The next time you set up for the bench press, remember Gonzalez-Badillo et al and the paper “Maximal intended velocity training induces greater gains in bench press performance than deliberately slower half-velocity training” (PMID: 24734902)
This fascinating study manipulated one variable when comparing 2 bench pressing group.
One group pressed the bar at the max speed possible (MaxV), the others aimed for half of the velocity they could (HalfV).
- Both groups improved strength performance from pre- to post-training,
- MaxV resulted in significantly greater gains than HalfV in all variables analysed: one-repetition maximum (1RM) strength (18.2 vs. 9.7%). Velocity developed against all (20.8 vs. 10.0%), light (11.5 vs. 4.5%) and heavy (36.2 vs. 17.3%) loads common to pre- and post-tests.
- Lactate tended to be significantly higher for MaxV vs. HalfV.
- Both groups obtained the greatest improvements at the training velocities (≤ 0.80 m · s(-1)).
Movement velocity should be considered a fundamental component of resistance Training intensity, since, for a given %1RM, the velocity at which loads are lifted largely determines the resulting training effect. Bench Press strength gains can be maximised when repetitions are performed at maximal intended velocity.