The purpose of this study was to compare the effect on strength gains of two isoinertial resistance training (RT) programmes that only differed in actual concentric velocity: maximal (MaxV) vs. half-maximal (HalfV) velocity. Twenty participants were assigned to a MaxV (n = 9) or HalfV (n = 11) group and trained 3 times per week during 6 weeks using the bench press (BP). Repetition velocity was controlled using a linear velocity transducer. A complementary study (n = 10) aimed to analyse whether the acute metabolic (blood lactate and ammonia) and mechanical response (velocity loss) was different between the MaxV and HalfV protocols used. Both groups improved strength performance from pre- to post-training, but MaxV resulted in significantly greater gains than HalfV in all variables analysed: one-repetition maximum (1RM) strength (18.2 vs. 9.7%), velocity developed against all (20.8 vs. 10.0%), light (11.5 vs. 4.5%) and heavy (36.2 vs. 17.3%) loads common to pre- and post-tests. Light and heavy loads were identified with those moved faster or slower than 0.80 m · s(-1) (∼ 60% 1RM in BP). Lactate tended to be significantly higher for MaxV vs. HalfV, with no differences observed for ammonia which was within resting values. Both groups obtained the greatest improvements at the training velocities (≤ 0.80 m · s(-1)). Movement velocity can be considered a fundamental component of RT intensity, since, for a given %1RM, the velocity at which loads are lifted largely determines the resulting training effect. BP strength gains can be maximised when repetitions are performed at maximal intended velocity.
Keywords: Resistance; fatigue; metabolism; strength.