It is widely acknowledged that power is the most important attribute in most sports. 

Power is a combination of strength (force) and speed (velocity).

To maximise your power and get the most out of your training it is important to characterise where your weaknesses lie and this is where Force-Velocity Profiling can help. 

The FV curve is the inverse relationship between force and velocity. For your own programming, understanding the curve and the influence it has is important when choosing an exercise.

Traditional strength and conditioning often focuses too much on force based programs; moving heavy weights at low speeds without paying too much attention to how fast this is being done. The vast majority of sports out there do not actually require maximal force but do require the ability to generate repetitive power output at high velocities.

There are certain elements of sports that do require force production at low speeds but these are position specific, e.g. pushing in a rugby scrum is a low velocity high force movement. Whereas sprinting, changing direction, kicking, striking, throwing are all high velocity movements and your ability to reproduce them quickly is generally going to improve your match performance. 

If you are competing in a sport which has any repetitive power components, then building your own force-velocity profile is highly recommended. 

You can build a FV profile for an individual lift pretty easily; by measuring load and bar velocity. To do this accurately you measure the bar velocity across a range of the loads specific to your 1RM in that movement. For example, you may want to perform tests at 100, 90, 80,  70, 60%1RM all the way down to zero load. Plotted on a graph this should produce a very nice linear relationship which can be compared to an optimal profile (within commercially available smartphone apps) to identify where the athletes could benefit most from training.

Whilst this used to require a fully kitted-out laboratory with a force plate, you can now measure this accurately using your smartphone and the latest scientifically validated ‘apps’ such as MyJump. 

You can also produce a similar profiles for sprinting, jumping and many other activities but it is important to remember the FV profile will be specific to the exercise being performed. More technically complex movements (e.g. single leg hop Vs counter movement jump) may be more difficult to interpret given the increased likelihood of poor or more variable technique.

Build your own FV profile and modify your training program. Take advantage of modern tech to help you, My Jump and push bands are two we use at Bounce to help us make the correct choices on loading. 

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