Get Performance Resources.

Category Archives: VBT for Specific Populations

For the last chapter in our five part series about Velocity Based Training for specific populations we will be covering VBT for General Population. General population is a relatively vague term, so to start, we’ll cover that. In the fitness/strength world, the term “general population” refers to non-athlete clients [1]. The average joe, if you will. While this population of gym-goers may not be training for a specific event, they are still humans encountering daily stress and looking to optimize their longevity and overall health and wellness. Enter: Data Points.

Despite the lack of traditional periodization needs for competitive peaking, it is still important for us to understand readiness, fatigue, and performance where it matters most for general population clients: daily life.

SOME CONTEXT

Think of it this way: an average American sees their primary care physician (PCP) maybe once a year for an hour. A coach or personal trainer will be the closest thing to a healthcare practitioner a gen pop client will see outside of their annual physical. And they will be seen and evaluated multiple times a week at that. As a quick caveat: by no means are we suggesting that a coach or personal trainer has the education or training to replace these formal doctor visits. Rather, they are a health and wellness professional that has routine access to clients to help build healthy habits and assess overall wellness at regular intervals [1, 10-12].

Moreover, as technology works its way into the gym setting more and more, coaches, personal trainers and doctors will have more data on general population fitness and wellness. The intersection of gym and healthcare becomes more overlaid as technology is incorporated into fitness settings. Regular incorporation of heart rate tracking has benefitted multiple individuals already. Data points can only continue to help coaches, trainers, and doctors monitor clients and keep a finger on the figurative pulse of general population health and wellness.

Weekend warriors and recreationally active individuals can benefit in their personal, training, and professional lives by using and measuring velocity and power outputs in the gym.
Weekend warriors and recreationally active individuals can benefit in their personal, training, and professional lives by using and measuring velocity and power outputs in the gym.

On top of all of this, there are still a good amount of recreational weekend warriors, road runners, spartan racers, triathletes etc who are trying to work full time jobs, be present and active with their family, train, and peak for their various competitions. Having objective measures that will inform the intensity and volume of their training to ultimately enhance their lives outside of their training session is imperative. In this way, we keep individuals healthy and happy and returning to the gym. So how can VBT for general population really help?

BENEFITS OF VBT FOR GENERAL POPULATION

For clients looking to stay moderately fit, increase their quality of life and longevity, continue to show up for their family and friends for years to come, you may not initially think of implementing VBT. Indeed, an individual definitely should have some prerequisite knowledge of strength training prior to incorporating a velocity or power data point. This is true of any population.

But research has been indicating that the loss of Type II, or “fast twitch” fibers leads to rapid atrophy and muscular decline in aging populations [1, 10-13]. The only way to retain this is to increase power outputs [1, 10-13]. And unless we have a baseline understanding of an individual’s power capabilities or even their Force/Velocity Profile, it is hard to objectively say whether or not we are improving. By using VBT, we can build and continually assess F/V Profiles for our gen pop clients and paint a picture of their progress using that data.

RECOMMENDATIONS FOR IMPLEMENTING VBT FOR GENERAL POPULATION

THE “HOW” IS OFTEN IN QUESTION. HERE’S WHAT WE WOULD RECOMMEND:

  1. Using Velocity Based Training, build a force velocity profile for your gen pop clients
  2. Re-assess this profile at regular intervals (monthly or at the start of a new training cycle)
  3. Use VBT as a daily readiness assessment: If they are within 10% of their baseline, train as usual. If they drop below, cut volume or intensity. If they are above, add volume or intensity.
  4. Train regularly with velocity to maximize intent and output, give your clients a target and watch them shine!

TRAINING AGING POPULATIONS

While general population can refer to any age group, the quickest growing client base for gyms across the country is 70+ year olds [14]. With this in mind, it is important to consider how best to train aging populations for health and longevity. According to the research, maintaining type II or fast twitch fiber type is the best way to ensure fewer injuries, fewer falls, and retained independence into later years [10-14]. This is where VBT can fit into the programming for general and aging populations. Providing regular assessments, data points, and an understanding of effort and intent just may help improve quality of life in later years.

Aging clientele can benefit from increased power and velocities in the weight room.
Aging clientele can benefit from increased power and velocities in the weight room.

