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There are many ways strength and conditioning coaches can monitor athletes readiness or fatigue levels. Force plates and vertical jumps and grip strength measures for objective data. And subjective methods like daily questionnaires and rate of perceived exertion (RPE) scales. Tracking fatigue with VBT is a growing area of research too. Deviations from an individual’s baseline on any given day can dictate the need of the training load or volume for that day to fluctuate up or down.

The main reason to check athlete readiness in a weight room is to assess that fatigue and understand how a program may need to be altered to accommodate it. Knowing this we must take it upon ourselves to make sure we are prescribing the most accurate training load and volume we can to our athletes. That way we may decrease the incidence of overtraining or under training.

 

A READINESS ASSESSMENT WITH VBT

To follow up on our post of impacting on-field performance, we wanted to have this post focus on performance and assessment within the weight room. Velocity based training can help assess fatigue both in-sessions and by a separate assessment. There are two considerations for the best way to assess fatigue with VBT:

 

  1. Consistency is key! You will need to gather consistent data for each athlete to understand when they are ready to go, fatigued, or in danger of overtraining. The only way to do this is by tracking it consistently
  2. Jump squats are the quickest way to implement testing. Not only will you get real time feedback for how fatigued an athlete is, but this is stored in the cloud. In this way you can track longitudinal data to understand deviations from the baseline. And as a bonus you’ll get a quick explosive movement in pre-lift.

 

We recommend a dowel or barbell squat jump depending on the training age of the athlete. One attempt, three jumps, and then make your assessment and get to lifting.

 

Readiness assessments can also take place during the lift. If an athlete is consistently underperforming on their set velocity with a weight they typically can do, it is likely that they are fatigued and you can assess that during the lift in real time.

CONCLUSION

One of the biggest benefits of an objective data output is how quick and easy it is to understand athlete performance capabilities daily. Tracked over time, you get a really good understanding of readiness and fatigue, and can use that data in conjunction with on-field training plans to program effectively. In this way we can prevent overtraining and injury and continually improve athlete performance. This is true for both in the weight room and on the field of play.

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SOURCES:

  1. Micklewright D, Gibson ASC, Gladwell V, Salman AA. “Development and Validity of the Rating-of-Fatigue Scale.” Sports Medicine. March 2017.
  2. Thorpe, R. T., Atkinson, G., Drust, B., & Gregson, W. (2017). Monitoring fatigue status in elite team-sport athletes: Implications for practice. International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, 12, 27–34.
  3. Taylor, J. L., Amann, M., Duchateau, J., Meeusen, R., & Rice, C. L. (2016). Neural contributions to muscle fatigue: From the brain to the muscle and back again. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise.
  4. Sánchez-Medina, L., & González-Badillo, J. J. (2011). Velocity loss as an indicator of neuromuscular fatigue during resistance training. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 43(9), 1725–1734.
  5. Spiteri, T., Nimphius, S., Wolski, A., & Bird, S. (2013). Monitoring neuromuscular fatigue in female basketball players across training and game performance. Journal of Australian Strength and Conditioning, 21(S2), 73–74.
  6. Flanagan2, M. J. & D. E. P., & 1Hammarby. (2015). RESEARCHED APPLICATIONS OF VELOCITY BASED STRENGTH TRAINING Mladen. Journal of Australian Strength and Conditioning, 23(7), 58–69.
  7. Thorpe, R. T., Atkinson, G., Drust, B., & Gregson, W. (2017). Monitoring fatigue status in elite team-sport athletes: Implications for practice. International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, 12, 27–34.
  8. Bourdon, P. C., Cardinale, M., Murray, A., Gastin, P., Kellmann, M., Varley, M. C., … Cable, N. T. (2017). Monitoring Athlete Training Loads : Consensus Statement Monitoring Athlete Training Loads : Consensus Statement. International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, 12(May), 161–170.
  9. Taylor, K., Chapman, D., Cronin, J., Newton, M., & Gill, N. (2012). Fatigue monitoring in high performance sport: a survey of current trends. J Aust Strength Cond, 20(1), 12–23

GETTING STARTED WITH VELOCITY BASED TRAINING

Coach Brandon Golden was a performance coach in baseball for many years. He formerly was an assistant strength coach at East Carolina University, then with the Dodgers organization in the MLB, and is now with Future Fit. Brandon learned about velocity based training while at St. John’s University and used baseball and VBT to dig deeper. Brandon’s introduction to velocity based training was via Tendo Units. He saw how easy assessing athletes and planning programs could be.
Brandon saw the immediate difference VBT made for his players. When Perch came onto the scene, Brandon dug deeper and realized how big of a difference passive data collection and stored analytics could make. Brandon saw his athletes increase in power and strength with immediate feedback on each rep. He can watch them get excited with instant results as they lifted, helping create an even more competitive atmosphere. Baseball and VBT go hand in hand, here is why!

