Jan 17, 2024

A Powerlifter's Guide to Velocity Based Training

Velocity Based Training (VBT) is increasingly gaining popularity in the strength training community, especially among powerlifters. This advanced training methodology offers a scientific approach to maximizing strength, power, and overall lifting performance. In this guide, we'll explore how powerlifters can effectively integrate VBT into their training regime to push their limits and achieve new personal bests.

Understanding Velocity Based Training

VBT is a method of training that focuses on the speed of the barbell movement rather than the weight lifted. By measuring the velocity of the lift, athletes can optimize their training intensity, track progress, and reduce the risk of overtraining and injury.

The Science Behind VBT

The core principle of VBT lies in the force-velocity relationship, which suggests that the speed of a lift changes inversely with the load. Using velocity as a metric, powerlifters can train more effectively by lifting at velocities that target specific strength qualities, like maximal strength, hypertrophy, or power.

Integrating VBT in Powerlifting Training

Equipment Required

To get started with VBT, you'll need a device capable of measuring bar speed. Historically, this has meant purchasing an expensive and fragile hardware device out of reach of most powerlifters. That's why we built the TrueRep VBT system, which delivers the same level of accuracy at a fraction of the price.

Measuring and Interpreting Velocity

During training, the device will provide real-time feedback on the speed of each lift. This information allows lifters to adjust their effort based on their training goals for the day. For example, maintaining a higher velocity with lighter weights for power or focusing on slower, heavier lifts for maximal strength development.

Advantages of VBT for Powerlifters

  1. Optimized Training Loads: VBT helps in determining the optimal load for each training session, based on how fast you're lifting. This ensures you're not undertraining or overreaching.
  2. Real-Time Feedback: Instant feedback on your lifting speed helps in making on-the-spot adjustments to your technique and effort.
  3. Objective Progress Tracking: VBT provides quantifiable data, allowing for a more objective assessment of progress than traditional methods like the Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE).
  4. Injury Prevention: By avoiding excessive loads and fatigue, VBT can help reduce the risk of injury.
  5. Tailored Training: Different velocity ranges can be targeted for specific strength qualities, making your training more specific and effective.

Incorporating VBT into Your Routine

  1. Start with a Baseline: Begin by establishing your baseline velocities for different loads.
  2. Set Velocity Targets: Based on your goals, set target velocities for different types of training (e.g., strength, power, hypertrophy).
  3. Adjust Loads Based on Velocity: Use the real-time velocity data to adjust your loads in each session.
  4. Track and Analyze: Regularly analyze your velocity data to track progress and make necessary adjustments to your training plan.
  5. Combine with Traditional Training: VBT should complement, not replace, traditional training methods. It's most effective when used as a part of a well-rounded training program.


Velocity Based Training is a powerful tool in the arsenal of a modern powerlifter. It bridges the gap between science and practice, offering a smarter way to train. By adopting VBT, powerlifters can train more effectively, reduce the risk of injury, and continuously break barriers in their strength journey. Whether you're a seasoned competitor or new to the sport, VBT can be a game-changer in your quest for lifting excellence.