.5
0.28 (-0.09 to 0.64)
65/33/2
Possibly
AMPV-VL15 (m·s-1)
1.19 ± 0.12
1.23 ± 0.09
0.35 (-0.09 to 0.79)
73/25/2
Possibly
AMPV-VL30 (m·s-1)
1.16 ± 0.11
1.18 ± 0.13
0.16 (-0.55 to 0.87)
46/36/18
Unclear
CMJ-VL15 (cm)
33.7 ± 3.6
35.5 ± 5.1*
0.45 (0.06 to 0.85)
87/12/1
Likely
CMJ-VL30 (cm)
34.4 ± 3.5
33.5 ± 3.1
-0.24 (-0.66 to 0.18)
4/38/57
Possibly Negative
T30-VL15 (s)
4.32 ± 0.19
4.30 ± 0.20
0.10 (-0.14 to 0.35)
24/74/3
Unlikely
T30-VL30 (s)
4.28 ± 0.14
4.27 ± 0.10
0.06 (-0.27 to 0.39)
21/70/9
Unclear
YYIRT-VL15 (m)
1390 ± 417
1862 ± 639**
1.01 (0.63 to 1.39)
100/0/0
Most Likely
YYIRT-VL30 (m)
1611 ± 422
2043 ± 842**
0.97 (0.13 to 1.82)
94/4/2
Likely
Data are mean ± SD; ES = within-group Effect Size; CI = Confidence Interval
VL15: group that trained with a mean repetition velocity loss of 15% in each set (n = 8)
VL30: group that trained with a mean repetition velocity loss of 30% in each set (n = 8)
1RM: estimated one-repetition maximum squat strength
AMPV: average MPV attained against absolute loads common to Pre- and Post-tests in the squat progressive
loading test
CMJ: countermovement jump height
T30: 30 m sprint running time
YYIRT: Yo-yo intermittent recovery test level 1
Intra-group significant differences from Pre- to Post-training: * P < 0.05, ** P < 0.01
Significant group x time interaction: P < 0.05
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... After removing duplicates, 81 titles and abstracts were screened, resulting in 21 potentially eligible full texts. Finally, 10 investigations met the eligibility criteria and so were considered for the qualitative and quantitative analyses [31][32][33][34][35][36][37][38][39][40]. ...
... All training programs included a single resistance exercise. Specifically, seven studies trained the back squat [31,32,34,35,37,38,40], two the bench press [36,39], and one the push-up [33]. VL ranged from 5% to 50%, with 10% and 30% being the most common VL thresholds (k = 4). ...
... The average duration and frequency of the RT programs were 7.4 weeks (range 5-8 weeks) and 2.2 sessions/week (range 2-3 sessions/week), respectively. Changes in dynamic strength were evaluated using the 1RM (n = 10) [31][32][33][34][35][36][37][38][39][40], and the changes in velocity against (i) absolute loads lifted faster than 1.00 m·s −1 (squat) and 0.80 m·s −1 (bench press) at pre-training (i.e., low loads, n = 8) [31,32,[34][35][36][38][39][40], and (ii) absolute loads lifted slower than 1.00 m·s −1 (squat) and 0.80 m·s −1 (bench press) at pre-training (i.e., moderate/high loads, n = 8) [31,32,[34][35][36][38][39][40]. Five studies performed a local endurance test [31][32][33][34][35][36]40]. ...
