Perception of Bar Velocity Loss in Resistance Exercises: Accuracy Across Loads and Velocity Loss Thresholds in the Bench Press

Antonio Dello Iacono*, Kevin Watson, Milan Marinkovic, Israel Halperin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Velocity-based training is used to prescribe and monitor resistance training based on velocity outputs measured with tracking devices. When tracking devices are unavailable or impractical to use, perceived velocity loss (PVL) can be used as a substitute, assuming sufficient accuracy. Here, we investigated the accuracy of PVL equal to 20% and 40% relative to the first repetition in the bench-press exercise. Methods: Following a familiarization session, 26 resistance-trained men performed 4 sets of the bench-press exercise using 4 different loads based on their individual load-velocity relationships (∼40%-90% of 1-repetition maximum [1RM]), completed in a randomized order. Participants verbally reported their PVL at 20% and 40% velocity loss during the sets. PVL accuracy was calculated as the absolute difference between the timing of reporting PVL and the actual repetition number corresponding to 20% and 40% velocity loss measured with a linear encoder. Results: Linear mixed-effects model analysis revealed 4 main findings. First, across all conditions, the absolute average PVL error was 1 repetition. Second, the PVL accuracy was not significantly different between the PVL thresholds (β = 0.16, P = .267). Third, greater accuracy was observed in loads corresponding to the midportion of the individual load-velocity relationships (∼50%-60% 1RM) compared with lighter (<50% 1RM, β = 0.89, P < .001) and heavier loads (>60% 1RM, 0.63 ≤ β ≤ 0.84, all P values < .001). Fourth, PVL accuracy decreased with consecutive repetitions (β = 0.05, P = .017). Conclusions: PVL can be implemented as a monitoring and prescription method when velocity-tracking devices are impractical or absent.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)488-494
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2023


  • autoregulation
  • biomechanics
  • monitoring
  • velocity-based training


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