Bar Velocity Drop Off

We have all experienced it, during a set we start off moving the weight relatively fast, but as we approach the last couple reps, the speed of movement slows down and we have to grind out the last rep or two. Without knowing it, you experienced what some call the rep-velocity paradigm. As the number of reps increases within a given set, there is a corresponding decrease in bar velocity. This seems pretty obvious on the surface, but it's actually the cornerstone of many advanced exercise techniques. By appreciating and understanding this paradigm, we can develop set and rep schemes that are designed to workout around the impending fatigue. Not everyone wants to, or should, go to failure, but we still want to accumulate enough volume at a load to create a stimulus. This is where being conscious of bar speeds can help the lifter realize when fatigue is approaching and if desired, stop the set when needed. This concept has been researched and shown to be quite a powerful means of developing power. By using a specific velocity drop off, the athlete can monitor speed of movement ensuring speed is adequate for their goals. If technology isn’t present, simply being conscious allows the lifter to understand when the lift is slowing down too much and needs to be terminated.