Factors Related to Average Concentric Velocity of Four Barbell Exercises at Various Loads

In this paper, the authors wanted to see whether individual factors such as training experience or anthropometrics influence the average concentric velocity (ACV) during a repetition.

Therefore, the purpose of this study was to determine whether training age, current training frequency, limb length, height, and relative strength are related to ACV at loads between 35 and 100% of the 1RM for the squat, bench press, Deadlift, and overhead press. A secondary purpose was to compare the ACV values between the 4 lifts at each relative load. Fifty-one (18 women and 33 men) completed 2 testing sessions in which the squat, bench press, deadlift, and overhead press ACV were measured during a modified 1RM protocol.

Generally, compared at the same relative loads, the overhead press exhibited the greatest ACV followed by the squat, bench press, and deadlift (in order). In addition, relative strength level was inversely related to ACV at maximal loads (>95% 1RM) for the squat, bench press, and deadlift while height was positively related to ACV at moderate loads (55% 1RM) for all lifts.

These results suggest that the load-velocity profile is unique for each of these exercises, and that velocity ranges used for exercise prescription should be specific to the exercise. A trainee’s relative strength and height may be a primary influence on the ACV.

Factors Related to Average Concentric Velocity of Four Barbell Exercises at Various Loads

An Investigation Into the Effects of Excluding the Catch Phase of the Power Clean on Force-Time Characteristics During Isometric and Dynamic Tasks: An Intervention Study

An interesting paper, The aims of this study were to compare the effects of the exclusion or inclusion of the catch phase during power clean (PC) derivatives on force-time characteristics during isometric and dynamic tasks, after two 4-week mesocycles of resistance training. Two strength matched groups completed the twice-weekly training sessions either including the catch phase of the PC derivatives.

before and after intervention, respectively. In contrast to the hypotheses, there were no meaningful or significant differences in the percentage change for any variables between groups. This study clearly demonstrates that neither the inclusion nor exclusion of the catch phase of the PC derivatives results in any preferential adaptations over two 4-week, in-season strength and power, mesocycles.

J Strength Cond Res 32(8): 2116-2129, 


Upper Body program for Wheelchair Rugby (Murder ball) – Opinion Piece

Recently I listened a radio broadcast of an amazing athlete who while playing able body Rugby was badly injured and now is in a wheelchair, but it has not dampened his enthusiasm and I decided to research about Strength and Conditioning Programs for Murder Ball and I found that the wheelchair version of the sport is all about the upper body power, strength, endurance and stamina.

Wheelchair players need power in the scrum (reading the rules 3 players from each team, in a single file line go head to head with the ball placed between the two front opposition chairs in order to contest possession), strength to drive through tackles, endurance to sustain that strength output throughout the game and stamina to last the full 80 minutes of fast paced, crashing action!

The aim is to develop the strength and power in the major muscle groups involved in the pushing action of the chair, including the deltoids, pectorals, trapezius and latissimus dorsi. Then train and build on the endurance of the assisting muscles like the biceps and triceps.

Most importantly if possible it is creating a strong and resilient core will be key to gaining an edge to score that all important try!.

For any readers feel free to try out the following upper body workout

Warm up

Hand cycle bike on a medium resistance to start for 3 minutes then turn up to high resistance for 3 minutes.

Follow this up by completing 20 reps of curl and press with a light pair of dumbbells to fully warm up the working muscles.

Once warmed up start with the major muscle groups first so to not tire out the assisting biceps and triceps muscles.

Complete 4 sets of the following exercises with 8-12 reps in each set, ensuring you use the appropriate weight to fulfil the rep count: Each Sets should last no longer than 30secs 50-60secs rest between sets, 2 mins rest between each exercise. Each rep should be explosive with control, the way we want to play our Rugby.

  • Shoulder press
  • Lat pull down
  • Bench press

Rear row cable machine

Follow this up with a circuit of assisting muscle group exercises completing 4 sets of 12-15 reps for each exercise:

  • Dumbbell triceps extensions
  • Dumbbell Bicep curls
  • Dumbbell Front and lateral raises

Finish off by having a round on the rower by positioning the chair in a stable position to allow for the upper body movement and row for a 10 Minutes or the equivalent distance, maintaining a steady pace to work on your stamina and fitness levels approximately 1 minute for every  250 Metres.

Starting a Medium speed every 2 minutes then at 8:30 minutes up ½ level then at 9 minutes ½ level then every 10 seconds  up by ½  level until 9:50 take it down to medium speed and cool down for 2 minutes.

How to Build Strength in Rock Climbers – Part 2

Following last week’s article, we discussed how do you train strength? You need to train with compound movements (multi-joint: that work several muscles or muscle groups at one time) through a full range-of-motion. You need to work at very high loads. also, you need to train strength alongside developing the skills for rock climbing.

Any program requires a level of specificity, this is adaptation of the body or change in physical fitness is specific to the type of training undertaken, in this case relevant to rock climbing

For novice climbers developing a high level of non-specific work capacity may be appropriate for novices who are unfit and in need of general conditioning and get to a basic level of fitness.

In terms of specificity, the exercises must be like what a climber might experience on the rock. This is called motor specificity. You want to use exercise durations, muscle actions, and loads that lead toward our end goal of strength. This is called metabolic specificity. Exercises can be either motor specific, metabolic specific, or both. The more of both you do, the better.

