Understanding Normative Velocity Scores

Dr. Dan Baker

Normative Velocity Scores - Lower & Upper Main Lifts
Velocity Scores - Individual Differences
Normative Velocity Scores - Power Exercises
Normative Velocity Scores - Jump Squat Test
Summary of Key Velocity Takeaways

10:15 - Normative Velocity Scores - Lower & Upper Main Lifts

So now I'm going to give you some normative velocity scores these are different percentages, this applies to the first or best rep in the set, not the set average. The set average, depending how many reps you do, (because your velocity is going to decrease every rep until you get to failure). So this is the best rep (which should be the first rep, if it's not the first rep in a set of squats, the athlete hasn't mentally prepared properly for the set. Same for deadlifts, same for hit thrust. So that that's the score at every sort of percentage for group data that we have. So we say okay 75% of 1RM is typically associated with 0.6 meters per second on a squat typically in groups of athletes. The standard deviation here (I've left it out for clarity) is about 0.03 to 0.06 for every single percentage for every single exercise you see there and you'll see in the next slide.[Next slide] Be aware though that athletes on the weaker side, if we look down here where it says 1RM 91.2kg, but their 1RM velocity would be about 0.34, a stronger athlete will be around 0.24 or 0.25. The reason for this is it's not because they have a different 1RM velocity really, weaker athletes are just scared of doing heavy weights. So they get to what we would perceive as a 2RM and they go “oh that's enough for me,  I don't think I can lift any more” or they take too big a jump and miss it, you know they just can't hold the technique together. So remember weaker athletes might be a slightly higher velocity than stronger or experienced athletes but it's no innate real change, they don't know how to max out basically, and they're scared of maxing out because of their inexperience. You know, we can accept that. [Next slide] Here's some scores for upper body exercises. The great thing about velocity-based training, and I'm going to go into load-velocity profiling later is you do not have to measure every single exercise once you know the velocity of someone bench presses, you know pretty much all the speed all their pressing exercises are about the same. So overhead press, incline press, dumbbell press, they’ll all be the same at these rough percentages of one 1RM. So we see a touch-and-go bench press is about 0.18, if you're doing with a longer sort of power lifting competition pause it it'll be lower, it'll be 0.14-0.12 but these are all touch and go bench presses and you can see that when we're at the heavier weights, they're pretty much the same. So once you know bench press you have good ballpark of all other pressing movements. These are pull-ups done from chin above the bar go down and pull up, rather than dead hang. If there's a dead hang start then this 1RM speed will be 0.25 rather than 0.2. Bench rows (or any sort of row that's strict, so not using your legs to get a bit of momentum), we get these scores a lot higher velocities etc. Now what I want you to know and it's really important for me to point out is this 1RM velocity, why we want to know it is it's the same velocity you have when you fail. So if I'm doing 80% and I do seven reps to failure (and I can't do an eighth) will be this speed, on all these exercises or any exercise. So by knowing this 1RM or doing a set of failure and finding out that failure speed, we know the velocity at which I'll fail irrespective of the weight I'm using and that helps us control training. We know below this velocity, I fail or this is where fatigue and failure occurs. I know that velocity, I either go to it in training or close to it, or I stay away from it. Again, it depends on your objective.

14:36 - Velocity Scores - Individual DifferencesSome people try to predict 1RM from group regression equations so here's five athletes I train. This is one testing session they all had a 110kg bench press 1RM, now you can see that these five athletes despite having the same 1RM, the difference is when we get to 73% one is 0.52 one is 0.62 so some people think when they just look at velocity “oh that athlete hit 0.62 he or she should be stronger than the athlete who's lifting the same weight and getting 0.52”. That might apply in a lot of situations, but not for every athlete. So these all have the same 1RM, they just have different velocity scores. So there's a standard deviation and that's why trying to predict a 1RM from a group equation for athletes is fool's gold. What I'm going to show you is we can predict it for the individual. That's why we develop the individuals load-velocity profile from four or five resistances and it just helps us guide training. With group equations, we can get that prediction but it's not super accurate as it's affected by state of fatigue in the training, readiness to train, your 1RM might not have changed but the velocity score for that weight might be down 0.02 or something. So just be aware that trying to predict a 1RM from a group equation is fool's gold. If you want to predict, predict it from that individual athlete's own load velocity profile.

16:18 - Normative Velocity Scores - Power Exercises here's some stuff for power cleans one hour in power clean about one meter per second average velocity when we look at Jump squats you know we go power output goes up and up and up to a certain point then it drops off and we're looking at mean velocity the same velocity one meter per second American football what is the velocity of your line drive research shows one meter per second one meter per second is a great velocity for maximizing power for lower body orientated exercise power clean jump squats smashing into someone in a line drive boom we know then this would be our Target velocity in peaking so even you can't do cleanse you're doing clean pulls average velocity around one meter per second 1.75 for Peak when we're peaking our athletes

17:10 - Normative Velocity Scores - Jump Squat Testif we're just doing uh jump squats with hands on the hips or the dowel rod uh no arm swing we're going to look at people four meters per second these are for athletes not for you college students or you know phys ed students this is above that so it's about 10 more so when you see some scores for males and females

17:33 - Summary of Key Velocity Takeawaysso like I said the most important thing to know when we're looking at velocity is if we know that failure speed that failure velocity of one RM or the third rep of a 3rm or the fifth rep of a five Iran we can control training we can take athletes to fatigue more or less and the athlete says oh that was pretty hard coach no we're supposed to be working RP nine nine and a half today you're you're nowhere near I can look at this velocity you've got one or two more reps left in you or let's put another 10 pounds in the bar and we can guide them that way or in season hey with a Friday night game this Wednesday which is going to do power training but we're not going to go anywhere near failure today or we just do explosive Dynamic app at work we can control those things objectively so I remember here's an example bench press discarded 130k bench press that's uh about 286 pounds 285. uh the velocity average velocity 0.19 three minutes later we did a six rep max or 85 guy got six reps point one seven so when you see those scores 0.19.17 they're essentially the same okay don't worry if it's 0.02 out it's it's essentially the same any score that's within .03 is essentially the same foreign

About the speaker

Dr. Dan Baker
VBT Expert

Dr. Baker's impressive credentials, including his former presidency of the Australian Strength & Conditioning Association and his extensive three-decade experience working with elite sporting organizations worldwide, have solidified his reputation as a true leader in the field.⁠ With a PhD in Sports Science and a deep understanding of testing and training, Dr. Baker expertly combines scientific knowledge with practical expertise to provide a comprehensive learning experience on velocity-based training.