Velocity Versus Intensity For Strength & Power

October 22, 2012

If you're at the top of your game in a team sport, and strength and power are crucial to your performance during competition, what's the best pre-season resistance training program? A study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research tested a velocity based program against another routine that put the emphasis on intensity using 32 elite soccer players as subjects.

After being tested to determine muscle power, jumping and sprint performance, athletes engaged in 3 weeks of traditional strength training to assess optimal power load. Then they were randomly assigned to 3 more weeks of power-oriented training with increased velocity and decreased intensity or a program where intensity gradually increased from 30% to 60% of one rep max (1RM).

After all training sessions were completed, 1RM increased 20% for the velocity group and 22% for the intensity group. Back squat power increased 19% with velocity training and 20% with intensity, and jump power improved in about the same way. The only performance test these athletes didn't do better on was the 30 meter sprint. It appears that speed performance requires a different style of training.