Article
Full-text available
This study aimed to systematically review the effects of the different velocity loss (VL) thresholds during resistance training (RT) on strength and athletic adaptations. The VL was analyzed as both a categorical and continuous variable. For the categorical analysis, individual VL thresholds were divided into Low-ModVL (≤25% VL) or Mod-HighVL (>25% VL). The efficacy of these VL thresholds was examined using between-group (Low-ModVL vs. Mod-HighVL) and within-group (pre–post effects in each group) analyses. For the continuous analysis, the relationship (R2) between each individual VL threshold and its respective effect size (ES) in each outcome was examined. Ten studies (308 resistance-trained young men) were finally included. The Low-ModVL group trained using a significantly (p ≤ 0.001) lower VL (16.1 ± 6.2 vs. 39.8 ± 9.0%) and volume (212.0 ± 102.3 vs. 384.0 ± 95.0 repetitions) compared with Mod-HighVL. Between-group analyses yielded higher efficacy of Low-ModVL over Mod-HighVL to increase performance against low (ES = 0.31, p = 0.01) and moderate/high loads (ES = 0.21, p = 0.07). Within-group analyses revealed superior effects after training using Low-ModVL thresholds in all strength (Low-ModVL, ES = 0.79–2.39 vs. Mod-HighVL, ES = 0.59–1.91) and athletic (Low-ModVL, ES = 0.35–0.59 vs. Mod-HighVL, ES = 0.05–0.36) parameters. Relationship analyses showed that the adaptations produced decreased as the VL threshold increased, especially for the low loads (R2 = 0.73, p = 0.01), local endurance (R2 = 0.93, p = 0.04), and sprint ability (R2 = 0.61, p = 0.06). These findings prove that low–moderate levels of intra-set fatigue (≤25% VL) are more effective and efficient stimuli than moderate–high levels (>25% VL) to promote strength and athletic adaptations.
... For example, a player with an initial 1RM of 100 kg in the full squat would use an absolute load of 60, 70, and 80 kg to train this exercise at his or her 60, 70, and 80% 1RM, respectively (3,8). Nevertheless, the 1RM value of a player varies daily as a result of changes in dynamic strength or motivation state, hence the kg-%1RM method lacks the accuracy to ensure that the target %1RM is equal to the actual % 1RM (39,46). The nRM method, for its part, involves the player selecting an absolute load at which he or she can complete a certain number of repetitions to volitional fatigue (n), which would be theoretically associated with a specific % 1RM (e.g., 12RM 5 75% 1RM) (9,60). ...
... The nRM method, for its part, involves the player selecting an absolute load at which he or she can complete a certain number of repetitions to volitional fatigue (n), which would be theoretically associated with a specific % 1RM (e.g., 12RM 5 75% 1RM) (9,60). However, the traditional nRM methodology itself implies performing each training set to muscle failure, which has proven to be a dangerous, inefficient, and even detrimental practice for soccer performance (39). Considering the basic principle of the nRM approach, other methodologies such as the "level of effort," similar to the "repetitions in reserve" strategy, have emerged (20). ...
... One practical application provided by the VBT is the determination of players' individual L-V relationship, based on the close association between the barbell velocity and the %1RM (21,29,33,49). The L-V relationship ensures that the player trains at the programmed % 1RM in each training set, thus avoiding the meaningful mismatches that might occur when programming is based on the kg-%1RM method and the negative effects related to the traditional nRM approach (12,35,39,44). Briefly, the L-V relationship involves practitioners establishing a target mean propulsive velocity (MPV, mean velocity from the propulsive phase, defined as that portion of the concentric phase during which barbell acceleration [a] is greater than the acceleration because of gravity [a $ 29.81 m$s 22 ]) (48) to be attained in the fastest repetition (usually the first) of each training session. ...
... To solve these problems of monitoring and quantification of the training loads, recent attention has been placed on movement velocity during RT [14,20,21]. First, several studies have observed a strong relationship between the relative load (1% RM) and movement velocity in different resistance exercises [22][23][24]. Thus, it is possible to estimate the 1% RM that is being used as soon as the first repetition with any given absolute load is performed [14]. ...
... Similarly, the VBRT allows the evaluation and control of the magnitude of VL during a set, which is an indicator of increased muscle fatigue. This fact is the special interest for the specificity of the stimulus since the fact of performing slower repetitions would not only indicate fatigue (as a consequence of reaching a higher percentage of VL in the series), but would also be could also lead to suboptimal adaptations [22,24,42]. ...
... However, after evaluating the abstracts, full-texts, and analyzing the strict fulfillment of the other inclusion criteria, 236 articles were excluded. A total of 22 studies met the pre-established requirements [22,29,30,[38][39][40][52][53][54][55][56][57][58][59][60][61][62][63][64][65][66][67]. Considering that the present systematic review is reported according to the parameters established in the PRISMA guidelines, a flow chart of the literature search is shown in Figure 1. ...
