A Detailed Look into Power : the Difference between Strength-Speed and Speed-Strength


Browsing through our blog content or reading different articles on Velocity Based Training you may have encountered the terms strength-speed and speed-strength. Though they sound the same there is a difference between Strength-Speed and Speed-Strength.

The first term, Strength-Speed refers to moving relatively heavy loads as fast as you can, The typical speed targets to develop this trait with Beast sensor should be from 0,8 to 1,0 m/s. A typical display of Strength-Speed is a football linemen blocking at the line of scrimmage. There is a Strength constraint on a heavy load and there is a Speed goal trying to move the resistance at very high speeds.

In Speed-Strength the priorities are switched. The term refers to moving at very high speed with the maximum load possible. You can develop this trait by training at lower percentages of 1RM and moving at 1 to 1.3 m/s. A typical display of Speed-Strenght is Olympic Weightlifting, changes of direction or some throwing movements like Shot put or Hammer Throwing. There is a Speed constraint as you need to respect very fast movements (usually it is very difficult to make it under the barbell if it moves slower than 1m/s during a Snatch) trying to lift the heavies load possible.

Strength Traitmin Speedmax Speedmin Reps x setmax Reps x Setoptimal Speed Drop
Power0.7 m/s1.3 m/s28-1010-15%
Strength - Speed0.7 m/s1.0 m/s2-38-1010-15%
Speed - Strength1.0 m/s1.3 m/s3-58-1010-15%

These two traits are usually kept together and considered as a single macro-trait named Power. As a matter of fact the area between the two traits is usually were peak Power for an exercise happens. However, while in the early stages of training, all strength relates back to max strength: training either one of these traits will at the end develop max strength and most of all, training Max Strength will result in a quick improvement for all the other Strength Traits.  For intermediate or advanced athletes, the SAID Principle 1)Specific Adaptions to Imposed Demandswill be more important and specialized training of these traits become fundamental to better develop the athlete.
In conclusion choose quality over quantity and plan your workouts accordingly to your goals! Use Beast to track the speed of movements and make sure you apply VBT to train optimally!

References   [ + ]

1. Specific Adaptions to Imposed Demands

by Ingtommy

Founder, President and CTO of Beast Technologies Aerospace Engineer turned Certified Strength Coach Wide Receiver for Parma Panthers and Italian National Football Team "Lifting is mathematics, physics and biomechanics" cit. Louie Simmons