Velocity Specificity of Resistance Training: Actual Movement Velocity Versus Intention to Move Explosively
Review performed by Jason Vest, JMU Strength & Conditioning Intern
Velocity Specificity is an important consideration when designing a resistance training program. “There exists a conflicting hypothesis that the intention to move a barbell, one’s own body, or any other object explosively is more important than the actual movement velocity in determining velocity-specific responses of the neuromuscular system to resistance training” (Kawamori 86). The question is which is more important: actual movement velocity (bar speed) or intention to move explosively?
It has been proven that the intention to move explosively will increase maximum strength when compared to intentionally moving the bar slowly (slow training). There have been numerous studies done that test the neuromuscular system. Strength and conditioning specialist put more importance on actual sports performance rather than the neuromuscular system itself. “Wilson found that jump squat training at the load corresponding to about 30% MVC produced significantly greater gains in vertical jump performance compared to heavey slow squat training” (Kawamori 89). Similarly, Newton “reported that jump squat training with 30% 1RM achieved a borderline increase in short sprint performance, while jump squat training with 80% 1RM significantly decreased sprint performance” (Kawamori 89). In a sport requiring maximum speed and explosiveness it is apparent that actual exercise velocity, to move explosively, is more effective than heavy-load training. However, the intent to move explosively combined with sports specific movements is important regardless of the load and movement velocity.
Both the intention to move explosively and the actual movement velocity are important. Athletes should move the given load explosively and practice sport specific movements to maximize training.
Kawamori, N. Velocity Specificity of Resistance Training: Actual Movement Velocity Versus Intention to Move Explosively, Strength and Conditioning Journal. Vol 28: 86-91.
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