Free velocity based training 1RM calculator and logbook
15
minute read

Free velocity based training 1RM calculator and logbook

Take advantage of the full power of barbell velocity tracking in your training with this free 1RM calculator and programming tool

Introducing the Velocity Logbook v2.0

The first edition of the logbook has been a huge success, helping people all around the world get more out of their training by enabling relatively easy storage and logging of velocity data.

But it was time for a refresh, the version 1.0 logbook has had now been replaced with the new and improved logbook v2.0!

The logbook is still free and openly available, you get a copy the minute you sign up to the VBTcoach newsletter at the bottom of this blog.

This version of the logbook comes with an integration for MetricVBT, a really clever feature put together by Metric beta tester, and all round Google Sheets wizard Quinn. This clever piece of code and custom iPhone shortcut enables you to automatically push training data from the Metric app to your logbook without having to leave the App. Plus it sends back a clever little notification to show you your velocity context and any personal bests for that set!

Automatically send your velocity data from Metric to the logbook.
Automatically send your velocity data from Metric to the logbook. It then provides an alert with your training context.

Thanks also to Andrew who reached out and repurposed my logbook adjusting the layout to suit his powerlifting training. It was his concept that first inspired the logbook re-write.

You can find a link to the set up guide for this shortcut at the bottom of this article, first, let’s explore all the features available within the velocity logbook v2.0.

And if you prefer to watch instead of read here is the instructional video:

Customisation of the display

There can be a lot going on when you start training with VBT, so to help with this the logbook now has an easy to use settings page, allowing you to turn on and off columns based on how you prefer to use velocity in your training.

So if you only want to work with a 30-day historical context value you can turn off the 7- and 90-day options to create better clarity in your view. Same is true for the data entry; if you don’t train with RPE, or aren’t worried about velocity loss, simply turn this column off by unchecking the box.

Customise your velocity logbook with these checkboxes
Customise your velocity logbook with these checkboxes

As an example, my own logbook is significantly stripped back, showing just the 30-day average, the curve score and the velocity PR columns. These are the numbers that matter to me in my training and give me a very quick overview of how the session is tracking. I also currently have the RPE, last rep velocity and velocity loss columns hidden, in future I will likely turn these back on as I progress back into a meaningful strength training block.

Automatic Profiling and 1RM estimation

The biggest improvement introduced to the new logbook is the addition of real-time profiling scores within the main logbook pages.

The first logbook had a profiling tool, but it was separate from the logbook tool. Initially this was meant to be a tool that coaches or athletes might use occasionally outside of their training sessions, offering the option to explore your VBT data further, estimating 1RM, looking at your curve score and more.

Velocity based training 1RM calculator and profiling tools
Velocity based training 1RM calculator and profiling tools

With the new logbook, profiling scores are now calculated automatically as data is entered into the logbook, making it a seamless part of the training process. Once three sets of an exercise are entered for a given day the profiling tool will calculate and display an e1RM, vzero, and curve score, providing performance insights during that exercise for today’s training session.

You can use these profiling results to then judge readiness by comparing today’s score with your recent history or use it as a programming tool, planning the days percentage training values from your estimated 1RM after the final warm up.

Your best ever score for each of the profiling columns will be flagged by turn blue, with bold gold coloured font to signify this new all time high score.

*NB: The equations used to estimate these profiling scores are not very sophisticated. As a result, it may occasionally deliver scores that are clearly inaccurate, especially after the 3rd set, or when you complete many sets of a similar weight. If this occurs, the best option is to simply delete the cell that contains the outlier score so that it does not unfairly impact your performance trends or your personal best high score.

Learn more about these profiling scores in this blog →

Personal best highlighting

The velocity logbook is designed to be an easy to use training log that you can simply glance at and very quickly pick up any trends in the data.

To achieve these the logbook relies on colour coding of some cells highlighting performance compared to your all time best or to a recent average.

The first colour to be across is the blue cells, which is applied to any cell whenever a new personal best is equalled or passed. This blue fill and bold, gold font is applied to the load, reps, best-rep velocity, e1RM, Vzero and Curve score columns, indicating your best performance on a given exercise or exercise-load combination.

Using velocity based training to track porgress
The blue cells are your personal bests for load, reps or best-rep velocity

In the early stages of logging your velocity data you will likely see lots of blue personal best cells, but over time this will settle down as you begin accumulating more and more training data in the logbook. If you want feel free to pre-enter a few of your known personal bests in the first few rows of the logbook to give the sheet same baseline data as a reference, this way you will truly know when you have earned a new personal best!