Article
Full-text available
Weight resistance training (RT) has been shown to positively influence physical performance. Within the last two decades, a methodology based on monitoring RT through movement velocity (also called velocity-based resistance training, VBRT) has emerged. The aim of this PRISMA-based systematic review was to evaluate the effect of VBRT programs on variables related to muscle strength (one-repetition maximum, 1-RM), and high-speed actions (vertical jump, and sprint performance) in trained subjects. The search for published articles was performed in PubMed/MEDLINE, SPORT Discus/EBSCO, OVID, Web of Science, Scopus, and EMBASE databases using Boolean algorithms independently. A total of 22 studies met the inclusion criteria of this systematic review (a low-to-moderate overall risk of bias of the analyzed studies was detected). VBRT is an effective method to improve 1-RM, vertical jump and sprint. According to the results of the analyzed studies, it is not necessary to reach high muscle failure in order to achieve the best training results. These findings reinforce the fact that it is possible to optimize exercise adaptations with less fatigue. Future studies should corroborate these findings in female population.
... Similar to hypertrophy, studies on muscle strength have observed greater improvements with failure training [15,16] while others have observed effect sizes in favor of nonfailure training [17,18], and yet others show no significant difference between failure and non-failure [5,11,19,20]. Ambiguity is also apparent across studies comparing multiple non-failure groups training at different proximities to failure [21][22][23]. Additionally, training to failure has been associated with greater session rating of perceived exertion [5,19] and a longer time course of recovery than non-failure training [24,25], further suggesting that per-set proximity to failure is a crucial variable. ...
... Velocity loss has emerged as the most common method of controlling for proximity to failure in longitudinal studies over the past 5 years [15,17,22,23,[28][29][30][31][32][42][43][44][45][46]. Velocity loss controls for proximity to failure by prescribing set termination once the average concentric velocity (ACV) or mean propulsive velocity, which are functionally similar [47], have declined by a predetermined percentage from a set's fastest (usually first) repetition. ...
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Resistance training variables such as volume, load, and frequency are well defined. However, the variable proximity to failure does not have a consistent quantification method, despite being defined as the number of repetitions in reserve (RIR) upon completion of a resistance training set. Further, there is between-study variability in the definition of failure itself. Studies have defined failure as momentary (inability to complete the concentric phase despite maximal effort), volitional (self-termination), or have provided no working definition. Methods to quantify proximity to failure include percentage-based prescription, repetition maximum zone training, velocity loss, and self-reported RIR; each with positives and negatives. Specifically, applying percentage-based prescriptions across a group may lead to a wide range of per-set RIR owing to interindividual differences in repetitions performed at specific percentages of 1 repetition maximum. Velocity loss is an objective method; however, the relationship between velocity loss and RIR varies set-to-set, across loading ranges, and between exercises. Self-reported RIR is inherently individualized; however, its subjectivity can lead to inaccuracy. Further, many studies, regardless of quantification method, do not report RIR. Consequently, it is difficult to make specific recommendations for per-set proximity to failure to maximize hypertrophy and strength. Therefore, this review aims to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the current proximity to failure quantification methods. Further, we propose future directions for researchers and practitioners to quantify proximity to failure, including implementation of absolute velocity stops using individual average concentric velocity/RIR relationships. Finally, we provide guidance for reporting self-reported RIR regardless of the quantification method.
... Lower intra-set neuromuscular fatigue (i.e., lower velocity loss thresholds) may be superior for optimizing neuromuscular adaptations such as power output and shifts towards velocity-oriented force-velocity profiles; whereas higher intra-set neuromuscular fatigue (i.e., higher velocity loss thresholds) may be superior for optimizing muscular endurance [26]. The available evidence remains unclear which velocity loss thresholds optimize chronic strength and hypertrophy adaptations [27][28][29][30][31][32][33][34][35][36]. ...
... All nine studies reported our primary outcome measure of muscular strength and employed a 1RM test [28][29][30][31][32][33][34][35][36]. ...
