Free VBT program for High Schools
All too often when I am talking to other coaches, inevitably someone will say that Velocity-Based Training (VBT) is for advanced athletes only. I won’t go off on a tangent here, but I will take this moment to say that VBT is for everyone. VBT is a tool that coaches use to:
- Keep athletes safe with Minimum Velocity Thresholds (MVTs)
- Teach Intent
- Daily Readiness
- Monitor Improvement without 1RMs
- Ensure Intended Adaptations are taking place
- Check out my VBT for High Schools guide
Today we are gifting you guys a sample workout written by me, and this is the first time ever being published. That means you guys get it first. We wanted to do this for all of you hard working coaches that take the time to read our articles and frequent our website. It’s even more personal for me because all of you are the reason I get to perform my dream job. I get to write about my life’s work for a living because all of you want to be better coaches. That’s why I labored to write an original program versus using one of the hundreds I have used for my own athletes in the past.
This program is a 12-Week Program designed to peak absolute strength and power at the end of week 12. I am going to explain each block individually in hopes that:
- You will understand my intent for the block
- I can explain any of the nuances that you might not understand, since all coaches have their own language with their programming
Let’s get to the programming!
The intent is in the name really. The goals are to induce hypertrophy, solidify positions required for athleticism, and to accumulate the volume and work capacity that will be required in the coming weeks. Most of you know the technique necessary to perform squats, pulls(hinges), pushes, and rows. However, this program is heavy on the Olympic lifts, especially the clean. Therefore, here is a video of an in-depth explanation describing the performance of a Clean: The Clean: A Full Analysis. Once you watch that video, you will have the tools necessary to ensure your athletes are gaining the most benefit from the Clean.
Once you watch the video, you will understand the proper position for hang cleans from the hip. It’s the power position the athletes will be performing the hang clean from with shoulders on top of the bar and knees bent. This position is the one position required to ensure maximum power is created to propel the bar high enough to allow the athlete to comfortably rack the barbell. Athletically, this is the position that allows athletes to express maximum power and velocity, which is the athletic characteristics that most of us seek to enhance.
For the majority of the program, I have written the volume prescriptions in a way that 1. Allows you to pick your preferred load expression, and 2. Allows you to understand and teach intent. Let me explain this a bit deeper. Here’s a sample: “5RM (7 RPE/0.6m/s/around 75%, and then -10% for 3×5(65%/0.75m/s)”. This allows you to use a repetition maximum with rate of perceived exertion (RPE), an average mean velocity, and/or a percentage of the athlete’s one-repetition maximum. In case you don’t know the RPE scale, I will give you a simple explanation. A 7 RPE means that the athlete will work to a load that they could have performed 3 more reps over the prescribed reps, so a 5RM performed at 7 RPE refers to a 5 rep load that could have been performed 8 reps. Therefore, an 8 RPE is leaving two reps in the tank, a 9 RPE leaves one rep in the tank, and a 10 RPE is a true repetition maximum.
In regards to velocity, I will be referring to the mean velocity for all movements other than the Olympic lifts, which will be performed with peak velocities in mind. One more thing, when it comes to the Olympic lifts, the necessary peak velocity is dependent upon the height of the athlete. I will explain this as simply as possible. For one thing, a taller athlete has a longer pull to apply force. We all know that Impulse is equal to the amount of time that one has to perform force. The longer someone has to apply force will render a faster and faster velocity due to the relationship between impulse and momentum [(force x time) = (mass x velocity)]. The other point is that a taller athlete is required to pull the bar to a greater peak height than their shorter counterparts. I have included suggested maximum velocity thresholds that take height into account. These MVTs were created by Dr. Bryan Mann which originates from the work of R.A. Roman performed in the 1960’s with the infamous Russian Weightlifters. Dr. Mann found that peak velocities were better for non-weightlifter athletes due to less than perfect technique and/or injuries from their sport of choice.
Otherwise, the accumulation phase is filled with unilateral work to strengthen the body specifically in a way that it will be asked to produce force, which is both bilaterally (example vertical and broad jumps) and unilaterally (example foot striking the ground during sprints and one leg vertical jumps like a layup in basketball). During days 3 and 4, I have introduced contrast training by pairing jumps with a heavy lower body compound movement and upper plyometrics with heavy pressing. The goal is to use post-activation potentiation to enhance specific skills used in athletics. There are other benefits as well like strengthened connective tissue and enhanced stretch reflex properties that both lead to enhanced athleticism.
I purposely included the stimuli that produce the athletic adaptations that we have been discussing in the last several episodes of our educational series. In the program, you will find:
- Bands for producing faster velocities and for creating force at higher velocities
- Faster velocity recommendations to enhance rate coding once again for teaching the body to produce force at higher velocities, which is really the name of the game; rate of force production
- Bounding both bilateral and unilateral to enhance connective tissue, titin (giant protein filament in muscle fibers for structure and stretch resistance), and all properties responsible for resisting stretch which all lead to faster ground contact times with sprinting and more elasticity for enhanced jumps.
- Movements in all vectors and planes of motion
This program is designed to be easily followed, and yet still enhancing the athletic qualities necessary for performance in most all sports. You can of course feel free to add and subtract from the movements. I recommend replacing any of the movements with similar exercises designed to enhance the same qualities. I look forward to hearing about the results your athletes experience, so feel free to email me at Travis@GymAware.com.
Being a World Champion in powerlifting, Travis competed at a world-class level in Olympic weightlifting and has coached professional Olympic weightlifters alongside Don McCauley and Glenn Pendlay at Team MDUSA. Now Travis coaches the most successful weightlifting team in the USA.