Researchers have found that weightlifters could do less and get stronger by changing the amount they lift each session. The researchers compared the average weights lifted by two groups over six weeks: one using a traditional training method of a "one rep max" the maximum weight an athlete could lift and one using a load velocity profile, where the weights were tailored so they lift either more or less at each session.
All who used the load velocity profile became stronger despite lifting less overall during the six week period, said the research, published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.
According to the researchers, traditionally, the one rep max would be used to dictate the weight load for all sessions. In a study, the research team established the one rep max in the two groups.They then used a linear positional transducer - essentially a specialised stopwatch and tape measure - to record the length of time it took to lift the weight, and the distance the weight was moved to establish a "velocity measurement" in one of the groups.