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Background Autoregulation has emerged as a potentially beneficial resistance training paradigm to individualize and optimize programming; however, compared to standardized prescription, the effects of autoregulated load and volume prescription on muscular strength and hypertrophy adaptations are unclear. Our objective was to compare the effect of autoregulated load prescription (repetitions in reserve-based rating of perceived exertion and velocity-based training) to standardized load prescription (percentage-based training) on chronic one-repetition maximum (1RM) strength and cross-sectional area (CSA) hypertrophy adaptations in resistance-trained individuals. We also aimed to investigate the effect of volume autoregulation with velocity loss thresholds ≤ 25% compared to > 25% on 1RM strength and CSA hypertrophy. Methods This review was performed in accordance with the PRISMA guidelines. A systematic search of MEDLINE, Embase, Scopus, and SPORTDiscus was conducted. Mean differences (MD), 95% confidence intervals (CI), and standardized mean differences (SMD) were calculated. Sub-analyses were performed as applicable. Results Fifteen studies were included in the meta-analysis: six studies on load autoregulation and nine studies on volume autoregulation. No significant differences between autoregulated and standardized load prescription were demonstrated for 1RM strength (MD = 2.07, 95% CI – 0.32 to 4.46 kg, p = 0.09, SMD = 0.21). Velocity loss thresholds ≤ 25% demonstrated significantly greater 1RM strength (MD = 2.32, 95% CI 0.33 to 4.31 kg, p = 0.02, SMD = 0.23) and significantly lower CSA hypertrophy (MD = 0.61, 95% CI 0.05 to 1.16 cm ² , p = 0.03, SMD = 0.28) than velocity loss thresholds > 25%. No significant differences between velocity loss thresholds > 25% and 20–25% were demonstrated for hypertrophy (MD = 0.36, 95% CI – 0.29 to 1.00 cm ² , p = 0.28, SMD = 0.13); however, velocity loss thresholds > 25% demonstrated significantly greater hypertrophy compared to thresholds ≤ 20% (MD = 0.64, 95% CI 0.07 to 1.20 cm ² , p = 0.03, SMD = 0.34). Conclusions Collectively, autoregulated and standardized load prescription produced similar improvements in strength. When sets and relative intensity were equated, velocity loss thresholds ≤ 25% were superior for promoting strength possibly by minimizing acute neuromuscular fatigue while maximizing chronic neuromuscular adaptations, whereas velocity loss thresholds > 20–25% were superior for promoting hypertrophy by accumulating greater relative volume. Protocol Registration The original protocol was prospectively registered (CRD42021240506) with the PROSPERO (International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews).
... Therefore, the posttest's dynamic strength and power gains might have been masked by accumulated muscle fatigue over the eight weeks. In this sense, possible alternatives to determine the actual performance would be to employ a 1-2 week tapering strategy and test players 2-4 weeks after the intervention (Morin et al., 2020) or measure the lifting velocity during RT sessions to estimate players' daily dynamic strength and power performance (Pareja-Blanco et al., 2017). These strategies would be helpful to analyze the variations in strength and power over the intervention and examine each player's optimal adaptation period. ...
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... However, in practical terms, it is important to consider how meaningful these slight differences between general and individual load-velocity relationships are regarding training prescription or loading adjustment. For example, previous studies have already demonstrated the efficiency of the group-based equations to induce muscular strength and power adaptations[35,36]. In a practical setting, strength and conditioning coaches seek to implement valid methods for prescribing the exercise load, but also simple and easy approaches to determine Biology of Sport, Vol. ...
