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1/17/2015 11:38:06 PM - Ben Davidson
Coach Watts,

I recently purchased a product called "PUSH Trainer" which is able to track your velocity, power output, and volume/tonnage during workouts (side note: very cool product and worth taking a look). It is easy to use and- in my opinion- more practical for the layman interested in gathering some quick data about their training. After using the product the other day while doing paused front squats, I noticed that my average velocity was in the 0.5-0.65m/s range. My question here is what system am I training by moving at this velocity?

Any direction on this would be fantastic. Thank you!

Very good question and I am glad you are liking the PUSH trainer. I will be honest, some of the more expensive versions of the VBT devices, but the PUSH is fairly practical.

I will say that I am far from an authority on VBT training, but I will help as much as possible.

For those that are unfamiliar, here is an article that one of the guys from PUSH wrote to give a general overview.

I would seriously check out some of Dr. Bryan Mann's article on the site, specifically:

Also, his eBook is the most comprehensive resources on the subject. Developing Explosive Athletes Ebook

So, to answer your question, the simple answer is you many be in the realm of sub-maximal strength depending on the load. In most instances, absolute strength is usually determined at about .3m per sec. Anything below .7 is sometimes considered too slow to develop explosive power. Not saying this is not a good speed, but just be careful of one mistake that a lot of us make.

Sometimes when the load ( and subsequently the bar speed is too heavy and slow to develop explosive power and too light and fast to develop maximal strength.

I would also look at the other factor like load. Depending on who you ask, most coaches feel the 55% to 80% is the most optimal window to develop power. This should usually match up with the .6 to 1.0 m per sec. This is based on the individual. Basically, my number don;t mean much, but here's how you can check yourself.

If the front squat weight was at 85% or above, you are probably at the right speed for the load. Also, if those speeds were consistent at a rep range between 2-5 (with a moderate drop-off later in the set, then you also may be ok.

If the weight on the bar was say 60% at that speed, then you would have to rethink things. Conversely, if those are max singles and you are moving weight at .65 then you probably need to increase percentages.

Not sure if there is a right answer or if I am 100% qualified to clarify things. Just remember that the intent to move the weight fast is what contributes more than how fast the bar is actually moving. Intent vs result.

A cool way to train with a VBT unit is to gage your training load by bar speed instead of %. Basically:

Week 1: As heavy as possible for triples at above .9m/sec
Week 2: As heavy as possible for doubles at .8m/sec
Week 3: As heavy as possible for singels at .7m/ per sec

And so on.

I hope this helps Ben. Keep using the PUSH for a comparative analysis and as another tool to gauge progress and readiness.

VBT is the place to be,
Mark Watts

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