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Amador García-Ramos and Slobodan Jaric

Purpose: An a posteriori multicenter reliability study was conducted to compare the reliability of the outcomes derived from the linear force–velocity (F–V) relationship (F-intercept [F 0], V-intercept [V 0], F–V slope, and maximum power [Pmax]) using a 2-point method based on 2 distant loads with respect to a multiple-point method based on 4 proximal loads and a multiple-point method that considered all 6 tested loads. Method: Data from 63 healthy men derived from 3 studies were analyzed. The F–V relationship obtained from the bench-press-throw exercise was determined in 2 separate sessions using 3 different combinations of loads: 2-point method (20–70% of 1-repetition maximum [1RM]), 4-load multiple-point method (30–40–50–60% of 1RM), and 6-load multiple-point method (20–30–40–50–60–70% of 1RM). Reliability was assessed through the coefficient of variation (CV), whereas a CVratio of 1.15 was deemed as the smallest important ratio. Results: The 2-point method provided the outcomes of the F–V relationship with greater reliability than the 4-load multiple-point method (F 0, 3.58% vs 4.53%, CVratio = 1.27; V 0, 5.58% vs 7.85%, CVratio = 1.41; F–V slope, 8.57% vs 11.99%, CVratio = 1.40; Pmax, 4.33% vs 4.81%, CVratio = 1.11). The reliability of the 6-load multiple-point method was comparable to the 2-point method (F 0, 3.53%, CVratio = 1.01; V 0, 5.32%, CVratio = 1.05; F–V slope, 8.38%, CVratio = 1.02; P 0, 3.74%, CVratio = 1.16). Conclusion:The distance between experimental points is more important for obtaining a reproducible F–V relationship than the number of experimental points; therefore, the 2-point method could be recommended for a quicker assessment of the F–V relationship.

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Alejandro Pérez-Castilla and Amador García-Ramos

Objective: To compare the short-term effect of power- and strength-oriented resistance-training programs on the individualized load–velocity profiles obtained during the squat (SQ) and bench-press (BP) exercises. Methods: Thirty physically active men (age = 23.4 [3.5] y; SQ 1-repetition maximum [1RM] = 126.5 [26.7] kg; BP 1RM = 81.6 [16.7] kg) were randomly assigned to a power- (exercises: countermovement jump and BP throw; sets per exercise: 4–6; repetitions per set: 5–6; load: 40% 1RM) or strength-training group (exercises: SQ and BP; sets per exercise: 4–6; repetitions per set: 2–8; load: 70%–90% 1RM). The training program lasted 4 wk (2 sessions/wk). The individualized load–velocity profiles (ie, velocity associated with the 30%–60%–90% 1RM) were assessed before and after training through an incremental loading test during the SQ and BP exercises. Results: The power-training group moderately increased the velocity associated with the full spectrum of % 1RM for the SQ (effect size [ES] range: 0.70 to 0.93) and with the 30% 1RM for the BP (ES: 0.67), while the strength-training group reported trivial/small changes across the load–velocity spectrum for both the SQ (ES range: 0.00 to 0.35) and BP (ES range: −0.06 to −0.33). The power-training group showed a higher increase in the mean velocity associated with all % 1RM compared with the strength-training group for both the SQ (ES range: 0.54 to 0.63) and BP (ES range: 0.25 to 0.53). Conclusions: The individualized load–velocity profile (ie, velocity associated with different % 1RM) of lower-body and upper-body exercises can be modified after a 4-wk resistance-training program.

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Amador García-Ramos, Slobodan Jaric, Paulino Padial, and Belén Feriche

This study aimed to (1) evaluate the linearity of the force–velocity relationship, as well as the reliability of maximum force (F 0), maximum velocity (V 0), slope (a), and maximum power (P 0); (2) compare these parameters between the traditional and ballistic bench press (BP); and (3) determine the correlation of F 0 with the directly measured BP 1-repetition maximum (1RM). Thirty-two men randomly performed 2 sessions of traditional BP and 2 sessions of ballistic BP during 2 consecutive weeks. Both the maximum and mean values of force and velocity were recorded when loaded by 20–70% of 1RM. All force–velocity relationships were strongly linear (r > .99). While F 0 and P 0 were highly reliable (ICC: 0.91–0.96, CV: 3.8–5.1%), lower reliability was observed for V 0 and a (ICC: 0.49–0.81, CV: 6.6–11.8%). Trivial differences between exercises were found for F 0 (ES: < 0.2), however the a was higher for the traditional BP (ES: 0.68–0.94), and V 0 (ES: 1.04–1.48) and P 0 (ES: 0.65–0.72) for the ballistic BP. The F 0 strongly correlated with BP 1RM (r: 0.915–0.938). The force–velocity relationship is useful to assess the upper body maximal capabilities to generate force, velocity, and power.

