Velocity-based strength training (VBT) requires an individual to perform an exercise with a maximal voluntary concentric movement velocity, which can be accurately monitored using a linear position transducer. The current body of scientific literature suggests that all repetitions performed during strength training should be performed at maximal concentric velocity if the goal is to enhance strength and power regardless of training load being used. For example, a recent study showed that VBT induced greater increases in maximal strength, power and electrical activity of the exercising muscles compared to strength training performed to exhaustion at a self-selected speed for the bench press exercise. However, to the best of our knowledge, no studies have examined the effectiveness of VBT in a lower body exercise model to elicit greater gains in strength and power compared to a well-planned (i.e. not to repetition failure) traditional periodised strength training program performed at self-selected concentric velocity.
Therefore, the purpose of the proposed dissertation is to investigate the acute and chronic effects of VBT compared to traditional strength training (TRD) performed at a self-selected concentric velocity.
Study 1 will determine the reliability of the load-velocity relationship in order to estimate the one repetition maximum of the deep back squat and determine the variability of this estimate over three sessions in strength trained individuals. Study 2 will use a strength trained population in a crossover design to examine the changes in isometric force production, power and neuromuscular fatigue following a typical strength training session using four experimental protocols including; TRD, two velocity band models and an ascending/descending load model, to better understand each velocity based strength-training model. Finally, Study 3 will investigate the chronic effects of VBT compared to TRD on changes in strength, power and markers of sports performance (20m sprint and countermovement jump) over an eight-week training intervention using strength-trained participants.
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