Relative contributions of force and velocity to peak power across a load spectrum

Andrew C Fry, Caryn E Bailey, Dimitrije Cabarkapa


Current resistance training controversies include whether to emphasize maximum force and strength, or to focus on velocity and movement speed. The purpose of this project was to determine the relative contributions of resistance exercise force and velocity to peak power. Weight trained men (X±SD; n = 24, age = 27.8±7.0 yrs) were tested for one repetition maximum (1 RM), peak power (PP), and force (F-PP) or velocity (V-PP) at peak power at 40%, 70% and 100% 1 RM. All lifts were performed on a 45° leg press equipped with a linear position transducer to determine kinetic and kinematic variables. Mean 1 RM leg press strength was 197±47 kg. Relative contributions of force and velocity to power at each intensity were determined using multiple linear regressions. Relative contributions of force and velocity to peak power at each intensity were as follows; 40% 1 RM - force = 47.0%, velocity = 53.0%, 70% 1 RM – force = 58.2%, velocity – 41.8%, 100% 1 RM – force = 45.1%, velocity = 54.9%. These data indicate the relative importance of force and velocity to peak power during the leg press exercise. Although the relative contributions change depending on the load, these data suggest that both qualities should be emphasized during training for high power.


kinematics; kinetics; resistance exercise

Full Text:



Brzycki, M. (1995). A Practical Approach to Strength Training (p.21-22), (3rd ed.). Dallas, TX: Masters Press.

Cormie, P., McGuigan, M. R., & Newton, R. U. (2011). Developing Maximal Neuromuscular Power. Sports Medicine, 41(1), 17–38.

Cronin, J., McNair, P. J., & Marshall, R. N. (2001). Developing explosive power: A comparison of technique and training. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 4(1), 59–70.

de Vos, N. J., Singh, N. A., Ross, D. A., Stavrinos, T. M., Orr, R., & Flatarone Singh, M. A. (2008). Effect of Power-Training Intensity on the Contribution of Force and Velocity to Peak Power in Older Adults. Journal of Aging & Physical Activity, 16(4), 393–407.

Knuttgen, H. G., & Kraemer, W. J. (1987). Terminology and Measurement in Exercise Performance. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 1(1), 1.

Kraemer, W., & Fry, A. (1995). Strength Testing: Development and Evaluation of Methodology. In Physiological assessment of human fitness (pp. 115–138).

Meschino, J. (n.d.). Weight Training 101: Maximizing Sports Performance | Meschino Health. Retrieved January 2, 2019, from

Peterson, M. D., Alvar, B. A., & Rhea, M. R. (2006). The Contribution of Maximal Force Production to Explosive Movement Among Young Collegiate Athletes. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research; Champaign, 20(4), 867–873.

Petrella, J. K., Kim, J., Tuggle, S. C., & Bamman, M. M. (2007). Contributions of force and velocity to improved power with progressive resistance training in young and older adults. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 99(4), 343–351.

Rhea, M. R., Kenn, J. G., & Dermody, B. M. (2009). Alterations in speed of squat movement and the use of accommodated resistance among college athletes training for power. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 23(9), 2645–2650.

Stone, M., Plisk, S., & Collins, D. (2002). Training principles: evaluation of modes and methods of resistance training-a coaching perspective. Sports Biomechanics, 1(1), 79–103.