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Amador García-Ramos, Jonathon Weakley, Danica Janicijevic, and Ivan Jukic

Purpose: To explore the effect of several methodological factors on the number of repetitions performed before and after reaching certain velocity loss thresholds (VLTs). Method: Fifteen resistance-trained men (bench press 1-repetition maximum = 1.25 [0.16] kg·kg−1) performed with maximum intent a total of 182 sets (77 short sets [≤12 repetitions] and 105 long sets [>12 repetitions]) leading to failure during the Smith machine bench press exercise. Fifteen percent, 30%, and 45% VLTs were calculated, considering 2 reference repetitions (first and fastest repetitions) and 2 velocity variables (mean velocity [MV] and peak velocity [PV]). Results: The number of repetitions performed before reaching all VLTs were affected by the reference repetition and velocity variable (P ≤ .001). The fastest MV and PV during the short sets (75.3%) and PV during the long sets (72.4%) were predominantly observed during the first repetition, while the fastest MV during long sets was almost equally distributed between the first (37.1%) and second repetition (40.0%). Failure occurred before reaching the VLTs more frequently using PV (4, 8, and 33 occasions for 15%, 30%, and 45% VLTs, respectively) than MV (only 1 occasion for the 45% VLT). The participants rarely produced a velocity output above a VLT once this threshold was exceeded for the first time (≈10% and 30% of occasions during the short and long sets, respectively). Conclusions: The reference repetition and velocity variable are important factors to consider when implementing VLTs during resistance training. The fastest repetition (instead of the first repetition) and MV (instead of PV) are recommended.

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Alejandro Pérez-Castilla, Daniel Boullosa, and Amador García-Ramos

Objective: To evaluate the sensitivity of the iLOAD® application to detect the changes in mean barbell velocity of complete sets following power- and strength-oriented resistance training (RT) programs. Methods: Twenty men were randomly assigned to a power training group (countermovement jump and bench press throw at 40% of the 1-repetition maximum [1RM]) or strength training group (back squat and bench press at 70% to 90% of 1RM). Single sets of 10 repetitions at 25% and 70% of 1RM during the back squat and bench press exercises were assessed before and after the 4-week RT programs simultaneously with the iLOAD® application and a linear velocity transducer. Results: The power training group showed a greater increment in velocity performance at the 25% of 1RM (effect size range = 0.66–1.53) and the 70% of 1RM (effect size range = 0.11–0.30). The percent change in mean velocity after the RT programs highly correlated between the iLOAD® application and the linear velocity transducer for the back squat (r range = .85–.88) and bench press (r range = .87–.93). However, the iLOAD® application revealed a 2% greater increase in mean velocity after training compared to the linear velocity transducer. Conclusions: The iLOAD® application is a cost-effective, portable, and easy-to-use tool which can be used to detect changes in mean barbell velocity after power- and strength-oriented RT programs.

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Danica Janicijevic, Ivan Jukic, Jonathon Weakley, and Amador García-Ramos

Purpose: To compare the accuracy of nine 1-repetition maximum (1RM) prediction methods during the paused and touch-and-go bench press exercises performed in a Smith machine. Method: A total of 86 men performed 2 identical sessions (incremental loading test until reaching the 1RM followed by a set to failure) in a randomized order during the paused and touch-and-go bench press exercises. Individualized load–velocity relationships were modeled by linear and polynomial regression models considering 4 loads (45%–60%–75%–90% of 1RM) (multiple-point methods) and considering only 2 loads (45%–90% of 1RM) by a linear regression (2-point method). Three minimal velocity thresholds were used: the general velocity of 0.17 m·s−1 (general velocity of the 1RM [V1RM]), the velocity obtained when lifting the 1RM load (individual V1RM), and the velocity obtained during the last repetition of a set to failure. Results: The 1RM prediction methods were generally valid (range: r = .96–.99, standard error of the estimate = 2.8–4.9 kg or 4.6%–8.0% of 1RM). The multiple-point linear method (2.79 [2.29] kg) was more precise than the multiple-point polynomial method (3.54 [3.31] kg; P = .013), but no significant differences were observed when compared with the 2-point method (3.09 [2.66] kg, P = .136). The velocity of the last repetition of a set to failure (3.47 [2.97] kg) was significantly less precise than the individual V1RM (2.91 [2.75] kg, P = .009) and general V1RM (3.00 [2.65] kg, P = .010). Conclusions: Linear regression models and a general minimal velocity threshold of 0.17 m·s−1 should be recommended to obtain a quick and precise estimation of the 1RM during the bench press exercise performed in a Smith machine.

