Publication: Validity of monitoring devices to assess velocity in the bench press exercise

Research Impact:  Resistance training is a critical exercise modality for inducing changes in muscular strength, muscle hypertrophy and power. Traditionally, resistance training program design is based on several variables – exercise type and order, intensity or load, number of repetitions and sets, and rests between sets. It has been suggested that monitoring movement velocity in resistance training can be beneficial to encourage adaptations to training. ‘Velocity-based’ resistance training allows the athlete to examine the velocity at which they move a given load. The purpose of this investigation was to determine the concurrent validity of two devices used in velocity-based monitoring of resistance training. Comparing a TendoTM linear position transducer (LPT) and a PUSHTM wearable inertial sensor (WIS) to a criterion (gold standard) high speed infra-red motion analysis system, Both the LPT and the WIS were strongly correlated to the gold standard measure, however the mean concentric velocity values for the WIS were shown to be significantly lower than that measures by the LPT and gold standard. This study demonstrates that strength and conditioning practitioners can use the Tendo LPT device in training sessions as a valid method to monitor barbell velocity in the bench press. The PUSH WIS demonstrated a strong correlation to the criterion measure suggesting that it may help coaches to identify trends in velocity loss during resistance training and may be appropriate to rank athletes’ performances in the bench press exercise, however practitioners should be cognisant of systematic bias and random differences by the WIS through 20% underestimation of mean concentric velocity.

McGrath, G., Flanagan, E., O’Donovan, P., Collins, DJ and Kenny, I.C. (2018) Velocity based training: Validity of monitoring devices to assess mean concentric velocity in the bench press exercise. Journal of Australian Strength and Conditioning. 26(1), 23-30. doi: xxxxxx TBC

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