Velocity Based Training: 5 ways to implement it (infographic)

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I assume you’ve opened this article because you heard about velocity based training before, and are now ready to put it into practice.

Before we go from theory to application, allow me to quickly refresh your memory:

Short summary: what is velocity based training?

Before VBT training existed most training programs would say something like: “perform 6 reps using a 20 kilo dumbbell”.

Then 1RM (the maximal weight that you can lift for only one repetition) became popular, and a so called percentage based training program would say something like: “perform 6 reps at 80% 1RM”.

Velocity based training is not like that.

Contrary to percentage based training, VBT training is focusing less on the weight you are lifting and more on the velocity at which you lift a weight.

Therefore, a velocity based training program would for example say: “perform 6 reps at 0.50 m/s”.

Before we can continue, there is one important rule that we need to keep in mind:

The goal is not to change your velocity to match the velocity target. Instead, the goal is to always move the weight as quickly as possible.

Do you move faster than the target velocity? Increase the weight! Do you move slower than the target velocity? Decrease the weight.

Here are 3 steps that make sure you put the above rule into practice:

  1. Pick a weight and move it as quickly as possible
  2. If you move faster than the velocity target, increase the weight. If you move slower than the velocity target, decrease the weight.
  3. Repeat step 1 and 2 until there is a match. Now start your sets.

Infographic Velocity Based Training

Now that we know what velocity based training is, we jump into examples of how you can implement VBT into your workout (leaving the question “what are the benefits of vbt training?” unanswered for now).

In a previous article I already wrote about using Velocity Loss as a VBT metric.

Here are 5 ways to implement VBT training in your workout. You can implement them in all kind of velocity based exercises, from Olympic lifts to a bench press.

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Velocity zones

I’m assuming the infographic raises the question: what velocity zones should I use? This of course depends on your goal. Are you using velocity-based training specifically for weightlifting? Is your goal to improve speed? Or are you aiming for hypertrophy?

This is where the velocity zones and velocity-based training chart from Bryan Mann comes in handy. I highly recommend reading the article for more details.

Velocity based training technology

Last but not least, if you’re wondering how to measure velocity in weight training, then I give you some examples of devices.

If accuracy is high on your wish list, you probably want to check out Gymaware RS or their bar velocity tracker FLEX.

Another encoder is the Vitruve encoder.

For more affordable devices, check out PUSH (recently acquired by WHOOP), the free Metric VBT app (iOS), or Beast: a sensor I’ve used many times in the past.