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The aim of this study was to analyse the load-velocity and load-power relationships in the free-weight back-squat (BSQ) and hexagonal bar deadlift (HBD) exercises. Twenty-five (n = 25) resistance-trained men (age = 23.7 ± 2.8 years) performed a progressive load test at maximal intended velocity to determine their BSQ and HBD one-repetition maximum (1RM). Mean propulsive velocity (MPV) during the concentric phase of the lift was recorded through a linear encoder. Load-velocity and load-power relationships were analysed by fitting linear regression and the second-order polynomial, respectively, to the data. Maximum strength (1RM), MPV (30–80% 1RM), and power output (30–90% 1RM) were higher for HBD compared to BSQ exercise (p < 0.05). A very strong relationship between MPV and relative intensity was found for both BSQ (R2 = 0.963) and HBD (R2 = 0.967) exercises. The load that maximizes power output (Pmax) was 64.6 ± 2.9% (BSQ) and 59.6 ± 1.1% (HBD) 1RM. There was a range of loads at which power output was not different than Pmax (BSQ: 40–80% 1RM; HBD: 50–70% 1RM). In conclusion, the load-velocity and load-power relationships might assist strength and conditioning coaches to monitor and prescribe exercise intensity in the BSQ and HBD exercises using the velocity-based training approach.
... In this regard, more recently, the practical and time-efficient velocitybased training (VBT) method has been proposed as an alternative strategy to prescribe and monitor resistance training intensity. 65,66 Interestingly, this approach builds upon the relationship between the velocities in distinct movements and the associated relative values of 1RM (ie, % 1RM), which highlights the inherent interconnection between the 2 methods. 9 In addition, some studies have raised concerns about the theoretical concepts behind the 1RM measure which, essentially, represents only the highest "mass" that an athlete can move during a maximum-effort lift. ...
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Purpose: The optimal power load is defined as the load that maximizes power output in a given exercise. This load can be determined through the use of various instruments, under different testing protocols. Specifically, the "optimum power load" (OPL) is derived from the load-velocity relationship, using only bar force and bar velocity in the power computation. The OPL is easily assessed using a simple incremental testing protocol, based on relative percentages of body mass. To date, several studies have examined the associations between the OPL and different sport-specific measures, as well as its acute and chronic effects on athletic performance. The aim of this brief review is to present and summarize the current evidence regarding the OPL, highlighting the main lines of research on this topic and discussing the potential applications of this novel approach for testing and training. Conclusions: The validity and simplicity of OPL-based schemes provide strong support for their use as an alternative to more traditional strength-power training strategies. The OPL method can be effectively used by coaches and sport scientists in different sports and populations, with different purposes and configurations.
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Ensuring internal validity is the key procedure when planning the study design. Numerous systematic reviews have demonstrated that considerations for internal validity do not receive adequate attention in the primary research in sport sciences. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to review methodological procedures in current literature where the effects of resistance training on strength, speed, and endurance performance in athletes were analyzed. A computer-based literature searches of SPORTDiscus, Scopus, Medline, and Web of Science was conducted. The internal validity of individual studies was assessed using the PEDro scale. Peer-reviewed studies were accepted only if they met all the following eligibility criteria: (a) healthy male and female athletes between the ages of 18-65 years; (b) training program based on resistance exercises; (c) training program lasted for at least 4 weeks or 12 training sessions, with at least two sessions per week; (d) the study reported maximum strength, speed, or endurance outcomes; and (e) systematic reviews, cohort studies, case-control studies, cross-sectional studies were excluded. Of the 6,516 articles identified, 133 studies were selected for rating by the PEDro scale. Sixty-eight percent of the included studies used random allocation to groups, but only one reported concealed allocation. Baseline data are presented in almost 69% of the studies. Thirty-eight percent of studies demonstrated adequate follow-up of participants. The plan to follow the intention-to-treat or stating that all participants received training intervention or control conditions as allocated were reported in only 1.5% of studies. The procedure of blinding of assessors was also satisfied in only 1.5% of the studies. The current study highlights the gaps in designing and reporting research in the field of strength and conditioning. Randomization, blinding of assessors, reporting of attrition, and intention-to-treat analysis should be more fully addressed to reduce threats to internal validity in primary research.
