Background: Movement velocity is an acute resistance-training variable that can be manipulated to potentially optimize dynamic muscular strength development. However, it is unclear whether performing faster or slower repetitions actually influences dynamic muscular strength gains.
Objective: We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to examine the effect of movement velocity during resistance training on dynamic muscular strength.
Methods: Five electronic databases were searched using terms related to movement velocity and resistance training. Studies were deemed eligible for inclusion if they met the following criteria: randomized and non-randomized comparative studies; published in English; included healthy adults; used isotonic resistance-exercise interventions directly comparing fast or explosive training to slower movement velocity training; matched in prescribed intensity and volume; duration ≥4 weeks; and measured dynamic muscular strength changes.
Results: A total of 15 studies were identified that investigated movement velocity in accordance with the criteria outlined. Fast and moderate-slow resistance training were found to produce similar increases in dynamic muscular strength when all studies were included. However, when intensity was accounted for, there was a trend for a small effect favoring fast compared with moderate-slow training when moderate intensities, defined as 60-79% one repetition maximum, were used (effect size 0.31; p = 0.06). Strength gains between conditions were not influenced by training status and age.
Conclusions: Overall, the results suggest that fast and moderate-slow resistance training improve dynamic muscular strength similarly in individuals within a wide range of training statuses and ages. Resistance training performed at fast movement velocities using moderate intensities showed a trend for superior muscular strength gains as compared to moderate-slow resistance training. Both training practices should be considered for novice to advanced, young and older resistance trainers targeting dynamic muscular strength.