To develop appropriate strength for climbing you want to use complex, multi-joint movements at loads high enough that the body will adapt by getting stronger rather than getting bigger. Remember that there is a huge misconception that heavy training leads to bulk. Not so. It is high-volume, medium-load training that is most effective for building size (i.e. 4 – 6 sets of 12 reps).


Adaptation  Sets Repetitions Rest between sets
Power 1-3 3-5 3 MINUTES
Functional Hypertrophy 3-4 6-8 3-5 MINUTES
Non-Functional Hypertrophy 3-4 8-12 1-3 MINUTES
Strength Endurance 2-4 12-20 30 Seconds – 1 MINUTE

Train associated muscles that contribute to climbing performance such as:

Pull/Lock-off Muscles (Pull ups or similar)

Pushing Muscles



Upper Arms

Training primarily with free weights will give you the functional, trekking-specific strength that will help you in most climbing walls and rocks. When starting any strength conditioning program, complete two full-body strength workouts a week for 30-45 minutes each, focusing on compound exercises such as squats, lunges, step-ups, dips, pull-ups, rows, dead lifts, bench presses, push ups, and overhead presses or Military Press.

Sample program:

Front Squat                        1.5x BW  1.0x BW
Dead Lift                             2.0x BW  1.5x BW
Bench Press                        1.5x BW 1.0x BW
Push Press                          1.15 BW  0.75 BW

Group 1:

–        Bench Press: Your typical weight bench and bar
–        Incline Bench: Bench Press on an inclined bench
–        Decline Bench: Bench press on a declined bench
–        Fly’s: Sitting chest fly’s on a Nautilus type machine
–        Dips: Triceps dips either on a machine or dips bar. Weight assistance is ok.
–        Triceps Extensions: Sitting extension over your head with dumbbells
–        Triceps Pull-Downs: Standing triceps extensions pulling from face level to waist level.
–        Ab Crunches: Using a machine or sit-up bench at incline
–        Leg Raises/Crunches: Lift your legs either bent or straight legged to waist level.
–        Calf-Raises: Using a machine of some sort or squat rack.

Group 2:
      –        Pull-Ups: Using a machine or pull-up bar. Weight assistance is ok.
–        Lat Pull-Downs: Seated pull-downs with wide bar.
–        One Arm Pull-Downs: Seated pull-downs with narrow bar or one-hand grip attachment.
–        Dumbbell Curls: The most basic weight lift invented.
–        Bar Curls: Using a flat or bent bar.
–        Shrugs: Standing with dumbbells, typical shoulder shrug.
–        Shoulder Raises: Standing with dumbbells, raising arms outward to shoulder level.
–        Machine Rows. Sitting and pulling towards chest.
–        Inclined Sit Ups: Sit-ups on a bench at incline for added resistance.
–        Squats: Using free weight or a machine.

      –        Quad and Hamstring Curls
–        Lunges: Start with regular lunges and add weight as strength increases.
–        Grip Machine: Can be helpful for ice and rock climbing.


  • Treadmill at incline
  • Cross trainer starting Level 5


Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning, Fourth Edition: Greg Haff, N Travis Triplett National Strength & Conditioning Association (US)

The Strength and Conditioning Bible: How to Train Like an Athlete Nick Grantham

Training for the New Alpinism:  Steve House and Scott Johnston


Exercises that will make you a better Rock Climber – Bulgarian Split Squat

Purpose: Another exercise that came from the East and is now embedded in our society, highly underrated including in Climbing. Almost every sport in the world requires that you drive off one leg at a time, so if you haven’t got some one-legged work in your training plan, then you’re missing something.

The Bulgarian split squat is the answer: not only is it slightly easier to learn and master than the full-on back squat, but it’s also more universally-doable for people with oddly-shaped femurs and arguably more injury proof. In the back squat, for instance, the lower back comes heavily into play, limiting the weight you’re able to lift. In the Bulgarian squat, it’s all about your glutes, quads and hamstrings.

Targets: As well as testing your balance to the max – which will improve core strength – the elevated split squat is a powerhouse of a leg workout, with your quads, calves and hamstrings all set to benefit. The glutes are also heavily involved in the exercise, so it works for anyone keen on perfecting their posterior.

Technique: Grab a chair or another person to hold your back leg and squat. Only go as low as you’re comfortable with, try keep your knee behind your toes, and if you still need help, raise your heels again.

Using a bench placed behind you, extend one leg backward and place the top of the foot so it’s resting on the flat surface (rest on just toes to make it slightly harder). With a dumbbell in each hand, lunge forward until your front knee reaches 90°, being careful that it doesn’t extend past your toes. Lunge with front leg farther away from the bench (rear leg will be straighter) to increase the difficulty.

Broken down in 4 easy steps:

  1. Find yourself a step, bench or any other contraption that you can rest a foot on, it needs to be about knee height.
  2. Get into a forward lunge position with torso upright, core braced and hips square to your body, with your back foot elevated on the bench. Your leading leg should be half a metre or so in front of bench.
  3. Lower until your front thigh is almost horizontal, keeping your knee in line with your foot. Don’t let your front knee travel beyond your toes.
  4. Drive up through your front heel back to the starting position, again keeping your movements measured.


Using a Swiss Ball

Using a Swiss Ball as Strength training.


Stiff Leg Dead Lift

Stuart Yule talks about the Stiff Leg Dead Lift and its importance in training for Olympic lifting.