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Some studies have reported considerable errors in the movement velocity measurement when using the My Lift app. This study aimed to investigate whether these errors may be related to the use of a range of movement (ROM) statically measured prior to the movement (ROMMYLIFT) instead of ROM dynamically monitored. Ten young adults performed two repetitions of the bench press exercise on a Smith machine with loads that allowed two velocity conditions (above and below 0.6 m s−1). The exercises were monitored by the My Lift app, a magnet and a rotary encoder. After, 15 older adults performed the same exercise at different percentages of 1RM, monitored by the My Lift app and a magnet. The results revealed that ROM dynamically obtained by encoder (reference method) with the mean velocity above (0.497 ± 0.069 m) and below (0.450 ± 0.056 m) 0.6 m s−1 were quite different (p < 0.05; large effect) from the ROMMYLIFT (0.385 ± 0.040 m). These errors provided highly biased and heteroscedastic mean velocity measurements (mean errors approximately 22%). The errors observed in adults were also observed in the older participants, except for loads equal to 85% of 1RM. The magnet method proved to be valid, presenting measurements very close to the encoder (mean errors approximately 1.7%; r > 0.99). In conclusion, the use of ROMMYLIFT is inadequate, as the higher the movement velocity, the higher the errors, both for young and older adults. Thus, to improve the measurement of the My Lift app, it is recommended that the magnet method be used in conjunction with the app to more accurately determine the ROM.
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Background It remains unclear whether repetitions leading to failure (failure training) or not leading to failure (non-failure training) lead to superior muscular strength gains during resistance exercise. Failure training may provide the stimulus needed to enhance muscular strength development. However, it is argued that non-failure training leads to similar increases in muscular strength without the need for high levels of discomfort and physical effort, which are associated with failure training. Objective We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to examine the effect of failure versus non-failure training on muscular strength. Methods Five electronic databases were searched using terms related to failure and non-failure training. Studies were deemed eligible for inclusion if they met the following criteria: (1) randomised and non-randomised studies; (2) resistance training intervention where repetitions were performed to failure; (3) a non-failure comparison group; (4) resistance training interventions with a total of ≥3 exercise sessions; and (5) muscular strength assessment pre- and post-training. Random-effects meta-analyses were performed to pool the results of the included studies and generate a weighted mean effect size (ES). Results Eight studies were included in the meta-analysis (combined studies). Training volume was controlled in four studies (volume controlled), while the remaining four studies did not control for training volume (volume uncontrolled). Non-failure training resulted in a 0.6–1.3 % greater strength increase than failure training. A small pooled effect favouring non-failure training was found (ES = 0.34; p = 0.02). Significant small pooled effects on muscular strength were also found for non-failure versus failure training with compound exercises (ES = 0.37–0.38; p = 0.03) and trained participants (ES = 0.37; p = 0.049). A slightly larger pooled effect favouring non-failure training was observed when volume-uncontrolled studies were included (ES = 0.41; p = 0.047). No significant effect was found for the volume-controlled studies, although there was a trend favouring non-failure training. The methodological quality of the included studies in the review was found to be moderate. Exercise compliance was high for the studies where this was reported (n = 5), although limited information on adverse events was provided. Conclusion Overall, the results suggest that despite statistically significant effects on muscular strength being found for non-failure compared with failure training, the small percentage of improvement shown for non-failure training is unlikely to be meaningful. Therefore, it appears that similar increases in muscular strength can be achieved with failure and non-failure training. Furthermore, it seems unnecessary to perform failure training to maximise muscular strength; however, if incorporated into a programme, training to failure should be performed sparingly to limit the risks of injuries and overtraining.
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Purpose: The aim of this study was to determine whether athletes from different sports disciplines present similar mean propulsive velocity (MPV) in the half-squat (HS) during submaximal and maximal tests, enabling prediction of 1 repetition maximum (1-RM) from MPV at any given submaximal load. Methods: Sixty-four male athletes, comprising American football, rugby and soccer players, sprinters and jumpers, and combat sports strikers, attended two testing sessions separated by 2-4 weeks. On the first visit, a standardized 1-RM test was performed. On the second visit, athletes performed HS on the Smith-machine equipment, using relative percentages of 1-RM in order to determine the respective MPV of submaximal and maximal loads. Linear regression established the relationship between MPV and percentage of 1-RM. Results: A very strong linear relationship (R2 ≈ 0.96) was observed between the MPV and the percentages of HS 1-RM, resulting in the following equation: % of HS 1-RM = -105.05 · MPV + 131.75. The MPV at HS 1-RM was ≈ 0.3 m·s-1. Conclusion: This equation can be used to predict the HS 1-RM on the Smith-machine equipment with a high degree of accuracy.