OTHER RELEVANT POSTS!

Curious about the Coach’s perspective on VBT? Check out our Coach’s Corner series!

Check out our Return To Play from Covid-19 series!

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 .

SOURCES

  1. Baechle, T., Earle, R., & National Strength & Conditioning Association (U.S.). (2008). Essentials of strength training and conditioning (3rd ed.). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.
  2. 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.
  3. Gonzalez-Badillo, J.; Sanchez-Medina, L. Movement velocity as a measure of loading intensity in resistance training. Int. J. Sports Med. 2010, 31, 347–352.
  4. Jidovtseff, B.; Harris, N.; Crielaard, J.; Cronin, J. Using the load-velocity relationship for 1rm prediction. J. Strength Cond. Res. 2011, 25, 267–270.
  5. Jiménez-Reyes, P., Samozino, P., Brughelli, M., & Morin, J. B. (2017). Effectiveness of an individualized training based on force-velocity profiling during jumping. Frontiers in Physiology.
  6. Jovanovich, M.; Flanagan, E. Research application of velocity based strength training. J. Aust. Strength Cond. 2014, 22, 58–69.
  7. Mann, B., Kazadi, K., Pirrung, E., & Jensen, J. (2016). Developing explosive athletes: Use of velocity based training in athletes. Muskegon Heights, MI: Ultimate Athlete Concepts.
  8. Mann, J. B., Thyfault, J. P., Ivey, P. A., & Sayers, S. P. (2010). The effect of autoregulatory progressive resistance exercise vs. linear periodization on strength improvement in college athletes. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.
  9. Potgieter, S. (2013). Sport nutrition: A review of the latest guidelines for exercise and sport nutrition from the American College of Sport Nutrition, the International Olympic Committee and the International Society for Sports Nutrition. South African Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
  10. Fielding, R. A., LeBrasseur, N. K., Cuoco, A., Bean, J., Mizer, K., & Fiatarone Singh, M. A. (2002). High-velocity resistance training increases skeletal muscle peak power in older women. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 50(4), 655–662.
  11. Sayers, S. P., Gibson, K., & Bryan Mann, J. (2016). Improvement in functional performance with high-speed power training in older adults is optimized in those with the highest training velocity. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 116(11–12), 2327–2336.
  12. Guggenheimer, J. D., Olsen, S., & Kurvers, D. (2016). Resistance training for older adults. 2016.
  13. Blazevich, A. J. (2006). Effects of physical training and detraining, immobilisation, growth and aging on human fascicle geometry. Sports Medicine.
  14. Oldfield, A. B., & Oldfield, B. (2018, January 18). The 70 Age Group Is a Fast-Growing Client Base for Personal Trainers. Here’s What You Need to Know to Work Successfully with Them. Retrieved from https://www.theptdc.com/70-age-group-work-successfully-with

This week we continue our 5-part-series on Velocity Based Training for specific populations with VBT for military personnel. When your “sport” is survival in combat, the stakes are a bit higher. And when overtraining or injuries have the potential to risk national security, the precision with which training sessions are executed is paramount.

THE JOB OF MILITARY PERSONNEL IS INHERENTLY STRESSFUL, WITH ADDITIONAL STRESS (TO NAME A FEW) IN THE FORM OF [11-12]:

  1. Irregular Schedules and Long Hours
  2. Sleep Deprivation
  3. Family Life
  4. Extensive International Travel
  5. Physical and/or Mental Trauma

Without a way to monitor or regulate loads contingent on the individual’s status, training becomes a guessing game when it needs to be executed with the utmost care and precision.

VBT IN A MILITARY SETTING

As in any setting, the Military has a range of athletes: some who enjoy PT and want to constantly lift and train, some who want to do the bare minimum, and plenty in between. By using VBT, we can help regulate the loads of the most committed to enhance their performance where it matters most (the field of battle). And we can encourage those less inspired to train by providing a metric and live feedback to enhance their performance and efforts within the weight room setting.

On top of this, with VBT, and Perch specifically, data is accessible via the tablet app, and then stored in the web app. PT coaches can access the data and monitor longitudinal trends for individuals, catch any red flags that may be indicative of overtraining or excessive fatigue, and help keep athletes on track. The more Military Personnel that remain active and injury free enhances the amount of resources available to continue to protect national security interests both at home and abroad [1, 11-12]. And weight room technology by way of velocity based training can assist in that pipeline.

