Common VBT Programming Methods

October 14, 2019


Many hundred page textbooks have been written time and again on strength training and programming, yet very few manuals exist on Velocity Based Training specifically. We are trying to bridge the gap between the vast amount of knowledge out in the world with regards to lifting weights, and hope to provide some clarity on what VBT is, how to periodize with it, and how to program with it. A few weeks ago we posted a piece on Periodization and VBT. This week we are hoping to delve a little bit further into the various VBT programming schemes to help shed a little more light on this. The majority of the information below was adapted from Bryan Mann’s “Developing Explosive Athletes” [6]. Additionally, multiple other sources are cited at the bottom, each of which helped us understand the information below further.


A few weeks ago at Perch Headquarters, we challenged ourselves to a whiteboard session during which each team member brainstormed how many different ways a single set could be programmed. We brought our unique experiences and familiarity with programming to the table and talked through our ideas. What we realized is something as simple as a single set is shockingly complicated to program. This is true of percentage based training as well. Ultimately, we came to the conclusion that we needed to create guidelines (based in the research, obviously) that could serve as an at-a-glance look into the many ways velocity can be programmed. What you’ll see below is the result of that, and a few subsequent meetings and research sessions. As is commonly said in the strength & conditioning world with regards to programming, “there are a thousand ways to skin a cat.” Here are some more. Research on these methods is still in the works, but experimentation and collaboration with other coaches in the field is always a good idea.

VBT Programming, Perch


Want to learn more about the basics of VBT? Check out Perch’s VBT Dictionary!

Curious about how different populations can utilize VBT? Check out our VBT for specific populations series!


  1. Banyard, H.; Nosaka, K.; Haff, G. Reliability and validity of the load-velocity relationship to predict the 1rm back squat. J. Strength Cond. Res. 2016, 31, 1897–1904.
  2. Bompa, T., & Buzzichelli, C. (2015). Periodization training for sports (Third ed.). Champaign: Human Kinetics.
  3. Gonzalez-Badillo, J.; Sanchez-Medina, L. Movement velocity as a measure of loading intensity in resistance training. Int. J. Sports Med. 2010, 31, 347–352.
  4. Jidovtseff, B.; Harris, N.; Crielaard, J.; Cronin, J. Using the load-velocity relationship for 1rm prediction. J. Strength Cond. Res. 2011, 25, 267–270.
  5. Jovanovich, M.; Flanagan, E. Research application of velocity based strength training. J. Aust. Strength Cond. 2014, 22, 58–69.
  6. Mann, B., Kazadi, K., Pirrung, E., & Jensen, J. (2016). Developing explosive athletes: Use of velocity based training in athletes. Muskegon Heights, MI: Ultimate Athlete Concepts.
  7. National Strength & Conditioning Association (U.S.). (2016). Essentials of strength training and conditioning (Fourth ed.) (G. Haff & N. Triplett, Eds.). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.
  8. Lake, J., Naworynsky, D., Duncan, F., Jackson, M., Comparison of Different Minimal Velocity Thresholds to Establish Deadlift One Repetition Maximum. (2017). Sports, 5(3), 70.
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