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Force velocity profiling for athletes: Performance assessment and individualized training prescriptions

Across the three studies, 216 participants were included. The first study tested 100 athletes, spanning from world-class Olympic medalists to local club players, using varied measurement tools during squat jumps, countermovement jumps, and a leg press machine.

Kolbjørn Andreas Lindberg

Ph.D. candidate

Kolbjørn Andreas Lindberg will defend the thesis Force velocity profiling for athletes: Performance assessment and individualized training prescriptions, for the PhD degree.

More information about doctoral defence and trial lecture.

Summary of the thesis:

The concept of Force-Velocity (FV) profiling stems from the inverse relationship between force and velocity in skeletal muscles. With technological advancements, devices measuring these variables have become more accessible. This has resulted in FV profiling becoming an increasingly popular tool among athletes, coaches, and scientists for performance assessment and tailoring individualized training programs.

This Ph.D. thesis delves deep into the use of FV profiling, focusing on three specific objectives:

Study I aimed to assess the reliability and agreement of commonly used measurement equipment for evaluating force-velocity profiles in well-trained and elite athletes. Study II investigated the effectiveness of an individualized training approach based on FV-profiling on jumping performance in well-trained athletes. Lastly, Study III aimed to investigate whether a placebo effect is present when participants are told they are receiving "optimal training" compared to "control training."

Across the three studies, 216 participants were included. The first study tested 100 athletes, spanning from world-class Olympic medalists to local club players, using varied measurement tools during squat jumps, countermovement jumps, and a leg press machine. In the second study, 46 team sport athletes underwent a 10-week training regimen tailored to their FV profile. The third study encompassed 70 athletes across a similar 10-week training timeline. However, a section believed they were being provided an optimized training regimen based on their FV profile.

Results:

  • Study I: The reliability of the FV profile can be affected by various factors, including biological, technical, and methodological variation. Although FV profiles showcased high linearity, there was inconsistency in the reliability of the slope of the FV profile across vertical jumping tests.
  • Study II: The data revealed that there wasn't a significant performance difference among groups, regardless of the FV-profile-based training direction they were assigned.
  • Study III: Athletes who believed they were on an optimized training plan based on their FV profile experienced more significant improvements, especially in squat strength, compared to the control group.

FV profiling's reliability is multifaceted and can be influenced by biological, technical, and methodological factors. While the method may offer valuable insights, this research indicates that training exclusively aligned with an "optimal" FV profile might not always enhance athletic performance. Additionally, the apparent placebo effect in training outcomes underscores the psychological aspects of sports training. It emphasizes the necessity for holistic assessment and integrating placebo-controlled methodologies in future research studies.