A HYPOTHETICAL CASE STUDY

Let’s say you’re a PT coach for a military base in North Carolina. You have an operator who recently came back from a 9 month deployment. You trained him regularly prior to his deployment but don’t know how consistent he has been in the last 9 months, nor do you know what the nature of his deployment was. After months of his sympathetic nervous system being on high alert, and 36 hours of travel back to base, he caught a nasty cold. His wife, young daughter, and infant son were eagerly awaiting his arrival and he has been catching up on time with them instead of resting to recover properly.

He is coming to see you tomorrow in the weight room for PT, and you’re not sure what he will be like upon arrival. Your job is to ease him back in, but given the large amounts of stress acting on him, it will be tough to gauge without data points. With Velocity Based Training, you can understand the amount of accumulated fatigue, and regulate loads and volume to enhance his recovery instead of detract from it. In this way, we can prevent chances of injury and get him back to full health sooner and with greater precision.

CONCLUSION

Velocity Based Training provides data points where previously there were none, and can alert coaches to potential issues with military personnel before they erupt. Technology can inform decision making on the battlefield and on base, including it in the weight room is just another step on the way to making training military personnel a precise science instead of a guessing game.

SOURCES

  1. Baechle, T., Earle, R., & National Strength & Conditioning Association (U.S.). (2008). Essentials of strength training and conditioning (3rd ed.). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.
  2. 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.
  3. Gonzalez-Badillo, J.; Sanchez-Medina, L. Movement velocity as a measure of loading intensity in resistance training. Int. J. Sports Med. 2010, 31, 347–352.
  4. Jidovtseff, B.; Harris, N.; Crielaard, J.; Cronin, J. Using the load-velocity relationship for 1rm prediction. J. Strength Cond. Res. 2011, 25, 267–270.
  5. Jiménez-Reyes, P., Samozino, P., Brughelli, M., & Morin, J. B. (2017). Effectiveness of an individualized training based on force-velocity profiling during jumping. Frontiers in Physiology.
  6. Jovanovich, M.; Flanagan, E. Research application of velocity based strength training. J. Aust. Strength Cond. 2014, 22, 58–69.
  7. Mann, B., Kazadi, K., Pirrung, E., & Jensen, J. (2016). Developing explosive athletes: Use of velocity based training in athletes. Muskegon Heights, MI: Ultimate Athlete Concepts.
  8. Mann, J. B., Thyfault, J. P., Ivey, P. A., & Sayers, S. P. (2010). The effect of autoregulatory progressive resistance exercise vs. linear periodization on strength improvement in college athletes. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.
  9. 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.
  10. Potgieter, S. (2013). Sport nutrition: A review of the latest guidelines for exercise and sport nutrition from the American College of Sport Nutrition, the International Olympic Committee and the International Society for Sports Nutrition. South African Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
  11. Bray, R. M., Camlin, C. S., Fairbank, J. A., Dunteman, G. H., & Wheeless, S. C. (2001). The effects of stress on job functioning of military men and women. Armed Forces and Society.
  12. Pflanz, S., & Sonnek, S. (2002). Work Stress in the Military: Prevalence, Causes, and Relationship to Emotional Health. Military Medicine. https://doi.org/10.1093/milmed/167.11.877

This week we are continuing our Velocity Based Training for specific populations series with VBT for High School Athletes. High School athletes are typically not fully physically developed, younger in training age and numerical age, and have a variety of external factors influencing their ability to perform. These can range from school stress, college application stress, family stress, travel stress, and oftentimes nutritional stress as well. Younger athletes are

Through this post, we want to remember that for high school athletes who are still developing, lifting is supplemental. While it can certainly help prevent injury and enhance performance, it should not be loaded for loading’s sake. Progressive overload and close monitoring of individual progress should still be sound practice, and their sport should not detract from education or family life.

HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETE STATISTICS

INJURY RATES

In a comprehensive 20162017 meta-analysis of all annual high school athlete injuries, the University of Colorado provided data indicating the amount of injuries high school athletes sustain in a calendar year. An estimated 1,160,321 high school athletes were injured in 20162017. This totals about 2.09% of all high school athletes. While the percentage may not seem unreasonably high, the sum total of injuries certainly is. And whether just a few days or season or career ending, every injury matters. Coaches can help mitigate and decrease that number both in and out of the weight room by checking in with their athletes, assessing readiness to perform, and providing tangible resources for recovery and nutrition [12].

NUTRITIONAL RATES

In 2018, an independent organization surveyed thousands of high school students in order to understand the nutritional habits of the demographic. Of the surveyed high schoolers, 14.1% were found to have not eaten breakfast, 18.7% consumed high amounts of soda, and 5.6% had low fruit consumption while 7.2% had low vegetable consumption [13]. General recommendations for high school aged athlete macronutrient consumption is Carb 45-65%:Protein 10-30%:Fat 25-35% [10]. High amounts of low sugar fluids are recommended as well (13 mL/kg body weight during exercise, and 4 mL/kg body weight after exercise). It is widely recommended that high schoolers eat breakfast and time meals and snacks out throughout the day [10].

GRADUATION RATES

In 2014, Kansas High School athletes graduated at a rate of 98%, versus their non-athletic peers at 90% [11]. With this in mind, keeping athletes involved in sports is incredibly important for their overall health, well-being, and education. Training therefore needs to enhance health and performance and prevent injuries instead of overstress. We need to know what stimulus we are providing with greater precision. And in order to know this with certainty, we need data points to back it up.

High schoolers are learning how to take care of themselves, eat appropriately, train appropriately, and recover appropriately. With so many variables at play, the addition of data points in the weight room can give us an idea of how external stressors may be impacting their performance. Through VBT administered readiness assessments, and continually assessing and adjusting throughout the course of a workout, we give our high school athletes a chance to create positive adaptations. Moreover, we give coaches a chance to be alerted if an issue inside or outside the weight room exists.

TRAINING FREQUENCY

Because of the young training age, a lot of initial adaptations for high school athletes are neuromuscular [1]. Meaning they may not initially be getting “stronger” they may just be increasing the efficiency of their movement patterns. This process is enhanced by greater volume, not load. And the volume can help be quantified when it is backed up by data points related to velocities.

Without using velocity to inform the intent of the athlete’s pattern, we’re guessing if the volume is enough to initiate the desired adaptations. Velocity Based Training is autoregulatory, the volume is therefore autoregulatory, and assuming maximal intent, an athlete will stop when the volume truly is enough which will be dictated by movement speed and thresholds [4, 7-8]. If a younger athlete can use VBT to regulate total volume and load, and increase efficiency of their movement patterns and do so with sound data at a faster rate than previously possible, greater improvements can be made much quicker.

CONCLUSION

With exorbitant variables at play for developing high school athletes, having additional data points from velocity based training can only help paint a full picture. Coaches can use this data to help athletes who may be struggling, to encourage those who need it, and ultimately help improve wellness and overall performance.

OTHER RELEVANT POSTS!

Curious about the Coach’s perspective on VBT? Check out our Coach’s Corner series with high school strength coach’s!

Check out our Return To Play from Covid-19 series!

SOURCES

  1. Baechle, T., Earle, R., & National Strength & Conditioning Association (U.S.). (2008). Essentials of strength training and conditioning (3rd ed.). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.
  2. 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.
  3. Gonzalez-Badillo, J.; Sanchez-Medina, L. Movement velocity as a measure of loading intensity in resistance training. Int. J. Sports Med. 2010, 31, 347–352.
  4. Jidovtseff, B.; Harris, N.; Crielaard, J.; Cronin, J. Using the load-velocity relationship for 1rm prediction. J. Strength Cond. Res. 2011, 25, 267–270.
  5. Jiménez-Reyes, P., Samozino, P., Brughelli, M., & Morin, J. B. (2017). Effectiveness of an individualized training based on force-velocity profiling during jumping. Frontiers in Physiology.
  6. Jovanovich, M.; Flanagan, E. Research application of velocity based strength training. J. Aust. Strength Cond. 2014, 22, 58–69.
  7. Mann, B., Kazadi, K., Pirrung, E., & Jensen, J. (2016). Developing explosive athletes: Use of velocity based training in athletes. Muskegon Heights, MI: Ultimate Athlete Concepts.
  8. Mann, J. B., Thyfault, J. P., Ivey, P. A., & Sayers, S. P. (2010). The effect of autoregulatory progressive resistance exercise vs. linear periodization on strength improvement in college athletes. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.
  9. 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.
  10. Potgieter, S. (2013). Sport nutrition: A review of the latest guidelines for exercise and sport nutrition from the American College of Sport Nutrition, the International Olympic Committee and the International Society for Sports Nutrition. South African Journal of Clinical Nutrition. https://doi.org/10.1080/16070658.2013.11734434
  11. Barkhorn, E. (2014, January 30). Athletes Are More Likely to Finish High School Than Non-Athletes. Retrieved from https://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2014/01/athletes-are-more-likely-to-finish-high-school-than-non-athletes/283455/
  12. Comstock, D., Pierpoint, L., Erkenbeck, A., Bihl, J., (2017). National High School Sports-Related Injury Surveillance Study. High School RIO., 1-127.
  13. Nutrition Habits of U.S. High School Students. (2017). Retrieved from https://stateofchildhoodobesity.org/high-school-nutrition/

