VBT log: Breaking strength personal records

Welcome to the training log.

My goal has always been to make velocity tracking in the gym as practical and simple as possible. I think velocity based training is presented as far more complicated than it needs to be. At its core, velocity tracking is about one thing: Make the numbers go up.

So here goes a little experiment, sharing insights into my own training, programming and performance in the gym, hopefully providing you with some ideas and practical takeaways to help with your own training.

I’ll try to post a new VBT log most weeks on Monday, you can find the log in short video format in the on Instagram, TikTok and YouTube, along with the written version in this newsletter and on the VBTcoach blog.

This week, a new 12-month best, and an all-time velocity record in the one set.

A 2023 record: 140kg x3 on trapbar deadlift

All this year 140kg as been taunting me, so close, yet always just one missed workout or busy week from slipping out or reach.

For me 140kg, puts me clear of the 1.5x bodyweight standard — not an earth shattering level of strength — but for me it’s nice to be back a member of this club. Next year 160kg and a mulitple of 1.75x bodyweight.

Strength standards and 1RM for trapbar deadlift

Velocity standards for trapbar deadlfit

As a bonus, this 140kg was an all time mean velocity record at 0.52m/s, a big jump from the 0.46 & 0.49m/s I moved at back in July 2022 the last time hit this weight, when I was training with Charlie from Melbourne Strength Culture.

With a bar speed over 0.5m/s for this, and three reps, it suggests I still have more weight to add to the bar before I am at a genuine 3RM. For most people a 1RM on the trapbar (hexbar) deadlift is around 0.4m/s. Maybe getting as low as 0.3m/s for the low handles and for properly strong individuals.

Velocity based training comparison between two sets of trapbar deadlift
Big progress on Trabar deadlift - same weight, but significantly faster.

This is a pretty fast velocity for a 1RM compared to say bench press, and sumo deadlifting. That is because the unique shape of the trapbar allows for acceleration throughout the entire range of motion bringing up the mean velocity even on the heaviest of weights. You can read more about 1RM velocity standards across exercises in this blog post →

With Christmas not too far off, it would be nice to squeeze out a 145kg set or even a 0.55m/s rep on the 140kg lift before I take a long overdue deload with 2-weeks off barbell training over the summer break I guess we will see…

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References and resources

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