Velocity-based training is flexing its strength.
For context: Tried and true, for decades, strength and conditioning revolved around percentage-based training — where intensity and load are prescribed relative to an athlete’s one-rep maximum weight.
Now, new research suggests that velocity-based training (VBT)—focused on measuring and improving how fast an athlete completes the rep—is more effective than the old method.
Why it matters: Strength training is crucial for athletic performance but also longevity, sleep quality, and much more. But, the one-rep-max style has drawbacks in accuracy, practicality, and measurement. More importantly, without 1:1 supervision and feedback from a performance coach, the gains aren’t had by all.
But, advances in data collection are giving the entire strength training field a lift.
The latest: Perch, a computer vision-assisted strength training platform, raised $4M in a funding round. Reading real-time data from a weight rack-affixed 3D camera, its app crunches VBT-specific data for sets, reps, velocity, and power output.
With $6M raised to date and established partnerships in the NFL, NBA, NCAA, and more, Perch wants to equip weight rooms around the country with performance-enhancing data.
Leveraging the rise of AI trainers and connected devices, VBT is powering up.
- Last September, WHOOP acquired PUSH, makers of a wearable sensor for VBT training.
- EliteForm, still in beta, utilizes 3D camera technology designed for the weight room.
- RepOne and VITRUVE have reimagined the classic Tendo unit to create one-to-many VBT platforms.
In computer vision, Uplift Labs watches athletes’ mechanics, while Altis signed commercial gym deals to enter LA Fitness and Life Time weight rooms.
Looking ahead: Connected velocity-based training could trickle down to consumer smart strength, helping improve performance and gamify strength training — where users progress by competing against themselves, not a leaderboard.