Improved Strength and Recovery After Velocity-Based Training: A Randomized Controlled Trial

in International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
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Purpose: The present intervention study examined the effects of intensity-matched velocity-based strength training with a 10% velocity loss (VL10) versus traditional 1-repetition maximum (1RM) based resistance training to failure (TRF) on 1RM and maximal oxygen uptake (V˙O2max) in a concurrent training setting. Methods: Using the minimization method, 21 highly trained rowers (4 females and 17 males; 19.6 [2.1] y, 1.83 [0.07] m, 74.6 [8.8] kg, V˙O2max:64.9[8.5]mL·kg1·min1) were either assigned to VL10 or TRF. In addition to rowing endurance training (about 75 min·d1), both groups performed strength training (5 exercises, 80% 1RM, 4 sets, 2–3 min interset recovery, 2 times/week) over 8 weeks. Squat, deadlift, bench row, and bench press 1RM and V˙O2max rowing-ergometer ramp tests were completed. Overall recovery and overall stress were monitored every evening using the Short Recovery and Stress Scale. Results: Large and significant group × time interactions (P < .03, ηp2>.23, standard mean differences [SMD] > 0.65) in favor of VL10 (averaged +18.0% [11.3%]) were observed for squat, bench row, and bench press 1RM compared with TRF (averaged +8.0% [2.9%]). V˙O2max revealed no interaction effects (P = .55, ηp2=.01, standard mean difference < .23) but large time effects (P < .05, ηp2>.27). Significant group × time interactions (P = .001, ηp2>.54, SMD > |0.525|) in favor of VL10 were also observed for overall recovery and overall stress 24 and 48 hours after strength training. Conclusions: VL10 serves as a promising means to improve strength capacity at lower repetitions and stress levels in highly trained athletes. Future research should investigate the interference effects of VL10 in strength endurance sports and its effects when increasing weekly VL10 sessions within one macrocycle.

Held and Donath are with the Dept of Intervention Research in Exercise Training, German Sport University Cologne, Cologne, Germany. Hecksteden and Meyer are with the Inst of Sports and Preventive Medicine, Saarland University, Saarbrücken, Germany.

Held (s.held@dshs-koeln.de) is corresponding author.
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