Measuring and monitoring lifting speed in resistance training and its application to velocity-based training

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Hiroshi Hasegawa

Prescriptions of intensity in resistance training for athletes have long been based on a percentage of personal maximum lifting weight (1RM). However, testing 1RM is often accompanied by the risk of injury and can be time-consuming when testing many athletes at once with limited equipment. As such, frequent 1RM testing is difficult throughout the season, and as a result the values are often outdated. This time lag is problematic when calculating percentage for prescription of training intensity using the 1RM value, because 1RM may increase or decrease over time, and is easily impacted by the physical and mental conditions of that day. One study showed that the daily fluctuation of the estimated squat 1RM value was as much as 30%. Fortunately, some scientific studies and practices using the latest technologies have revealed that there are correlations between the percentage of 1RM and the mean concentric velocity of the lift regardless of the value of 1RM, even when it increases with training or decreases with fatigue. In this lecture, the physical and psychological significance of using lifting velocity to enhance training effect will be outlined, as well as methods of using lifting velocity for resistance training purposes. BIOG: Hiroshi Hasegawa has been a professor of the Laboratory for Performance Analysis and Training in the sports science department of Ryukoku University, Kyoto, Japan, since 2002. He graduated from Tsukuba University in sports and health science and received his Master of Education for Sport in Hiroshima University. Hiroshi was formerly a board member of NSCA Japan, and is president of the Japan Association of Training Instructors (JATI). The focus of his continued research is on the relationship between athletic performance and physical abilities in various sports, in order to develop strength training and conditioning programmes. Hiroshi has worked with a professional soccer club of the Japanese Soccer League (J-league), an elite level of rugby team of the Japan Top League Rugby Union Football, and a men’s volleyball team of the V Premier League. He has also coached university men’s soccer teams in USA and Japan. He has also been working as an adviser for developing and testing athletic shoes in New Balance Japan. He has written seven books, including Strength Training for Sport by the IOC Medical Committee (Blackwell); he has also been writing an ongoing series of articles for more than 30 years in various monthly scientific coaching journals in the area of strength training and conditioning for sport.