Do you know that some barbell tracking Apps also show bar speed. Sometimes it is important for lifters to check the bar speed of lifting motion because it can be used to judge some factors of lifting.
WeightLifting Motion Camera: real time bar path using camera
What’s the bar speed ?
The barbell speed mentioned here means the maximum vertical speed of the barbell center during the lifting operation. The maximum barbell speed during the lift is considered to be proportional to the highest point of the barbell. In other words, the higher the barbell speed, the higher the barbell rises, and it can be said that the barbell can be caught with a margin.
It’s not that faster is better
Now that we know barbell speed, let’s consider how to use that value to improve weightlifting performance. First, should the barbell speed be faster? This depends on the purpose. After that, I will limit the discussion to snatch. Basically, it seems that similar considerations can be made in other disciplines.
In the case of pull training, a faster barbell speed is better. As mentioned earlier, speed is considered to be proportional to the highest point of the barbell, so it is better to pull higher.
What about the case of the snatch competition?In this case, it is no longer “faster is better”. Of course, the faster and the higher, you can catch more easily. But competition needs for weight, not speed. You shouldn’t be able to succeed with some spare power. This doesn’t mean that you should adjust your power, but
「You should challenge heavier weight, if the barbell speed is higher than necessary for a successful attempt.」
Measure barbell speed in pull training and use it as a criterion for success.
Now let’s talk about how to use it for actual training. Here, the goal is to achieve your PR snatch.
First, do snatch at a weight close to your PR, measure the barbell speed, and remember that speed(as V1 ). This is a guide to the barbell speed needed for a successful snatch. In my case, 2.0 [m/s] is almost successful. By the way, my competition level is such that snatch with a little heavier than my body weight. Also, as will be described later, the higher the competition level, the more they can succeed at a slower speed. In addition, we know that the lower weight class(the smaller) players can catch at a relatively low barbell hight, so they can succeed at lower speed.
Then do a snatch pull with a weight heavier than your PR and measure the barbell speed. At this time, if the speed is higher than V1, the probability of a successful snatch at this weight is considered quite high. Of course, various factors are involved in the success of the snatch. For example,
・Even if the speed is high, if the trajectory is expanding forward, it cannot be caught.
・If the elbow lock is not enough when catching, it will be pressed out or crushed.
・Even if you can catch it, if you forcibly stand up before it stabilizes, the barbell will fall.
But, if you know that the barbell speed is enough, it can be considered that
「The power is enough. Then just care about the form」
This is encouraging in challenging PR.
On the other hand, if it does not reach to the V1, I would not try to challenge the snatch. It is very dangerous to challenge to the heavy weight that you can not pull high enough. I think it will help you to avoid the risk of injury.
「1.7m/s」by world championship level lifter’s snatch
In addition, knowing your barbell speed allows you to know your level.
Very useful information is given in the following paper (in Japanese only).
Japanese Journal of Elite Sports Support (JJESS)
「Kinematic analysis of the barbell during the snatch movement of Japanese weight lifters」
According to this paper
「For maximum vertical speed, the average value of the leading Asian lifters for each class is 1.86m/s, the value of the top lifters who competed in the World Championship，60kg class: 1.65±0.08m/s, 75kg class: 1.74±0.06m/s，90kg class: 1.86±0.09m/s, 110kg+ class: 1.80±0.12m/s 」
Though I haven’t seen any snatch attempts or training of world-class lifters., the above information is enough to realize their greatness. The data for the class that matches my height seems to be around 75kg class and the barbell speed is「1.74m/s」. It is impossible for me to success the snatch with this value. From these information, it can be said that World Championship lifters
・Dive under the barbell at tremendous speed.
・Catching barbells in an impossibly low position.
At the same time, they have outstanding power.
If you can get videos of the target lifter (legally), it will be very helpful to check the barbell speed. You can judge whether you are significantly inferior in power (weight x barbell speed) or in technical aspects (diving movement, catching posture). In my case, both of them. . .