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The force/velocity curve

by Shaun Kober
February 25th 2021

Understanding the force/velocity curve is essential for smart and efficient programming for pro athletes, as well as a great tool to be applied at the appropriate times with general population clie... More

you know what is up guys? Welcome to this five minute fitness tips episode of the live train perform podcast. I'm your host, Sean Cobra, as the name suggests, I'm going to spend five minutes going through some of my quick and dirty fitness tips to allow you to get the most out of your training. Now, I'm recording this on Wednesday 24 February, Yesterday, being Tuesday 23rd February I posted on my social media platforms about the force velocity curve. That's what this episode is going to be all about. I'm going to dive into that in a little bit more details. So what is the force velocity curve? The force velocity curve is simply understanding ah and applying the principles of um different strength profiles. So we'll dive into each one of those strength profiles and an example of some of the exercise that you can use to represent each one of those strength profiles. Now, this is a model that I use in the strength and conditioning industry to get the most out of my athletes in particular, my professional fighters.

However, it is an awesome model to also apply to general population clients. Now, I have spoken in the past about the importance of being able to produce force rapidly quickly in multiple directions from multiple positions. Um and this is kind of like our plyometrics are speed work, our power work and things like that. Now, when it comes to movement. Movement is a skill and if we don't use something, we start losing the ability to do that thing. So, as we get older, um we're typically not playing sports were not being as reactive with our training and things like that, so it is very important to incorporate some kind of reactive drills um within the gym environment. So um an example of this is sprints, jumps and throws, and I've done a full five minute fitness tips episode on sprints, jumps and throws, so go back and listen to that um to give you a cleaner understanding of what I'm talking about here. Um but essentially um these different strength profiles cover off on um different aspects of strength.

So strength is the foundational element of pretty much movement. So um stability is a component of strength, mobility is a component of strength, being able to take your joints through full range of movement, under control. Um speed is an expression of strength. Power is an expression of strength, endurance is also an expression of strength. So, I like to use the um force velocity curve to structure my training. Now, let me give you an example of um what I'm talking about here, the particular post that I'm talking about that I did yesterday, I use one of my professional fighters who fights with one championship to demonstrate the different exercises that represent different portions of the force velocity curve in those individual strength profiles. So, um he's a wrestler um from Dagestan national level wrestler and he is strong as fuck. So I don't need to do much strength based work. So um this is the top of the force velocity curve, this is how much force can I produce.

So think Like a one rep max dead lift might be our strength component. Okay it is pure brute strength or absolute strength. Again there's many many different types of strength but I'm going to use this model to try and paint a clearer picture. Uh One rep max dead lift, one rep max squad. Um Three right max six right max um Whatever pull ups, bench press carries, sled drag, sled port prowler pushes etcetera etcetera. Just think fucking heavy. Alright high amounts of force. Um Then we have our strength speed so our strength speed is focused on strength, it's still high amounts of force but now we add a speed component to that. So an olympic lift is an example of our strength speed. I might also take um I'll give you guys a really simple example. Okay my strength is going to be um one rep max dead lift with a trap bar.

Okay then my strength speed I take some load off, I take some weight off and I increase the velocity or the speed at which I'm completing that movement. So I might take that trap bar and add some bands to that. Okay now I'm adding a speed component but the focus is still on strength. Then we go lighter And move faster and this is our power so a good combination of strength and speed. So now I might take that trap bar and I might take a heap of weight off and might be lifting maybe 50% of my one rep max. But now what I'm gonna do is try and jump with that weight. Okay so that's an expression of strength done rapidly okay which is power. Then further down the force velocity curve is my speed, strength. This is where the focus is primarily on speed moving that weight as fast as possible or yourself as fast as possible or you know an external load like a ball or um a sledgehammer or a tire or whatever it might be.

Um where the focus is on speed moving as fast as possible with an element of strength. So I like to use jumps here um counter movement jumps in particular where we fall off a box, we control the landing and then we redirect that force. So the primary component is speed and getting that stretch reflex where we rebound out of that bottom position but there's also obviously an element of strength as we break. Um and we absorb that force and then we redirect that force right down the bottom. We have our speed based work. So this is where it might be stare sprints um It might be um just a simple straight up sprint might be hill sprints or something like that. Actually. Hill sprints is probably gonna be more of that um speed strength, because as we um as we increase the um the angle of the hill, then that's going to add more of a strength component. So um very simple example of looking at the force velocity curve. Um and once you understand this, then it can kind of help you structure your training a little bit better.

You don't always want to be in one particular component. So, another example of this is if I've got like a heavyweight fighter who's really fucking strong, then if I want to make them more my goal as a coach is to make someone more athletic and make them a more explosive athlete, so which should transfer into the cage or the ring or whatever. So if someone's really fucking strong, I don't need to spend any time building more strength. Okay, I'm going to work on their speed, and if I can increase their speed, which is their ability to um rapidly exert that force, then that's going to make them more explosive. Likewise, if I have a lightweight fighter who's, you know, obviously a lot lighter doesn't have as much weight. Um and it's super fucking fast, has a lot of speed. If I want to make them more explosive, then I need to add strength. So, you know, obviously, I need to look at every individual person, I need to look at every individual athlete and then determine what they need the most.

But for the average person listening, um looking at your different expressions of strength is an excellent way of making sure that you're covering all of your basis in the gym. Um So again, to give some examples. Strength based work. Heavy, slow, alright, grinding type strength. Our strength speed is still heavy, but we're choosing an exercise that we can produce a little bit more speed and get that bar moving faster. Okay. Power might be jumps, it might be medicine ball slams or throws in multiple directions. Um tire flips, sledgehammer slams, whatever. Okay then my speed strength based work might be a hill sprint. It might be a counter movement jump. Um and things of that nature. Okay. And then write down the bottom is our speed based work. Pure speed based work. This is where we're doing straight up sprints.

Um This is where we might be doing stare sprints, we might be doing sprints on the turf and using cone drills and things like that. We might be using the um the ladder for speed, agility and quickness based drills. Hopefully that's answered some of the questions that have come in from my listeners and followers. If there's anything in particular that you guys would love to hear about, please make sure you hit me up on my social media platform at coach underscore codes kO bes uh I'll see you guys next time. Peace

The force/velocity curve
The force/velocity curve
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