Contextual traffic lights

Even with these new and improved features, my favourite element of the entire sheet is still the traffic light context. Comparing today’s best-rep velocity with the 7-, 30-, & 90-day averages to highlight your readiness on an exercise.

These columns form the foundation of a great autoregulation system, helping you flag high fatigue levels (red and yellow cells) early in a workout and potentially adjust your session plan to match.

Autoregulation and readiness using velocity based training - a good session
This is a good session, many blue cells (personal bests) and the green cells indicate good velocity compared to the 30-day average
Autoregulation and readiness using velocity based training
This is a bad session, few blue cells (personal bests) and the yellow and red cells indicate velocity is tracking poorly compared to the 30-day average

The cells show a percentage value calculating the difference between today’s velocity and the corresponding recent average. The traffic light colour system is based on three thresholds.

  • Green: above -2.5%. This is the threshold for normal readiness. It takes a “near enough is good enough” mentality, hence you don’t have to be above your recent average, just close enough will do.
  • Yellow: between -2.5% and -7.5%. This is the middle range, maybe you are a little fatigued, maybe you just aren’t fully warmed up, use these values to be alert, but not yet alarmed
  • Red: Under -7.5%. A red cell indicated a potentially low performing set has just occurred. This should trigger a careful examination of your fatigue and readiness levels. Multiple red cells in the same session might be cause for a reduction in training stress to enable more recovery.

*NB: These thresholds were formulated specifically for training with the 30-day average. Results and sensitivity may vary if using the 7- or 90-day averages.

Progress graphs

The v2.0 logbook has also seen an improved and extended progress tracking sheet, with a chart for profiling scores and trend available alongside the existing load-velocity trend chart.

The original velocity progress chart functions by selecting an exercise and a given load. It then filters and shows all best-rep velocities by date to go with a trend line in performance over time.

The second chart allows you to filter and show all instances of profiling scores for a given exercise. This then charts all the scores you have achieved and a trend line to highlight change over time.

Track progress with best rep velocity on a given load in velocity based training
Progress in velocity on a 90kg Safety bar squat, notice an upward trend across the three sessions
Track progress with estimated 1RM and velocity based training
Progress on a safety bar squat with profiling scores and e1RM. In this example the trend is going down, suggesting a poor session or an accumulation of fatigue

Individual vs group logbooks

As with the first edition of the logbook there are two variations of the velocity logbook, one for individuals and another for groups or teams.

The teams edition works the same as the individual sheet as explained so far, but with the inclusion of an extra column to select the athlete name in each row. All the information for that row is then filtered for that individual only, showing context, profiling scores and highlighting personal bests just for them.

The same goes for the group progress charts. Progress, scores and trends are filtered for the athlete whose name is selected with each corresponding graph.

The teams logbook showing context and profiling scores for two different athletes

Exercise and athlete names database

The exercises within the dropdown are taken from the exercise list at the back of the document, this list matches the exercises available within the current MetricVBT app. Feel free to add more to the bottom of the list if you need.

You will also notice a secondary column that requires a minimum velocity threshold value to be entered. I have put some rough values in place for you already, but again you may choose to customise these to your own needs.

Learn more about MVT values here →

*NB: Changing the MVT for an exercise will change all e1RM calculations past and future. It also applies the same MVT to all athletes in the group sheet.

Athlete names for the group logbook are pulled from the Athletes sheet, simply enter the names of your athletes into this and they will show up in the dropdown toggle for the groups logbook and progress page. You can have up to 100 athletes entered.

Get your free logbook and 1RM prediction tool

The logbook is available for free directly from this website.

You can get a copy of the new velocity logbook v2.0 by joining the VBTcoach newsletter at the bottom of this page, click this link to go straight there →

Metric iPhone Shortcut

The logbook is designed to work with velocity data collected with any VBT technology, so feel free to explore the world of velocity based training and the options that become available with the logbook. However, I am a little biased and think that Metric VBT is the best option on the market, the barbell tracking app that uses computer vision with no additional hardware.

Together with Quinn from Metrix Performance Coaching (naming a great coincidence!), we have a great shortcut that you can run straight from within the Metric app to speed up the data logging process.

Check out the how-to blog and video right here →

References

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