JOURNAL ARTICLE

Effect of loading on unintentional lifting velocity declines during single sets of repetitions to failure during upper and lower extremity muscle actions

M Izquierdo, J J González-Badillo, K Häkkinen, J Ibáñez, W J Kraemer, A Altadill, J Eslava, E M Gorostiaga
International Journal of Sports Medicine 2006, 27 (9): 718-24
16944400
The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of different loads on repetition speed during single sets of repetitions to failure in bench press and parallel squat. Thirty-six physical active men performed 1-repetition maximum in a bench press (1 RM (BP)) and half squat position (1 RM (HS)), and performed maximal power-output continuous repetition sets randomly every 10 days until failure with a submaximal load (60 %, 65 %, 70 %, and 75 % of 1RM, respectively) during bench press and parallel squat. Average velocity of each repetition was recorded by linking a rotary encoder to the end part of the bar. The values of 1 RM (BP) and 1 RM (HS) were 91 +/- 17 and 200 +/- 20 kg, respectively. The number of repetitions performed for a given percentage of 1RM was significantly higher (p < 0.001) in half squat than in bench press performance. Average repetition velocity decreased at a greater rate in bench press than in parallel squat. The significant reductions observed in the average repetition velocity (expressed as a percentage of the average velocity achieved during the initial repetition) were observed at higher percentage of the total number of repetitions performed in parallel squat (48 - 69 %) than in bench press (34 - 40 %) actions. The major finding in this study was that, for a given muscle action (bench press or parallel squat), the pattern of reduction in the relative average velocity achieved during each repetition and the relative number of repetitions performed was the same for all percentages of 1RM tested. However, relative average velocity decreased at a greater rate in bench press than in parallel squat performance. This would indicate that in bench press the significant reductions observed in the average repetition velocity occurred when the number of repetitions was over one third (34 %) of the total number of repetitions performed, whereas in parallel squat it was nearly one half (48 %). Conceptually, this would indicate that for a given exercise (bench press or squat) and percentage of maximal dynamic strength (1RM), the pattern of velocity decrease can be predicted over a set of repetitions, so that a minimum repetition threshold to ensure maximal speed performance is determined.

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