Force and velocity exist in a curvilinear relationship. Maximum force is your ultimate strength, and this is represented best by a 1RM. Max velocity is your absolute highest speed, and that’s your sprinting ability expressed in meters per second. That’s the simple part.
What makes these things interesting, and perhaps more complicated, is that while they are separate entities in physics and human performance, they are also interrelated. To a degree, how strong you are influences your speed capacity — and how fast you are can affect your strength.
And…in the middle of these two parameters lies power, which is the hybrid of force and velocity. All 3 of these capacities comprise ⅗ of the total athletic potential of a human beast, along with endurance and agility. Knowing how to train to improve these specific characteristics, both within your unique body (beast) and for your chosen sports or activities, is one of the keys to peak performance.
In episode 160 of The Lifetime Athlete Podcast, PK & I discuss the force-velocity curve at length. We go over some basic definitions as well as a few specific examples of how I’ve worked with athletes in a coaching capacity to maximize their performance capacities. If you are interested in these concepts, give it a listen.