How to estimate 1 Rep max with mean Velocity
The problemSo we have a problem: We need to know our physical form every day, because it changes daily. We have a method, the 1RM, but knowing it is harmful and we could tire ourselves excessively by doing it.
The solutionWe could change the method… Or we could have simpler ways and without so many negative consequences to get to know the 1RM. It is already proven that the one rep maximum is a good method to get to know the physical form of an athlete, and why change it? Which is that simpler way, to find out our maximum? By doing a submaximal repetition before starting the training, measuring the mean velocity of that repetition, and obtaining a very accurate estimation of my one rep max that day. It is simple, it is accurate, it does not tire, and hardly takes up time.
Calculate the 1RM from the velocityThe execution velocity is the best expression of the intensity that a given weight represents for a person (Juan Jose Gonzalez-Badillo, Sanchez-Medina, Pareja-Blanco, & Rodriguez-Rosell, 2017). We must not forget that the more force applied, the faster we will move a load, which means that depending on the velocity at which the bar moves, I am able to apply more, or less force. There is a very high correlation between the velocity at which we move the bar, and the % of the maximum that is a load for us, as long as we move the bar as fast as we can (J Gonzalez, Badillo & Sanchez-Medina, 2010) This does, that we can do in a graph, a curve, joining each % of the MR of an exercise with the velocity at which we have moved it. This is known as force-velocity profile. And from this curve, we can draw an equation, which is what will allow us to calculate the MR. Some authors have published profiles that could be used to calculate our 1RM based on the execution velocity. But knowing that each person has a different strength-velocity profile, it makes more sense that we have our own equation. Thus we would increase still more the accuracy of the calculation of the One Rep Max based on the velocity of submaximal rep. In any case, these force-velocity profiles exist to our disposition, for the exercises of bench press, squat and rowing (JJ Gonzalez-Badillo & Sanchez-Medina, 2010, Sanchez-Medina, Pallares, Perez, Moran-Navarro, & Gonzalez- Badillo, 2017; Sanchez-Moreno, Rodriguez-Rosell, Pareja-Blanco, Mora-Custodio, & Gonzalez-Badillo, 2017) can also serve us. They are profiles based on researches with very large and diverse samples, thay might not be so accurate, but they are so easy and fast to use.
Average equation obtained from the force-velocity profileBench press
% 1 RM = 8.4326x VMP2-73.501x VM P + 112.33Squat
% 1 RM = -5.961x VM P2- 50.71x VMP +117Row
% 1 RM = 13.2596x VM P2-93,867x VM P + 144.38Therefore, based on the data from these three studies, we could also know the velocity that we would have with each % of the 1RM.
Fortunately, some velocity measurement devices, such as Vitruve, give us the option of creating our own equation.
How? Vitruve asks us to do a load progression, and from the points in the graph, it creates a custom equation.
Quantifying the lifting with Vitruve we can calculate the 1RM from the velocity, and the other data of interest that we can obtain from this equation.
It is convenient to renew your profile every few months, because it can be that your profile changes, depending in which part of your curve you have been training.
Because of that, the data that you will obtain from the measurements of the velocity of execution could distense from reality.
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- González-Badillo, J. J., Sánchez-Medina, L., Pareja-Blanco, F., & Rodríguez-Rosell, D. (2017). LA VELOCIDAD DE EJECUCIÓN COMO REFERENCIA PARA LA PROGRAMACIÓN, CONTROL Y EVALUACIÓN DEL ENTRENAMIENTO DE FUERZA. Madrid: ERGOTECH.
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- Sánchez-Medina, L., Pallarés, J., Pérez, C., Morán-Navarro, R., & González-Badillo, J. (2017). Estimation of Relative Load From Bar Velocity in the Full Back Squat Exercise. Sports Medicine International Open, 1, E80-E88. https://doi.org/10.1055/s-0043-102933
- Sánchez-Moreno, M., Rodríguez-Rosell, D., Pareja-Blanco, F., Mora-Custodio, R., & González-Badillo, J. J. (2017). Movement velocity as indicator of relative intensity and level of effort attained during the set in pull-up exercise. International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, 12(10), 1378-1384. https://doi.org/10.1123/ijspp.2016-0791