Dr. Bryan Mann
Professor of kinesiology and sports science, Dr. Bryan Mann teaches us about his specialty, Velocity Based Training (VBT). From being a “poor white boy from backwoods Oklahoma” to how he became an expert, Bryan takes us through his journey of becoming a strength coach and an academic. We also “geeked out” a bit on his VBT talking numbers and training methods.
At age 14 Bryan went to a strength clinic which was also attended by some now-industry veterans like Robb Rogers, Kirk Woolfolk, and Russ Ball. It was here where he was first made aware that strength coaching was a cool job! A “mediocre football player,” Bryan excelled in the training for the sport rather than the sport itself – in powerlifting.
Due to his humble beginnings, Bryan promised himself he would never go hungry. This instilled in him the mentality of “whenever something needs to be done, do it!” which is how he landed his first strength and conditioning internship.
From there he began reading all he could his hands on and quickly began applying the new knowledge, thus beginning his expertise of VBT. After reading everything there was to read, even if it was in foreign languages, and testing countless athletes, Bryan concluded the following ranges for Velocity Based Training:
|Attribute||% of 1RM||Velocity|
|Absolute Strength||80%+||0-0.5 m/s|
|Accelerative Strength||60-80%||0.5-0.75 m/s|
|Strength Speed||30-60%||0.75-1.0 m/s|
|Speed Strength||30-60%||1.0-1.25 m/s|
|Starting Strength||n/a (details in episode)||1.25+ m/s|
Athletes will always need to be strong before they can get fast. VBT allows training at the appropriate load for the day based on level of fatigue/recovery, essentially allowing athletes to intrinsically train harder.
Measuring VBT can be done with a range of budgets. If your budget is maxed out, bring out the stop watch! If you’re middle of the road check out either RepOne or OpenBarbell’s linear positional transducers (LPT). If you find yourself being one of the lucky ones where money is no object, opt for a Tendo Unit or GymAware’s LPT.
Dr. Bryan Mann can be contacted at BMann@Miami.edu or found on social media @JBryanMann (Twitter & IG). He has two books: Developing Explosive Athletes and Powerlifting; and will be releasing a DVD and hosting a clinic (details to come).