   

IMPLEMENTING VELOCITY BASED TRAINING

Brandon tries to meet athletes where they are. He uses velocity as markers and understand if an athlete is deficient in a specific train. He will then train them through a cycle using desired velocity parameters for specific adaptations. Brandon assesses athlete efficiency at the end of each cycle at heavier loads in that velocity range to determine where to train his athletes next.

  • Easily build and maintain athlete profiles based off of VBT and Perch data. Immediate feedback enhances the individual session, while stored data enhances long term development.
  • Recovery is easy to track and maintain with athletes by using velocity ranges to see how much an athlete can handle. Coaches can then keep athletes healthy in season more easily.
  • Increase efficiency with instantaneous data and feedback from your VBT device. Coaches don’t have to wait to assess athlete lifts for the day. 

CULTURE IN THE WEIGHT ROOM WITH VBT

VBT in the weight room has created a new kind of buy-in with Brandon’s athletes. Athlete goals can be set, kept, and monitored over time for each individual. Each athlete sport and positional specific needs are taken into account with baseball and VBT. Moreover, training with VBT can help gamify the weight room even more, so athletes can push themselves both in the weight room and on the field of play. Brandon profiles each athlete to build a road map and track progress over time.

Velocity Based Training creates a competitive weight room atmosphere. Athletes will regularly try to one-up each other within their loads in specific velocity zones. The weight room atmosphere improvements wasn’t something Brandon even expected. But competitive by nature, athletes will do everything they can to out-perform each other, VBT facilitates that too!

OUR TIPS & TRICKS

Using velocity daily is like continuously checking a map. Athletes will tell you how they feel, how recovered they are, and where they need to go next with their bodies and with the objective data from VBT devices. Without velocity, we are guessing on loads.

Monitor readiness daily and you’ll learn a ton about fatigue and VBT alike. Brandon recommends assessing 70%RM for athletes daily to gauge performance.

Train deficiencies until they are efficiencies. Athletes can work on “areas of improvement” and literally see themselves get better with the objective data. With that, they’re bought into you and your program at once.

 

DOWNLOAD THE FULL CASE STUDY & FOLLOW US!

Keep checking back for more velocity based training content, tips, tricks, and tools. And don’t forget to follow us on Twitter , Instagram and LinkedIn and like us on Facebook . And more on our YouTube Page!

GETTING STARTED WITH VELOCITY BASED TRAINING

At Hebron Christian Academy, Coach Spencer Arnold had to find a way to bring velocity based training technology into the weight room in a way that was safe for the student but also gave him really accurate data. In his words “Perch is a beautiful marriage between those two. I can set a camera up above and out of their reach, away from them breaking it, I don’t have any strings attached to my bar, there’s no devices on my bar. It is relatively seamless for the athlete. But at the same time we get really accurate objective data on more than just the velocity of the bar”
Now that the entire weight room is outfitted with Perch, Spencer has accurate data that can inform athlete fatigue and readiness. With teenage athletes, fluctuations in readiness, strength, and fatigue fall in an enormous range daily, Perch and VBT can help regulate loads and intensities to positively impact performance. Moreover, he knows that the adaptations he says he is getting with a program, is what he is actually getting with his athlete

   

IMPLEMENTING VELOCITY BASED TRAINING

Bringing technology into this high school weight room wasn’t that simple. Spencer had to get the entire school involved to make it a viable purchase. Spencer went about it in an inspiring and helpful way for high school coaches and students across the country. “School-wide how do you get buy in if you have 195 kids but a 400 person school? You find ways to bring the whole school in the weight room, our marketing department in the weight room, our IT department in the weight room. I think that has been critically important for our success here.” Spencer was able to leverage the importance of technology, and bring the entire school together.