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The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between movement velocity and relative load in three lower limbs exercises commonly used to develop strength: leg press, full squat and half squat. The percentage of one repetition maximum (%1RM) has typically been used as the main parameter to control resistance training; however, more recent research has proposed movement velocity as an alternative. Fifteen participants performed a load progression with a range of loads until they reached their 1RM. Maximum instantaneous velocity (Vmax) and mean propulsive velocity (MPV) of the knee extension phase of each exercise were assessed. For all exercises, a strong relationship between Vmax and the %1RM was found: leg press (r(2)adj = 0.96; 95% CI for slope is [-0.0244, -0.0258], P < 0.0001), full squat (r(2)adj = 0.94; 95% CI for slope is [-0.0144, -0.0139], P < 0.0001) and half squat (r(2)adj = 0.97; 95% CI for slope is [-0.0135, -0.00143], P < 0.0001); for MPV, leg press (r(2)adj = 0.96; 95% CI for slope is [-0.0169, -0.0175], P < 0.0001, full squat (r(2)adj = 0.95; 95% CI for slope is [-0.0136, -0.0128], P < 0.0001) and half squat (r(2)adj = 0.96; 95% CI for slope is [-0.0116, 0.0124], P < 0.0001). The 1RM was attained with a MPV and Vmax of 0.21 ± 0.06 m s(-1) and 0.63 ± 0.15 m s(-1), 0.29 ± 0.05 m s(-1) and 0.89 ± 0.17 m s(-1), 0.33 ± 0.05 m s(-1) and 0.95 ± 0.13 m s(-1) for leg press, full squat and half squat, respectively. Results indicate that it is possible to determine an exercise-specific %1RM by measuring movement velocity for that exercise.
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We compared the effects of two resistance training (RT) programs only differing in the repetition velocity loss allowed in each set: 20% (VL20) vs 40% (VL40) on muscle structural and functional adaptations. Twenty-two young males were randomly assigned to a VL20 (n = 12) or VL40 (n = 10) group. Subjects followed an 8-week velocity-based RT program using the squat exercise while monitoring repetition velocity. Pre- and post-training assessments included: magnetic resonance imaging, vastus lateralis biopsies for muscle cross-sectional area (CSA) and fiber type analyses, one-repetition maximum strength and full load-velocity squat profile, countermovement jump (CMJ), and 20-m sprint running. VL20 resulted in similar squat strength gains than VL40 and greater improvements in CMJ (9.5% vs 3.5%, P < 0.05), despite VL20 performing 40% fewer repetitions. Although both groups increased mean fiber CSA and whole quadriceps muscle volume, VL40 training elicited a greater hypertrophy of vastus lateralis and intermedius than VL20. Training resulted in a reduction of myosin heavy chain IIX percentage in VL40, whereas it was preserved in VL20. In conclusion, the progressive accumulation of muscle fatigue as indicated by a more pronounced repetition velocity loss appears as an important variable in the configuration of the resistance exercise stimulus as it influences functional and structural neuromuscular adaptations.
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This study compared the time course of recovery following two resistance exercise protocols differing in the number of repetitions per set with regard to the maximum possible (to failure) number. Ten men performed three sets of 6 versus 12 repetitions with their 70% 1RM (3 × 6 [12] versus 3 × 12 [12]) in the bench press (BP) and squat (SQ) exercises. Mechanical [CMJ height, velocity against the 1 m s(-1) load (V1 -load)], biochemical [testosterone, cortisol, growth hormone, prolactin, insulin-like growth factor-1, creatine kinase (CK)] and heart rate variability (HRV) and complexity (HRC) were assessed pre-, postexercise (Post) and at 6, 24 and 48 h-Post. Compared with 3 × 6 [12], the 3 × 12 [12] protocol resulted in significantly: higher repetition velocity loss within each set (BP: 65% versus 26%; SQ: 44% versus 20%); reduced V1 -load until 24 h-Post (BP) and 6 h-Post (SQ); decreased CMJ height up to 48 h-Post; greater increases in cortisol (Post), prolactin (Post, 48 h-Post) and CK (48 h-Post); and reductions in HRV and HRC at Post. This study shows that the mechanical, neuroendocrine and autonomic cardiovascular response is markedly different when manipulating the number of repetitions per set. Halving the number of repetitions in relation to the maximum number that can be completed serves to minimize fatigue and speed up recovery following resistance training.
