The load-velocity profile differs more between men and women than between individuals with different strength levels
Centre for Exercise and Sports Science Research / School of Medical and Health Sciences
This study aimed to determine the suitability of the load-velocity relationship to prescribe the relative load (%1RM) in women, as well as to compare the load-velocity profile between sexes and participants with different strength levels. The load-velocity relationship of 14 men (1RM: 1.17 ± 0.19) and 14 women (1RM: 0.66 ± 0.13) were evaluated in the bench press exercise. The main findings revealed that: (I) the load-velocity relationship was always strong and linear (R2 range: 0.987–0.993), (II) a steeper load-velocity profile was observed in men compared to women (Effect size [ES]: 1.09), with men showing higher velocities for light loads (ES: − 0.81 and − 0.40 for the y-intercept and 30%1RM, respectively), but women reporting higher velocities for the heavy loads (ES: 1.14 and 1.50 at 90%1RM and 100%1RM, respectively); and (III) while the slope of the load-velocity profile was moderately steeper for weak men compared to their strong counterpart (ES: 1.02), small differences were observed between strong and weak women (ES: − 0.39). While these results support the use of the individual load-velocity relationship to prescribe the %1RM in the bench press exercise for women, they also highlight the large disparities in their load-velocity profile compared to men.