Last week we talked about how Velocity Based Training fits into a collegiate athletic environment . We got some great feedback on it and wanted to build it into a five part series on VBT for specific populations. This week we’ll be talking about VBT for professional athletes; the unique circumstances that make up their lives and how VBT can help optimize performance despite the many day to day obstacles pro athletes encounter.

THE OBSTACLES

Like any professional career, athletes have innumerable components to consider with their jobs.

TO NAME A FEW:

  1. Hiring/Firing, contracts, and job security
  2. Traveling for work and for fun
  3. Family, friends, and work/life balance
  4. Financial planning, considerations, and stability
  5. Overall stress and workload in addition to long term health considerations

Performance is key in most professional careers, and it is not so different in athletics. The primary difference is that in order to perform, athletes must be at the very top of their physical game, which involves a prerequisite and consistent level of fitness specific to their sport or position.

Professional athletics is a business in most regards. That business depends on performance and overall health and the individual athlete themselves. While front office individuals are ultimately the decision makers on who stays and goes and how to build the team, the support staff (athletic trainers, strength coaches, team physicians, sports psychologists) is who keeps the athletes in the organization healthy. The means by which they do this can be the difference in injury or health, performing or failing, and ultimately a job for the athlete or none.

TRAINING SHOULD ENHANCE PERFORMANCE

Training – be it sport specific or supplemental work in the weight room – should ultimately enhance the overall performance of an athlete. The training is the catalyst and the recovery process is what will yield the improvements in fitness levels and performance [1]. However, if the training stimulus is too great, it will take an individual longer to recover and potentially negatively impact performances for longer than necessary. In addition, providing a training stimulus too great can put an athlete at risk of overtraining or injury [1, 4].

Even for most experienced coaches, it can be hard to pinpoint what the right training stimulus will be when athletes – especially professional athletes – have an exorbitant amount of stress placed on them every day. Travel, family, contracts, competitions, training sessions, the list goes on. With that in mind, having an additional set of eyes, or a data point used as a “sanity-check” of sorts can help coaches feel more confident in their training prescription.

VBT BENEFITS FOR PROFESSIONAL ATHLETES

Well prescribed Velocity Based Training can assist a practitioner in combating overtraining or injury by using data points to back up whether or not an athlete is training for the desired adaptation, assess daily readiness, and monitor fatigue through a session or season [1-2, 6-8]. It may not see everything and may not solve all problems, but it is another tool in the coaching toolbox that can help inform daily training loads.

Professional athletes have the longevity of their careers to think about, which is oftentimes a direct result of their overall health and wellness. While these two facets certainly overlap, the bigger payout is something to consider as well. Meaning that the healthier the athlete, the better the performances. The better the performances, the higher the demand. The higher the demand, the greater the revenue. Ultimately, training athletes for specific adaptations to enhance performances and minimize risk of injury can benefit not only the individual and their career, but also the overall athletic organization.

NO ONE RIGHT WAY

As is commonly said in strength and conditioning – there are a thousand ways to skin a cat. The way strength and conditioning has been administered to date has yielded vast improvements, reduced injury, and increased athletic performance [1, 4-8]. And coaches who are comfortable and confident in their programming and monitoring capabilities may be hard pressed to buy into the weight room technology surge.

