Velocity Cutoffs are Critical for Reducing Injury Risk.
As a coach or an athlete, you want to ensure your training environment is safe and challenging for everyone involved. With VBT, you can adapt your sessions to any skill level and promote the same athletic adaptations.
Velocity-based training (VBT) uses the linear correlation between load and velocity to determine exertion levels. Many lifters use RPE or RIR and claim it does the same thing as VBT. Not so fast. RPE and RIR are subjective measurements that cannot be relied upon, especially in younger male athletes who often have trouble being honest with their abilities. Everyone can train at similar exertion levels and speeds using an objective measure like velocity. Now, all athletes have a chance to gain the exact adaptations that you programmed.
Manage Stress In Season
The goal of in-season training is to maintain strength and manage fatigue. The best way to do so is to train at a high intensity and within a small velocity range. High intensity means lifting heavy loads (>80% 1RM) to stimulate strength benefits. A small velocity range implies the speed of your first and last rep should be within 25% of each other.
For example, "Complete your working sets between 0.5 - 0.4 m/s."
Higher intensity and lower volume workouts allow athletes to recover quicker and compete more frequently. The velocity range is slow and narrow to promote strength stimulus and minimize recovery time. Essentially, you are lifting heavy but leaving reps in the tank.
Build in the Offseason
Off-season training aims to improve strength, build muscle, and improve athletic capacity. Typically, coaches prioritize high volume and a more extensive velocity range. More volume means lower weight to increase sets and reps. A larger velocity range is anything from 25% - 50%.
For example, "Complete your working sets between 0.7 - 0.35m/s
The velocity range is fast and wide to promote maximum muscle stimulus and a longer recovery.
Single Leg Testing to Identify Weak Links
Monthly single leg testing is a valuable option for athletes to identify injury risk related to egregious imbalances or wacky compensations. Pick a few relevant movements like SL RDLs or skaters squats and use Calibrex to monitor bar balance and best rep velocity. Complete three or four trials at increasingly heavier weights. Notice any significant differences? How did things feel from one leg to the other? Compare and contrast how you felt with the objective data. Address any concerns for a few weeks, then re-test.