Gaining With High Velocity

Weight room regulars often hit a sticking point that’s really difficult to push past. Adding reps and resistance isn’t always the answer, because you can only lift so much weight. A study published in the International Journal of Sports Medicine shows what experienced lifters accomplished with 3 weeks of high-velocity training.

Researchers had 10 volunteers perform the bench press at a velocity that was 80% to 100% of maximal speed. Another 10 subjects performed the same number of reps twice a week at the same 85% one rep max (1RM) resistance using a self-selected rep speed. After 3 weeks, high-velocity training increased 1RM more than 10% while increasing lifting velocity by 2.2%. The guys who benched the same old way saw less than 1% gains.

True Strength Moment: Although raising the bar at a higher velocity will take some getting used to, planning a couple weeks of this fast-paced lifting is a major workout change up that left these subjects with fairly impressive results. If you’re going to try this on the bench press, remember that you aren’t lowering the bar with greater speed. For another challenging workout, read today’s Performance Blog at

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