Velocity builds a bigger bench!

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).

The results:

  1. Both groups improved strength performance from pre- to post-training,
  2. 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.
  3. Lactate tended to be significantly higher for MaxV vs. HalfV.
  4. 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.

To keep up to date with fitness, physical therapy and mindfulness tips join my mailing list here:

Leave a Reply