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Mario Muñoz-López, David Marchante, Miguel A. Cano-Ruiz, José López Chicharro and Carlos Balsalobre-Fernández

Purpose:

To analyze the load-, force-, and power-velocity relationships and determine the load that optimizes power output on the pull-up exercise.

Methods:

Eighty-two resistance-trained men (age 26.8 ± 5.0 y; pull-up 1-repetition maximum [1-RM; normalized per kg of body mass] 1.5 ± 0.34) performed 2 repetitions with 4 incremental loads (range 70–100%1-RM) in the pull-up exercise while mean propulsive velocity (MPV), force (MPF), and power (MPP) were measured using a linear transducer. Relationships between variables were studied using first- and second-order least-squares regression, and subjects were divided into 3 groups depending on their 1-RM for comparison purposes.

Results:

Almost perfect individual load-velocity (R 2 = .975 ± 0.02), force-velocity (R 2 = .954 ± 0.04), and power-velocity (R 2 = .966 ± 0.04) relationships, which allowed to determine the velocity at each %1-RM, as well as the maximal theoretical force (F0), velocity (V0), and power (Pmax) for each subject were observed. Statistically significant differences between groups were observed for F0 (P < .01) but not for MPV at each %1-RM, V0, and Pmax (P > .05). In addition, high correlations between F0 and 1-RM (r = .811) and V0 and Pmax (r = .865) were observed. Finally, the authors observed that the load that maximized MPP was 71.0% ± 6.6%1-RM.

Conclusions:

The very high load-velocity, force-velocity, and power-velocity relationships enables estimation of 1-RM by measuring movement velocity, as well as determination of maximal force, velocity, and power capabilities. This information could be of great interest to strength and conditioning coaches who wish to monitor pull-up performance.