What is Velocity-Based Training?

What is Velocity-Based Training?
Why do we want to measure velocity during training?
Velocity measurement devices overview + Why Output is a good choice
When to use Peak or Mean Velocity

Dan Baker’s Webinar

Using Velocity Measures to Improve Resistance Training programs and Coaching for High School AthletesThanks Damian, I'll just share my screen now. Okay so everyone, I'm just going to talk today about using Output for velocity only. It has many other uses which we'll see in a moment but I'll just restrict our talk to Velocity and how we can improve both the resistance training programs that we write and also how we coach our athletes in the weight room by using velocity measures. So what we're going to cover, if we look at this in two parts, the first part of just covering the VBT basics; why measure and why monitor velocity scores, different devices, different measures of velocity including mean and Peak, some normative data and how to develop a load velocity profile for your athletes for the key exercises. Then we'll look at actually you know our training how we use velocity then in training in a session, planning a training cycle, modifying the resistances in a session based on fatigue or based on how the athlete feels and then linking velocity to RPE or RIR, helping to educate the athlete about how close or far away to stay away from failure. We’ll then just look at dynamic effort training days, how we can use velocity to get better athlete intent and buy-in and then the last part involves looking at how we use velocity to reinforce good technique and improve technical faults so we'll go into that as well briefly at the end.4:30 - What is Velocity-Based Training?I actually don't like the term velocity-based training. We use velocity, my training is based on %1RM, RPE and all sorts of things so, it's not totally based on velocity… but VBT is a term that's around now, so we'll just use it. Think of it as you using velocity to improve how you're actually writing your programs, you don't have to change how you program. If you've got a beautiful way of programming successfully, stay with it. Simply use velocity to help you to make it slightly better.

5:07 - Why do we want to measure velocity during training?Velocity in the first rep or best rep in a set tells you your strength levels, in comparison to the last time you live for that same weight. So if your velocity is up by a certain amount, you're stronger, if it's down by a certain amount then you are probably fatigued and lost a little bit of strength. It's directly linked to your existing, at-that-time strength level and even within a workout if you're starting doing three or four sets and your velocity starts to drop off on your first rep we can see how much you are fatiguing or what's the strength loss across these three or four or five sets. Velocity tells us our strength. The velocity of the last rep in a set tells you how fatiguing that set was and how close you are to muscular failure whether you want to go there or not go there. Basically if we think about VBT, we think about two things; the best velocity in a set and the last rep velocity. They're the two things we really look at so if we look at them, we're halfway home.

6:17 - Velocity measurement devices overview + Why Output is a good choiceSo there's different devices and different technologies. So we have these things called inertial measurement systems (IMU), so think of Output, it's got an accelerometer but it's also got a gyroscope (the thing that's in your iPhone that tells you it's upside down or whatever) things like that. We have position transducers such as Gymaware, Tendodyne, Vitruve and you have either 3D filming systems like EliteForm or sometimes cheap things you can put on your iPhone that just uses the camera. They're not as good, they take a lot of time etc.Next Slide: So we've got different methods and there's different brands of these things for IMUS, position transducers that have been around for a long time. I was using PlyometricPower System back in 1993. So that's how long velocity training's been around, for 30 years now, it's a new thing and of course there's Digital Optical Systems. People say “oh this is the best system, that's the best system”. What I say is if you've got swimming athletes, then a pull-up is an important exercise. Certain systems/devices don't work well for pull-ups. We can put the Output system on our forearm or bicep attached to a strap, we can measure pull-ups, we can measure dumbbells. Certain devices that I showed you don't work well with certain exercises. The good thing about Output, it works well on lots of exercises. Barbell exercises, dumbbells, med balls, things like that. So I really like it because it has [Next slide] other functions so we can measure range of motion and we can put the sensor on our shoulders and look at that external range of motion. We can see there's a difference in my range of motion on each shoulder and we can get the exact angle. We can look at stability, one-legged holds, you know a physio may say “return to play… it's going to be 90% or she's gonna be 90%”. How am I measuring that? So Output gives us those things. It gives us objective numbers for these tests such as range of motion, stability, balance and that's why it's great as well as the velocity-based training.

8:38 - When to use Peak or Mean VelocityNow looking quickly, when we look at the velocity scores within each rep we have two types of velocity: where the peak velocity (which is the highest velocity that occurs anywhere in that range of motion) and then we have the mean velocity (which is that velocity across the range of motion from bottom of the rep to the start of the rep) so each rep you have two and the below example shoes different devices, peak and mean. Which one do you look at? [Next Slide] It's pretty simple for me. Any strength orientated or muscle building exercise such as squat, bench press, deadlift, row and any sort of press, just look at mean velocity. Don't worry about peak velocity too much. You get paralysis by analysis looking at all these numbers. Mean velocity is where it's at. When we're looking at really speed-based exercises such as jumps, med ball throws, hops, bounces, anything really light, just look at peak velocity. Now, once we get these real power exercise in the middle you know our Olympic lifts our heavier jump squats with 20, 30, 40, 50, 60%. Dynamic effort work etc, we can look at both. I tend to look at mean velocity more than peak, because I found better correlations to sporting success. Other people might look at peak velocity but you know things like these [Next slide] power cleans we can look at both mean and peak so that that option exists

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.