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


Originally published as: 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. Original article 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.