Load–velocity relationship in national paralympic powerlifters: A case study

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance

PubMed ID



Human Kinetics Publishers Inc.


School of Medical and Health Sciences




Loturco, I., Pereira, L. A., Winckler, C., Santos, W. L., Kobal, R., & McGuigan, M. (2019). Load–velocity relationship in national paralympic powerlifters: A case study. International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, 14(4), 531-535. Available here.


Purpose: To examine the relationships between different loading intensities and movement velocities in the bench-press exercise (BP) in Paralympic powerlifters. Methods: A total of 17 national Paralympic powerlifters performed maximum dynamic strength tests to determine their BP 1-repetition maximum (1RM) in a Smith-machine device. A linear position transducer was used to measure movement velocity over a comprehensive range of loads. Linear-regression analysis was performed to establish the relationships between the different bar velocities and the distinct percentages of 1RM. Results: Overall, the correlations between bar velocities and %1RM were strong over the entire range of loads (R 2 .80–.91), but the precision of the predictive equations (expressed as mean differences [%] between actual and predicted 1RM values) were higher at heavier loading intensities (∼20% for loads ≤70% 1RM and ∼5% for loads ≥70% 1RM). In addition, it seems that these very strong athletes (eg, 1RM relative in the BP = 2.22 [0.36] kg·kg −1 , for male participants) perform BP 1RM assessments at lower velocities than those previously reported in the literature. Conclusions: The load–velocity relationship was strong and consistent in Paralympic powerlifters, especially at higher loads (≥70% 1RM). Therefore, Paralympic coaches can use the predictive equations and the reference values provided here to determine and monitor the BP loading intensity in national Paralympic powerlifters. © 2019 Human Kinetics, Inc.



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