Movement velocity is an acute resistance-training variable that can be manipulated to potentially optimize dynamic muscular strength development. However, it is unclear whether performing faster or slower repetitions actually influences dynamic muscular strength gains.
We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to examine the effect of movement velocity during resistance training on dynamic muscular strength.
Five electronic databases were searched using terms related to movement velocity and resistance training. Studies were deemed eligible for inclusion if they met the following criteria: randomized and non-randomized comparative studies; published in English; included healthy adults; used isotonic resistance-exercise interventions directly comparing fast or explosive training to slower movement velocity training; matched in prescribed intensity and volume; duration ≥4 weeks; and measured dynamic muscular strength changes.
A total of 15 studies were identified that investigated movement velocity in accordance with the criteria outlined. Fast and moderate-slow resistance training were found to produce similar increases in dynamic muscular strength when all studies were included. However, when intensity was accounted for, there was a trend for a small effect favoring fast compared with moderate-slow training when moderate intensities, defined as 60–79% one repetition maximum, were used (effect size 0.31; p = 0.06). Strength gains between conditions were not influenced by training status and age.
Overall, the results suggest that fast and moderate-slow resistance training improve dynamic muscular strength similarly in individuals within a wide range of training statuses and ages. Resistance training performed at fast movement velocities using moderate intensities showed a trend for superior muscular strength gains as compared to moderate-slow resistance training. Both training practices should be considered for novice to advanced, young and older resistance trainers targeting dynamic muscular strength.
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Timothy B. Davies, Kenny Kuang, Rhonda Orr, Mark Halaki, and Daniel Hackett declare they have no conflict of interest that is relevant to the content of this review.
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Davies, T.B., Kuang, K., Orr, R. et al. Effect of Movement Velocity During Resistance Training on Dynamic Muscular Strength: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Sports Med 47, 1603–1617 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40279-017-0676-4