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Alejandro Pérez-Castilla, Belén Feriche, Slobodan Jaric, Paulino Padial, and Amador García-Ramos

This study aimed to examine the validity of mechanical variables obtained by a linear velocity transducer from the unconstrained and constrained squat jump (SJ). Twenty-three men were tested on the unconstrained SJ and the SJ constrained by a Smith machine. Maximum values of force, velocity, and power were simultaneously recorded both by a linear velocity transducer attached to a bar of mass of 17, 30, 45, 60, and 75 kg and by a force plate. Linear velocity transducer generally overestimated the outcomes measured as compared to the force plate, particularly in unconstrained SJ. Bland-Altman plots revealed that heteroscedasticity of errors was mainly observed for velocity variables (r 2 = .26–.58) where the differences were negatively associated with the load magnitude. However, exceptionally high correlations were observed between the same outcomes recorded with the 2 methods in both unconstrained (median r = .89 [.71–.95]) and constrained SJ (r = .90 [.65–.95]). Although the systematic and proportional bias needs to be acknowledged, the high correlations between the variables obtained by 2 methods suggest that the linear velocity transducer could provide valid values of the force, velocity, and power outputs from both unconstrained and constrained SJ.

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Lazar Tomic, Danica Janicijevic, Aleksandar Nedeljkovic, Bojan Leontijevic, and Amador García-Ramos

Reliability and sensitivity of reaction time (RT) during quasi-realistic soccer situations was explored in 10 professional soccer players (skilled; age = 20.9 ± 3.6 years) and 10 males without soccer experience (nonskilled; age = 23.4 ± 0.5 years). The participants were instructed to react as fast as possible to a stimulus presented via the video-based method while standing on force platforms. RT was computed as the difference between the instant when the rate of force development of any leg reaches 5% of its maximal value and the instant of stimulus presentation. The results revealed acceptable to high reliability of RT (intraclass correlation coefficient median = .90; coefficient of variation ≤ 5.83%), and shorter RT for skilled compared with nonskilled participants in three out of eight comparisons (effect size range = 1.00–1.41). The video-based methods can be confidently used to assess the RT in soccer players.

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Amador García-Ramos, Alejandro Torrejón, Antonio J. Morales-Artacho, Alejandro Pérez-Castilla, and Slobodan Jaric

This study determined the optimal resistive forces for testing muscle capacities through the standard cycle ergometer test (1 resistive force applied) and a recently developed 2-point method (2 resistive forces used for force-velocity modelling). Twenty-six men were tested twice on maximal sprints performed on a leg cycle ergometer against 5 flywheel resistive forces (R1–R5). The reliability of the cadence and maximum power measured against the 5 individual resistive forces, as well as the reliability of the force-velocity relationship parameters obtained from the selected 2-point methods (R1–R2, R1–R3, R1–R4, and R1–R5), were compared. The reliability of outcomes obtained from individual resistive forces was high except for R5. As a consequence, the combination of R1 (≈175 rpm) and R4 (≈110 rpm) provided the most reliable 2-point method (CV: 1.46%–4.04%; ICC: 0.89–0.96). Although the reliability of power capacity was similar for the R1–R4 2-point method (CV: 3.18%; ICC: 0.96) and the standard test (CV: 3.31%; ICC: 0.95), the 2-point method should be recommended because it also reveals maximum force and velocity capacities. Finally, we conclude that the 2-point method in cycling should be based on 2 distant resistive forces, but avoiding cadences below 110 rpm.

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Amador García-Ramos, Francisco Luis Pestaña-Melero, Alejandro Pérez-Castilla, Francisco Javier Rojas, and Guy Gregory Haff

Purpose: To compare the load–velocity relationship between 4 variants of the bench-press (BP) exercise. Methods: The full load–velocity relationship of 30 men was evaluated by means of an incremental loading test starting at 17 kg and progressing to the individual 1-repetition maximum (1RM) in 4 BP variants: concentric-only BP, concentric-only BP throw (BPT), eccentric-concentric BP, and eccentric-concentric BPT. Results: A strong and fairly linear relationship between mean velocity (MV) and %1RM was observed for the 4 BP variants (r 2 > .96 for pooled data and r 2 > .98 for individual data). The MV associated with each %1RM was significantly higher in the eccentric-concentric technique than in the concentric-only technique. The only significant difference between the BP and BPT variants was the higher MV with the light to moderate loads (20–70%1RM) in the BPT using the concentric-only technique. MV was significantly and positively correlated between the 4 BP variants (r = .44–.76), which suggests that the subjects with higher velocities for each %1RM in 1 BP variant also tend to have higher velocities for each %1RM in the 3 other BP variants. Conclusions: These results highlight the need for obtaining specific equations for each BP variant and the existence of individual load–velocity profiles.