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TitleBryan Mann - Developing Explosive Athletes - Use of Velocity Based Training in Training Athletes (1)
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Document Text Contents
Page 1

Dr. Bryan Mann, CSCS, SCCC

Explosive Athletes: Use
of Velocity Based
Training in Training

2nd Edition

Page 2

Explosive Athletes: Use
of Velocity Based
Training in Training
2nd Edition

Page 21

Developing Explosive Athletes: Use of the Velocity Based Training in Training Athletes

Dynamic method conclusion

An athlete’s body adapts in about 3–4 weeks. Adaptation occurs more quickly in

highly trained athletes and slower in lesser trained athletes. Because it is a

coach’s worst enemy and results in sporting form tend to cease, it is

understandable that coaches want to constantly change things in order to

prevent adaptation from occurring.

There are a few ways to do this. One is by using bands and chains. By changing

the accommodating resistance, you change the stimulus to the nervous system,

thus providing another stimulus for the athlete’s body to adapt to. This buys you

more time.

For example, you could use the ascending/descending adjustment by set

method. For the first four weeks, perform the exercise with straight weight. For

the second four weeks, perform the exercise with chains, and for the third four

weeks, perform it with bands. For the fourth four weeks, perform the exercise

with bands and chains, and for the fifth four weeks, perform the exercise with

suspended kettle bells. By simply changing the accommodating resistance, you’ll

go five months without repeating the same stimulus.


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Dr. Bryan Mann

Progressive Overload VBT

VBT can be used for a progressive overload strength type effect. This is

extremely effective when using Olympic lifts and slower or strength type speeds

on the power lifts. The same concepts used in the dynamic method apply here,

but the difference is that these are done for absolute strength, not dynamic


The goal of this method is to move up progressively in weight per set from week

to week while maintaining velocity. For example, an athlete tries to maintain a 0.5

meters/second (m/s) velocity on the bench press. He starts out at 165 lbs and

performs three repetitions at 0.65 m/s, 0.7 m/s, and 0.68 m/s. The coach should

be able to tell from these velocities that the athlete needs to increase the weight

on the bar so the weight is increased to 180 lbs for the next set. The athlete

performs three repetitions at 0.6 m/s, 0.65 m/s, and 0.62 m/s. This is closer to the

desired speed but still not quite there. So the coach again adds weight to the bar.

The weight is increased to 200 lbs, and the athlete performs the repetitions at 0.5

m/s, 0.55 m/s, and 0.57 m/s. This is an acceptable weight and could be either

performed for the rest of the sets or increased slightly.

This works basically as a daily adjustable progressive resistance overload. The

athlete should try to beat his previous set on that given day, and by the end, also

try and break his best from the previous week(s). The athlete has to achieve the

desired speed on all of the repetitions. Depending on how the coach desires to

do it, a few extra chances or opportunities can be allotted. So, for instance, the

athlete might have five chances to get in the required three repetitions.

As always, pay attention to the trends in velocities, not the velocity on any given

day. Be ready to alter the workout based on the weights used. If an athlete is


Page 42

Dr. Bryan Mann

What People Are Saying About VBT and Its Techniques

“Dr. Mann’s Velocity Based Training allows me to train right where I need to be

each and every week. I feel that the velocity feedback is another coach telling me

when to go up and down, not only each week but each set as well as when to

stop. It’s been a very valuable tool for me.”

—Christian Cantwell
Shot-putter, 2008 Olympics Silver Medalist

“Dr. Mann’s VBT ensures that I am developing the types of strength that I’m

trying to develop. It also makes sure that I’m using the right weights so I’m able

to perform at a top level on game day.”

—Martin T. Rucker
Tight End, Cleveland Browns

“For so many years, strength coaches were frustrated because we understood

that if a weight was lifted with speed, we could develop athletes to a higher level.

Many coaches came up with some great ideas, but we needed some method of

measuring the speed that the bar moved. Then came the Tendo unit, and now

we are able to give our athletes instant feedback on how fast the bar moves. We

are able to develop strength through speed of movement—the type of speed-

strength that we need for our athletes on the field.

Using velocity also encourages competition between athletes, which elevates

their abilities and our team’s success. Our team has not only maintained our

strength but has been able to increase our strength during the season for the

past three years due to using velocity. Our new personal records are at an

average of 85 percent in our post-season records compared to our pre-season


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Developing Explosive Athletes: Use of the Velocity Based Training in Training Athletes

testing, and it’s because of training off of velocity during our in-season workouts.

Also, during that same time, we have not lost a football game in November

because while everyone else is trying to maintain we are getting stronger.”

—Bill Gillespie

Director of Strength and Conditioning, Liberty University

Bench press specialist

“Velocity based training makes sure that my athletes are training where they

need to be for that day. It gives instant feedback and contributes to a competitive

environment for my athletes. No one wants to be outdone. It has been an

invaluable and integral part of our training.”

—David Deets

Director of Basketball Strength and Conditioning, University of Arkansas


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