   

BRINGING THE SCHOOL INTO THE WEIGHT ROOM

Administration buy-in was the biggest obstacle for Spencer at Hebron Christian Academy. He had to work on bringing the school into the weight room to allow them to see the value of VBT. “Bring other people from outside of your weight room into your weight room and then all of the sudden, it’s not that big a purchase anymore. Because you’re spending money on the entire student population. Everybody is using this technology. So because everyone is using this technology, it doesn’t seem like such a daunting task anymore. It is a school system buying something that is going to impact a school system.”

 

OUR TIPS & TRICKS

The Future of Weight Training is Here! In 5 years, Spencer believes VBT will be in every major High School.


Taking the Guess Work Away with VBT enables coaches to guarantee traits they are trying to develop are developed


Leveling the Playing Field with VBT is as easy as using the leaderboard to ensure everyone is recognized


Daily Fluctuations in Readiness Are More Pronounced in high school and developing athletes. VBT accounts for it.


Whether You Realize It or not you are always looking for a specific speed when you program. Make sure you know that what that speed is and help your athletes adhere to it!

 

 

 

DOWNLOAD THE FULL CASE STUDY & FOLLOW US!

Keep checking back for more velocity based training content, tips, tricks, and tools. And don’t forget to follow us on Twitter , Instagram and LinkedIn and like us on Facebook . And more on our YouTube Page!

VBT and On-Field Performance is exactly the pairing to focus on. There is no doubt that using velocity based training can make athletes stronger, faster and more powerful in the weight room. However, the most important thing is if these adaptations effect on-field performance.

 

So the question remains: can these changes impact on field performance and can velocity based training in the weight room help athletes improve their game? Can VBT and on-field performance go hand in hand?

 

FEEDBACK AND PERFORMANCE

A huge benefit to using VBT systems is the instantaneous feedback you get on every rep throughout a workout. A constant source of feedback can guide an athlete to perform at their most optimal level. 

For some context, a study by researchers Randell et al. compared VBT in the squat jump with feedback given and and not given and compared performances. Performance was compared in the vertical jump, horizontal jump, and 10/20/30 meter sprint. This took place pre and post six weeks of training. Thirteen professional rugby players underwent the protocol. After the six weeks, performance in the horizontal jump and the 30 meter sprint showed the most significant improvement with the probability of feedback being beneficial 83% and 99% respectively. The vertical jump, 10 and 20 meter sprints showed insignificant improvement, but improvement nonetheless.

Regardless, it was a great nod to the use of VBT and on-field performance to impact each other and improve with each other.

 

PBT VS VBT FOR IN-SEASON TRAINING

From a sports perspective, it is also valuable to get the most out of the weight room while also keeping the player’s readiness as high as possible. In a perfect world, coaches would like to make gains in the weight room and keep player stress down to be optimized for a game. Therefore, VBT and on-field performance can enhance each other.

To reference another study, Researchers Orange et al. compared percentage based in-season training against velocity based in-season training. They evaluated 27 Academy Rugby League players. Performance was compared in the back squat 1-rep max, counter movement jump, and 30 meter sprint. 

And for the results? After seven weeks of training, VBT yielded higher session mean velocity and mean power in the back squat while time under tension and perceived stress were lower compared to percentage based training. Countermovement jump height and one-rep max squat improved in both groups. Sprint performance decreased in both groups, however the researchers designated this decrease to not having sprint training in-season, as well as being later in the rugby season when fatigue is higher. Overall, the researcher’s deemed VBT to be beneficial in-season to improve lower body training stimuli. It also helps decrease training stress, and promotes velocity-specific adaptations.

 

CONCLUSION

The best way to keep your athletes powerful in the weight room and fresh on the playing field is to use the VBT advantage. Monitor your athlete’s stress, make gains when they matter the most and make sure you have the most optimized athletes on the field.

 

FOLLOW US!

Keep checking back for more velocity based training content, tips, tricks, and tools. And don’t forget to follow us on Twitter , Instagram and LinkedIn and like us on Facebook . And more on our YouTube Page!