While weight room technology seems to be in its infancy, trends indicate that analytics will only continue to infiltrate athletics in years to come [10]. And if you, as a coach, could use data points and potentially alter a training session to provide just the right stimulus for your athlete to elicit the adaptations that will enhance performances, why wouldn’t you? This could mean a healthier and more prepared athlete, greater performances, fewer injuries, and potentially even greater revenue for the athlete, coach, and organization.

CONCLUSION

There is no one right way to train athletes and it is doubtful there ever will be. Sport demands are variable, positional needs are variable, and athletes themselves are variable. Weight room data and specifically velocity based training can help pinpoint strengths and weaknesses in athletes, provide insight into daily readiness, and monitor longitudinal trends in athletic performances. It can help individualize athletic training at a moment’s notice and, when used appropriately, can help enhance the performance and career of a professional athlete.

OTHER RELEVANT POSTS!

Curious about the Coach’s perspective on VBT? Check out our Coach’s Corner series with pro league coaches!

Check out our Return To Play from Covid-19 series!

SOURCES

  1. Baechle, T., Earle, R., & National Strength & Conditioning Association (U.S.). (2008). Essentials of strength training and conditioning (3rd ed.). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.
  2. 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.
  3. Gonzalez-Badillo, J.; Sanchez-Medina, L. Movement velocity as a measure of loading intensity in resistance training. Int. J. Sports Med. 2010, 31, 347–352.
  4. Jidovtseff, B.; Harris, N.; Crielaard, J.; Cronin, J. Using the load-velocity relationship for 1rm prediction. J. Strength Cond. Res. 2011, 25, 267–270.
  5. Jiménez-Reyes, P., Samozino, P., Brughelli, M., & Morin, J. B. (2017). Effectiveness of an individualized training based on force-velocity profiling during jumping. Frontiers in Physiology.
  6. Jovanovich, M.; Flanagan, E. Research application of velocity based strength training. J. Aust. Strength Cond. 2014, 22, 58–69.
  7. Mann, B., Kazadi, K., Pirrung, E., & Jensen, J. (2016). Developing explosive athletes: Use of velocity based training in athletes. Muskegon Heights, MI: Ultimate Athlete Concepts.
  8. Mann, J. B., Thyfault, J. P., Ivey, P. A., & Sayers, S. P. (2010). The effect of autoregulatory progressive resistance exercise vs. linear periodization on strength improvement in college athletes. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.
  9. 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.
  10. Grand View Research, Inc. (2019, December 5). Sports Analytics Market Size Worth $4.6 Billion by 2025: CAGR: 31.2%: Grand View Research, Inc. Retrieved from https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/sports-analytics-market-size-worth-4-6-billion-by-2025–cagr-31-2-grand-view-research-inc-300969722.html

For the first installment in our five-part VBT for specific populations series, we’ll be discussing VBT for college athletes and it’s benefits!

In previous posts we have talked about how velocity based training is sometimes a misnomer. The common assumption is that VBT is only useful when a coach wants an athlete to move a bar quickly. The reality is that in tracking bar speed VBT informs a lot of decision making in the weight room that would otherwise be a best guess. Velocity thresholds allow a coach and athlete to know when the load on the barbell may be too heavy (if the athlete is moving the load too slow) or too light (if the athlete is moving the load too fast).

VBT can inform the force/velocity profile of an individual athlete and reveal both strengths and weaknesses according to their sport and positional needs analysis[1,3-4]. Additionally, VBT can inform fatigue status and daily readiness with live readouts and assessments [6, 8]. Moreover, it allows both coaches and athletes to know whether or not the load they are lifting is appropriate for the specific trait they are training for according to the velocity zone selected [2,5].

College athletes have a lot of demands on their time, training and games aside. More weight room data can help coaches train their athletes with greater precision.
College athletes have a lot of demands on their time, training and games aside. More weight room data can help coaches train their athletes with greater precision.

