May 12, 2023

Velocity Based Training: A Beginner's Guide

In the world of sports and fitness, athletes and trainers are always on the lookout for innovative methods to optimize performance gains. One such approach that has gained significant attention in recent years is Velocity Based Training (VBT). This training method uses technology to measure an athlete's movement speed, providing valuable insights into their strength, power, and performance potential. In this beginner's guide, we will explore the basics of Velocity Based Training and how it can revolutionize your training regimen.

What is Velocity Based Training

Velocity Based Training, also known as VBT, involves using various devices such as linear position transducers or accelerometers to measure the velocity of an athlete's lifts or movements. By monitoring velocity, trainers and athletes can gain real-time feedback about the quality and intensity of their training sets. This data-driven approach allows for precise adjustments in training loads, providing a more personalized and effective training experience.

Who Uses VBT

There's a wide array of people who use VBT. Coaches, personal trainers, and athletes at all levels use VBT. Pro teams, university athletics, Olympic lifters and weightlifters all started using VBT decades ago. VBT adoption is only growing, and is now being used in private gyms, military facilities, and high schools. Historically it's only been accessible to coaches and athletes with large budgets as VBT devices have been so expensive. Our app, TrueRep VBT, is the most affordable option yet, our goal is to enable anyone to be able to start implementing VBT.

Key Benefits of Velocity Based Training

1. Autoregulation and Individualization: VBT enables coaches to individualize training loads based on an athlete's unique capabilities and daily readiness. A coach can define a preset velocity zone, say between 0.7m/s and 0.8m/s, and if an athlete is outside of that zone they will know to adjust the load to fall into the target their coach set. They can make this adjustment based on an objective measurement, taking all the guess work out.

2. Driving Intent: The first and easiest benefit anyone can get from Velocity Based Training is visual and audible feedback on their bar speed. This feedback will push athletes to work harder to move the weight faster and in turn drives an instant increase in intent. This is a huge benefit to athletes and coaches, and essentially begins the moment you start capturing velocity. Intent is almost impossible to teach, however it makes a huge difference in the outcome of training. Our app provides both audible and visual feedback in real-time.

3. Training For Specific Outcomes : One facet of VBT is training within specific velocity zones. By manipulating the target velocity zone, coaches can target different qualities such as strength, speed, or power, tailoring the training to specific goals. For instance, if a coach wants to focus more on speed than strength, he might have his athletes training between 1 and 1.3m/s, this is known as the Speed/Strength zone. Our app allows you to set predefined zones and gives different audible notifications and visual indications depending on if you were above, below, or inside your target zone.

4. Injury Prevention: VBT helps prevent overtraining and reduces the risk of injuries by allowing coaches to manage and monitor training loads more effectively. By avoiding excessive fatigue and strain, athletes can train smarter and reduce the likelihood of overuse injuries. This is another thing our app seamlessly tracks, after each set you'll be given the velocity loss which is directly correlated with fatigue levels.

Implementing Velocity Based Training

To incorporate VBT into your training routine, you will need access to a VBT device like linear position transducers, accelerometer-based trackers, or a camera-based system like ours. Here are some practical steps to get started:

  1. Set Clear Objectives:

    • Define your training goals and the qualities you want to develop. Whether it's strength, power, or speed, having a clear focus will help guide your VBT programming.
  2. Establish Velocity Zones:

    • Determine the velocity ranges that correspond to different training intensities. For example, higher velocities may indicate lighter loads or explosive movements, while slower velocities may represent heavier loads or strength-focused training.
  3. Monitor and Track Data:

    • Consistently analyze the velocity data from your training sessions. Use this information to adjust loads, rest intervals, or exercise variations as needed.

Wrapping it up

Velocity Based Training offers a data-driven approach to optimize strength, power, and performance. By leveraging technology to measure movement velocity, athletes and coaches can fine-tune training loads, monitor progress, and reduce the risk of injuries. Whether you are a coach, athlete, or personal trainer, VBT can help take your training to the next level.