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Drinkwater, E.J., T.W. Lawton, R.P. Lindsell, D.B. Pyne, P.H. Hunt, and M.J. McKenna. Training leading to repetition failure contributes to bench press strength gains in elite junior athletes. J. Strength Cond. Res. 19(2):382-388. 2005. The purpose of this study was to investigate the importance of training leading to repetition failure in the performance of 2 different tests: 6 repetition maximum (6RM) bench press strength and 40-kg bench throw power in elite junior athletes. Subjects were 26 elite junior male basketball players (n 12; age = 18.6 +/- 0.3 years; height = 202.0 +/- 11.6 cm; mass = 97.0 +/- 12.9 kg; mean SD) and soccer players (n = 14; age = 17.4 +/- 0.5 years; height = 179.0 +/- 7.0 cm; mass = 75.0 +/- 7.1 kg) with a history of greater than 6 months' strength training. Subjects were initially tested twice for 6RM bench press mass and 40-kg Smith machine bench throw power output (in watts) to establish retest reliability. Subjects then undertook bench press training with 3 sessions per week for 6 weeks, using equal volume programs (24 repetitions X 80-105% 6RM in 13 minutes 20 seconds). Subjects were assigned to one of two experimental groups designed either to elicit repetition failure with 4 sets of 6 repetitions every 260 seconds (RF4x6) or allow all repetitions to be completed with 8 sets of 3 repetitions every 113 seconds (NF8x3). The RF4X6 treatment elicited substantial increases in strength (7.3 +/- 2.4 kg, + 9.5%, p < 0.001) and power (40.8 +/- 24.1 W, + 10.6%, p < 0.001), while the NF8X3 group elicited 3.6 +/- 3.0 kg (+ 5.0%, p < 0.005) and 25 +/- 19.0 W increases (+ 6.8%, p < 0.001). The improvements in the RF4x6 group were greater than those in the repetition rest group for both strength (p < 0.005) and power (p < 0.05). Bench press training that leads to repetition failure induces greater strength gains than nonfailure training in the bench press exercise for elite junior team sport athletes.
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This study analyzed the time course of recovery following 2 resistance exercise protocols differing in level of effort: maximum (to failure) vs. half-maximum number of repetitions per set. 9 males performed 3 sets of 4 vs. 8 repetitions with their 80% 1RM load, 3×4(8) vs. 3×8(8), in the bench press and squat. Several time-points from 24 h pre- to 48 h post-exercise were established to assess the mechanical (countermovement jump height, CMJ; velocity against the 1 m·s(-1) load, V1-load), biochemical (testosterone, cortisol, GH, prolactin, IGF-1, CK) and heart rate variability (HRV) and complexity (HRC) response to exercise. 3×8(8) resulted in greater neuromuscular fatigue (higher reductions in repetition velocity and velocity against V1-load) than 3×4(8). CMJ remained reduced up to 48 h post-exercise following 3×8(8), whereas it was recovered after 6 h for 3×4(8). Significantly greater prolactin and IGF-1 levels were found for 3×8(8) vs. 3×4(8). Significant reductions in HRV and HRC were observed for 3×8(8) vs. 3×4(8) in the immediate recovery. Performing a half-maximum number of repetitions per set resulted in: 1) a stimulus of faster mean repetition velocities; 2) lower impairment of neuromuscular performance and faster recovery; 3) reduced hormonal response and muscle damage; and 4) lower reduction in HRV and HRC following exercise. © Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York.