5 ways to implement a velocity tracker

Gepubliceerd op 27 mei 2020 om 12:51

1. Readiness 


Via the usage of an accelerometer one could easily track readiness throughout the year. This is a major gamechanger as it provides instant feedback on whether or not you should take your foot off the pedal for that specific day. The individual could, for instance, perform a vertical jump, every day before training. After a month you should have enough data on where the average lies, one could now check if this number is slowly going up, but also track trends as progression is never linear. Individuals will have bad and good days. If the number for a specific day would be way below the average an individual should back off a bit as their nervous system is probably a bit fatigued. If the number is a lot higher than average an individual could consider pushing it a little more for that specific day.


So it gives insight on how good an individual will perform on a daily base, this could potentially help a lot as most people find it difficult to listen to their body. With an accelerometer, individuals can just read off the data on how ready they are. tracking daily readiness can be really beneficial in holding back injuries or stop overtraining from occurring.


 2. 1rm testing


Some accelerometers have a built in 1rm calculator, but you can also find some calculators on the internet. Some of the calculators can be pretty accurate. The way most of these work are by an x amount of reps across different weights.


This is really beneficial to training as a persons one rep max tends to fluctuate a lot on a daily base. We are aware of the fact that people like one rep max days, but it can be really taxing on the nervous system and individuals should test weekly to have realistic training percentages.

3. balancing strength with speed


Some sports require specificity in certain area´s of the fv-curve. For example: a powerlifter requires a lot of absolute strength work, so low velocity high force output. While a sprinter requires a lot of absolute speed work, so high velocity with low force output. 


You could accurately periodize and prescribe resistance training. For the powerlifter I would suggest to do some absolute speed work in the off season in order to train the whole curve. For the sprinter obviously the same thing but the other way around. Closer to the competition phase the more the contractions would shift to their sport specific needs.


For athletes that require both absolute strength and absolute speed, like CrossFitters or American footballers. A balanced out fv-curve is optimal, so they need to know where they are less good at and try to fix it. You can measure fv imbalances quite easily, but with a velocity tracker you can also see if your training aligns with your goal of fixing the imbalance. If the fv-profile of an individual states that he or she lacks speed, then this will affect their perfomance as a lot of exercises unknowingly require high velocity capabilities. Like the pull under the bar with a snatch.

4. accurately train at intensities


Percentage-based training is a common way to prescribe exercise, but the issue with this is that intensities usually vary a lot on a daily base. Some days individuals are on fire and some days they are not. But the percentages from their program are based of off their best effort. So theoretically, if their daily one rep max shifts, the percentages based on the 1rm should also shift. So that is why the effectiveness of percentage-based training is debatable, of course, it could help guide people to use certain training intensities. Knowing this, you can see those guys that accurately prescribe the 84,55% of the 1rm are a bit silly. Also, people´s neuromuscular efficiency varies a lot making the percentages based on the max unrealistic. 


RPE-based training is also a common way to prescribe exercises but as people might have already seen. The prescription is pretty subjective to an individual. My RPE 8 could be another person RPE 6. So it is still pretty inaccurate.


With velocity based training, you can accurately prescribe training intensities as they have a specific speed. For example, a heavy back squat near 1rm would move close to 0.20 m/s. So we could just prescribe 7 sets of 1 rep @0.20 m/s.

5. measure repeatability


With a velocity tracker, individuals can measure inter-set repeatability. Based on that they could make slight adjustments with, for example, their rest times. This way efficacy is maintained and training sessions efficiency is increased. Individuals can also track intra-set repeatability as this could compromise dose-response. 


A fun thing you could try is to make people go until they pass a certain point. For example: do max rep back squats with a starting weight @0.70 m/s and stop when you get below 0.20 m/s. This is a nice idea yet i have not tried it yet, will be continued (evil laugh).


David Scharff

CrossFit Coach/athlete

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