Test-retest reliability of barbell velocity during the free-weight bench-press exercise

Matt S Stock, Travis W Beck, Jason M DeFreitas, Michael A Dillon
Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 2011, 25 (1): 171-7
The purpose of this study was to calculate test-retest reliability statistics for peak barbell velocity during the free-weight bench-press exercise for loads corresponding to 10-90% of the 1-repetition maximum (1RM). Twenty-one healthy, resistance-trained men (mean ± SD age = 23.5 ± 2.7 years; body mass = 90.5 ± 14.6 kg; 1RM bench press = 125.4 ± 18.4 kg) volunteered for this study. A minimum of 48 hours after a maximal strength testing and familiarization session, the subjects performed single repetitions of the free-weight bench-press exercise at each tenth percentile (10-90%) of the 1RM on 2 separate occasions. For each repetition, the subjects were instructed to press the barbell as rapidly as possible, and peak barbell velocity was measured with a Tendo Weightlifting Analyzer. The test-retest intraclass correlation coefficients (model 2,1) and corresponding standard errors of measurement (expressed as percentages of the mean barbell velocity values) were 0.717 (4.2%), 0.572 (5.0%), 0.805 (3.1%), 0.669 (4.7%), 0.790 (4.6%), 0.785 (4.8%), 0.811 (5.8%), 0.714 (10.3%), and 0.594 (12.6%) for the weights corresponding to 10-90% 1RM. There were no mean differences between the barbell velocity values from trials 1 and 2. These results indicated moderate to high test-retest reliability for barbell velocity from 10 to 70% 1RM but decreased consistency at 80 and 90% 1RM. When examining barbell velocity during the free-weight bench-press exercise, greater measurement error must be overcome at 80 and 90% 1RM to be confident that an observed change is meaningful.

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