(Part 2) The Force/Velocity Curve – Building Velocity

Earlier this week I sent out an article discussing the Force/Velocity Curve and using an athletes physical strength and weaknesses to build a training program that allows them to maximize their training results. (View the Force/Velocity article here)

To take that topic a step forward this article will discuss how an athlete would train to increase their velocity.

For starters, it is important to mention a fundamental rule of strength and conditioning.  This is the “S.A.I.D. Principal

S.A.I.D. stands for Specific Adaptations to Imposed Demands.

Essentially, what this principle says is that the body will adapt to whatever method of training it is given. Simply put if you train to get faster, you will get faster. Likewise, is you train for strength you will get stronger.

As we know from the first installment of this series athletes who have a high need for velocity-based training are those looking to improve their on-field speed and quickness. In weight room metrics these athletes are those who lack in plyometric ability and tend to move barbells at a slower rate of speed.

For these athletes, we assess them in a number of areas…

  1. Triple Broad Jump which looks at repeated horizontal jumping ability
  2. BB Squat Jump Velocity Testing which is measured in meters/second and looks at an athletes ability to produce force in a vertical jump
  3. Visual Assessment. How the athlete moves during normal strength movements.
  4. Power Clean Max Testing which is reserved only for advanced athletes and looks at the ability to produce force and forcefully extend their hips.

The athletes that need Velocity based training are put on a training split that emphasizes explosive movements and higher levels of sprint training.

Here is a sample athlete profile and training program that I would suggest in order to build a velocity based training cycle.

  • Athlete Name: Naso Fast
  • Athlete Sport: Football and Lacrosse
  • Athlete Grade:10thGrade
  • Athlete Position: Wide Receiver and Attack
  • Physical Testing:
    • 40YD Dash: 5.1          Max Squat: 275           Power Clean:145

From this testing data, we can see that Naso is strong in his lower body but lacks speed and explosiveness as shown in his 40 time and Power Clean max.

Now that we know his current physical capabilities we can design and implement a strategic strength and conditioning program that will help improve his velocity and shift the Force/Velocity curve to the right.

For athletes entering my training program that has the need to increase their velocity, we use a very structured progression that puts a high emphasis on their rate of force development.

This focused effort is completed with the use of…

With consistent workouts and a comprehensive training program athletes who need to increase their velocity will see outstanding results.  As the S.A.I.D. Principal tells us, the body will adapt to what we give it.

So, if you want to improve your athletic performance, the solution is to simply identify your weakness and train to correct it.

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