STRESS AND COLLEGIATE ATHLETES

In the most strenuous offseason program, an athlete may lift four times a week. If a week is 168 hours long and a training session is about an hour, then a student-athlete has approximately 164 hours in the week during which they are impacting their body’s ability to perform optimally. This can either be a positive or negative impact. When we’re talking about collegiate student-athletes, there are a lot of extraneous demands on their schedule and time that will impact both how they perform in the training session, and how they recover after.

Student-athletes have to manage daily school work and exams, busy social lives, potentially jobs or work study positions, newfound choices in food (and alcohol) consumption, travel for both sports and fun, relationships in all forms, hobbies, clubs etc. All of this is crammed into the 24 hours in a day and the 168 hours in a week over the duration of a semester (about 15 weeks long – or 2520 hours). Every hour has the potential to provide more stress and limit the performance capacity of an athlete, or provide greater recovery and enhance the performance capacity of an athlete.

TRAINING ATHLETES TO THE BEST OF THEIR ABILITY

We say all of this to highlight the fact that for the vast majority of the day and week, an athletes’ decisions are out of the hands of a coach. Despite this, it is still up to the coach to provide a stimulus that is just right to train for the desired and necessary adaptations to optimize performance on the field of play.

This can seem a dizzying and daunting task when we don’t know how the athlete is doing. While conversations with them can certainly help inform that, consistent data collection can also complete the picture. And what is more, that same data collection can provide immediate feedback and allow a coach to know – with certainty – when a load is too much or too little for the athlete in question. In this way we can train our athletes to the best of their ability every single time we see them and take the guesswork out of the equation.

SPECIFIC TRAITS FOR INDIVIDUAL NEEDS

Most strength coaches are good at remembering collegiate athletes are not professional weightlifters, and in addition to having many demands on their time, they also have a specific role to play on their team. In most cases, this will involve some combination of skill, strength, speed, and power. While sport coaches can manage the skill portion, it is up to strength coaches to optimize the strength, speed, and power portions.

We can do this by fully understanding the needs analysis of the sport or position in question, performing a force/velocity profile on an individual athlete to understand where they may need improvement, and then training for specific traits to enhance those areas. Without VBT, it is hard to know, with certainty, what trait is being trained.

Velocity zones correlate almost perfectly to traditional percentage protocols assuming maximal intent [2]. If – with stress – those percentages can fluctuate by about 18% in either direction on any day, then we want to leave less to chance and more to precision [5]. Training in velocity zones and adjusting loads based off athlete need will give us the best chance at reducing injury risk while simultaneously providing the appropriate stimulus for the adaptations we desire.

CONCLUSION

By not only collecting data, but using it in live time to optimize training protocols, create accountability within the weight room, and using it as a fatigue indicator in live time, we give both ourselves as strength coaches and our athletes the best possible chance at achieving their goals. Collegiate student-athletes have an abundance of demands on their time. By using data and technology in the weight room, we can help take some of the guesswork out of strength training and simultaneously optimize time and performance.

OTHER RELEVANT POSTS!

Curious about the Coach’s perspective on VBT? Check out our Coach’s Corner series with college strength and conditioning coaches!

Check out our Return To Play from Covid-19 series!

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 .

SOURCES

  1. 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.
  2. Gonzalez-Badillo, J.; Sanchez-Medina, L. Movement velocity as a measure of loading intensity in resistance training. Int. J. Sports Med. 2010, 31, 347–352.
  3. Jidovtseff, B.; Harris, N.; Crielaard, J.; Cronin, J. Using the load-velocity relationship for 1rm prediction. J. Strength Cond. Res. 2011, 25, 267–270.
  4. Jiménez-Reyes, P., Samozino, P., Brughelli, M., & Morin, J. B. (2017). Effectiveness of an individualized training based on force-velocity profiling during jumping. Frontiers in Physiology.
  5. Jovanovich, M.; Flanagan, E. Research application of velocity based strength training. J. Aust. Strength Cond. 2014, 22, 58–69.
  6. Mann, B., Kazadi, K., Pirrung, E., & Jensen, J. (2016). Developing explosive athletes: Use of velocity based training in athletes. Muskegon Heights, MI: Ultimate Athlete Concepts.
  7. Mann, J. B., Thyfault, J. P., Ivey, P. A., & Sayers, S. P. (2010). The effect of autoregulatory progressive resistance exercise vs. linear periodization on strength improvement in college athletes. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.
  8. 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.