Using PUSH to Measure In-Session Performance Capability: Part 2 - by Dean Somerset

The cool thing about the PUSH band is you can also look at the history of your lifts of a specific exercise and see how you’ve fared with work loads, including the velocity of the bar during the warm up and post-PAP sets to see what the trends are. You’ll see some variations in velocity through the phase, which means you’re going to also see some connections to how you’re moving the bar and how you’re smashing weights on those days.

Now when in the midst of your workout, whether it’s a max strength day or a higher volume workout, using the PUSH band can determine where the end of the workout should be, whether that’s after 3 sets or 8. Using the band to determine the bar speed velocity on each rep and for each set can help you see whether fatigue is causing a noticeable decline in velocity, which would cause an increased risk of injury.

For instance, the first set you complete is a 10 rep grinder. You look back at the numbers and see your velocity was consistent up to rep 7, then showed a steady decrease. The next set you decided to keep the workload to 7 reps and saw a consistent velocity, and decided to roll with it. Each successive set showed a relatively consistent bar speed, up to set 5, where the velocity decreased towards the end of the set. Set 6 showed the entire set was slower than average, which means that’s when the workout was done. The indicator was when the average bar speed started to show a specific decrease and was unsustainable.

After this point, you could continue on with a lighter weight if you wanted, or simply go on to something else that would be an accessory movement or work a different system. Nice and easy, no guesswork.

For another example, let’s say the post-PAP set was slow so you decided to work on some lower weight speed work. The bar starts off slow, and after the first 2 sets you notice the bar is speeding up significantly. Maybe you just needed a little more of a warm up? Put a little more weight on the bar, about 10-20 pounds, and see what the outcome is. With more weight, the bar velocity will usually be somewhat slower, but with the increased loading you would be able to use the power output component of the PUSH band to determine if the loading increase was able to produce a somewhat consistent power output or if the decline in velocity produced a decline in power output as well.

Power is equal to force multiplied by velocity, but it’s not necessarily that simple. According to PUSH, they are able to see the entire power profile for each exercise, resulting in accurate outputs for both peak and average power. Why is this important? Let’s take a look.

Let’s say you perform a 100kg back squat and your velocity output is 0.7m/s. At this speed, your power output may be quite high but now let’s say you add 20kg to the bar and lift at 0.6m/s - this may or may not mean a drop in power output. Remember, to lift more load, you’ll likely have to produce more force, and even at a slightly lower velocity, this could mean an increase in power. If you’re seeing a big drop in velocity but your power outputs aren’t moving around much, that’s a good indication to continue loading.

Using the PUSH band can help to determine what the loading and volume should be for a workout, as well as if your plan can be altered on the fly to produce better results. Using the tracking series within the app can show the trends that happen when you have subsequent workouts and help you get the most out of your training compared to using outlines such as periodization and pre-application programming. The accuracy and consistency of this technology can help you to get the most out of your workouts with the best chance of success possible.

PUSH in Action 

Example 1 - This is a workout where the second indicator set following the PAP was markedly increased, so the work load was high. We were planning for 3 rep sets, but the bar speed was high so I changed it to 5 rep sets. I wanted to see what point fatigue would play a role, so looking at her bar speed average and peak we kept going with more sets until her speed started to slow down, which was around the 6th working set.

Example 2 - This is a workout where the velocity for the second indicator set showed almost no change in velocity, which indicated she was pretty tired (she told me so coming into the workout too), so we settled on a workout with lighter weight and more total volume, which was considerably shorter due to the decreasing bar velocity relatively quick into the workout with less loading.


Example 3 - This is a workout where her velocity in the second indicator set went up, but it was more noticeable in the peak velocity than the average. We went with heavier loading, which considerably slowed her down, but not until the second set. Her first set was bonkers in terms of speed, but then she just couldn't find her groove.


Dean Somerset, BSc. Kinesiology, CEP, CSCS, MEPD

Dean is the Rehabilitation & Medical Fitness Coordinator for World Health Club, a company with over 25 clubs across Alberta, Canada. He oversees the trainer education and Post-Rehabilitation program implementation alongside over 100 medical and allied health professionals, and works to create a continuum of health and wellness for both patients and clients. His personal clientele ranges from joint replacement rehabilitation, cancer treatment, metabolic dysfunction, general weight loss and elite athletic performance from a “function first” philosophy.