Int J Sports Med 2010; 31(5): 347-352
DOI: 10.1055/s-0030-1248333
Training & Testing

© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Movement Velocity as a Measure of Loading Intensity in Resistance Training

J. J. González-Badillo1 , L. Sánchez-Medina1
  • 1Pablo de Olavide University, Faculty of Sport, Seville, Spain
Further Information

Publication History

accepted after revision January 27, 2010

Publication Date:
23 February 2010 (online)


This study examined the possibility of using movement velocity as an indicator of relative load in the bench press (BP) exercise. One hundred and twenty strength-trained males performed a test (T1) with increasing loads for the individual determination of the one-repetition maximum (1RM) and full load-velocity profile. Fifty-six subjects performed the test on a second occasion (T2) following 6 weeks of training. A very close relationship between mean propulsive velocity (MPV) and load (%1RM) was observed (R2=0.98). Mean velocity attained with 1RM was 0.16±0.04 m·  s−1 and was found to influence the MPV attained with each %1RM. Despite a mean increase of 9.3% in 1RM from T1 to T2, MPV for each %1RM remained stable. Stability in the load-velocity relationship was also confirmed regardless of individual relative strength. These results confirm an inextricable relationship between relative load and MPV in the BP that makes it possible to: 1) evaluate maximal strength without the need to perform a 1RM test, or test of maximum number of repetitions to failure (XRM); 2) determine the %1RM that is being used as soon as the first repetition with any given load is performed; 3) prescribe and monitor training load according to velocity, instead of percentages of 1RM or XRM.


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Prof. Luis Sánchez-Medina

Pablo de Olavide University

Faculty of Sport

Ctra. de Utrera km 1

41013 Seville


Phone: +34/676473383

Fax: +34/968217491