The purpose of the current study was two-fold: (1) To examine the variation in velocity and power with increasing intensity in the back squat among subjects; and (2) To explore individual subject characteristics as possible explanations for variations of velocity in the back squat. Fourteen recreationally trained male subjects with experience in the back squat agreed to participate in the study (age = 25.0 ± 2.6 years, height = 178.9 ± 8.1 cm, body mass = 88.2 ± 15.8 kg). One-repetition maximums (1RM) were performed for each subject on force platforms with four linear position transducers attached to the barbell. The 1RM assessment was immediately preceded by warm-up sets at 65%, 75%, 85%, and 95% of estimated 1RM for 5, 3, 2, and 1 repetitions, respectively. Mean concentric velocity (MCV) and mean power were recorded for each intensity condition and were analyzed using Pearson correlation to determine the relationship between each variable and relative intensity (%1RM). Statistically significant negative relationships existed between %1RM and MCV (r = −0.892) and mean power (r = −0.604). Between-subject coefficient of variation tended to increase as %1RM increased for both MCV and mean power. These results suggest that MCV is superior to mean power as an indicator of relative intensity in the back squat. Additionally, the between-subject variation observed at higher intensities for MCV and mean power support the use of velocity ranges by strength and conditioning coaches.
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