 

SOURCES:

  1. Orange, S. T., Metcalfe, J. W., Robinson, A., Applegarth, M. J., & Liefeith, A. (2019). Effects of in-season velocity- versus percentage-based training in academy rugby league players. International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, 1-8, 1–8. https://doi.org/10.1123/ijspp.2019-0058

  2. Randell, A. D., Cronin, J. B., Keogh, J. W., Gill, N. D., & Pedersen, M. C. (2011). Effect of instantaneous performance feedback during 6 weeks of velocity-based resistance training on sport-specific performance tests. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 25(1), 87–93. https://doi.org/10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181fee634

Movement quality has been a hot topic in the strength and conditioning field for years. The quality of movement has an effect on athletic ability and injury prevention. The Functional Movement Screen (FMS) is the leading movement screen for athletes and the general population.

 

The FMS is able to quantify efficiency in different movement patterns to give the evaluator an idea of how well an individual moves and gives us insight to look at the body’s joints for dysfunction. It is another objective measure to help determine performance. Using another objective measurement device, we can determine if VBT and Movement Quality can work together to improve athlete performance. And if return to play protocols using VBT can help.

 

MOVEMENT QUALITY AND FORCE PRODUCTION

A major question around movement quality is if the body can provide maximal force when joints are not in alignment with their stable and mobile nature? If the knees and ankles are unstable in a squat, it’s like trying to shoot a cannon out of a canoe; The body is being asked to perform a stable task in an unstable environment.

This said, movement quality matters, especially when maximizing intent in the weight room. Coaches sometimes err away from VBT because when an athlete is challenged to move fast, form can slip. This is why we emphasize that VBT is a great tool to help provide objective guidance around loads, but coaches are still needed to coach. In this way, movement quality is retained. Therefore, VBT and movement quality can go hand in hand, the extent to which is up to the coach.

 

INJURY AND RETURN TO PLAY USING VBT

Returning to play after injury is an enormous field of research. Assessing movement quality subjectively and using VBT for objective data can alleviate guesswork in this process. A common injury across sports is anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears. Knee instability is commonly found post ACL surgery. Due to this, in return to play protocol it is common practice to evaluate individual limb differences with force output.

Researchers Ardern et al. found that after an ACL reconstruction surgery, only 63% of 5770 athletes were able to return to their pre-injury level of play. These individuals were evaluated using strength metrics but not power. In addition, Researchers Angelozzi et al. found that even when strength levels returned to normal post-ACL reconstruction, there were still significant deficits in rate of force development 6-months afterward. 

 

VBT AND MOVEMENT QUALITY

VBT devices can shed light on differentiation between lower body limbs. And Perch specifically is able to categorize unilateral movements and assign velocity and power metrics to right vs left limbs. Therefore, coaches can use these metrics to gain insight into individual leg differences in force development. 

For example: using a single leg jump protocol, Perch can measure the velocity of a single leg vertical jump. Additionally, we know the less force put into the ground, the lower the velocity of the bar. From this we can then get an idea as to unilateral differences in stability and rate of force development. This insight into athlete movement and rate of force development could prove invaluable when making programming decisions for our athletes. In turn, this can help them return to play safely and functionally.

 

CONCLUSION

Could movement screening paired with velocity screening provide us the looking glass we need to spot deficits in athlete rate of force development? Bridging the gap between movement quality and accurate analysis of force production could be the next best way to keep our athletes safer and stronger on and off the field.

 

FOLLOW US!

Keep checking back for more velocity based training content, tips, tricks, and tools. And don’t forget to follow us on Twitter , Instagram and LinkedIn and like us on Facebook . And more on our YouTube Page!

 

SOURCES:

  1. Ardern, C. L., Webster, K. E., Taylor, N. F., & Feller, J. A. (2011). Return to sport following anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction surgery: a systematic review and meta-analysis of the state of play. British journal of sports medicine, 45(7), 596–606. https://doi.org/10.1136/bjsm.2010.076364

  2. Angelozzi, M., Madama, M., Corsica, C., Calvisi, V., Properzi, G., McCaw, S. T., & Cacchio, A. (2012). Rate of force development as an adjunctive outcome measure for return-to-sport decisions after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction. The Journal of orthopaedic and sports physical therapy, 42(9), 772–780. https://doi.org/10.2519/jospt.2012.3780