Today’s podcast features speed and strength coach Brandon Byrd. Brandon Byrd is the owner of Byrd’s Sports Performance in Orefield, Pennsylvania. Brandon is an alumni of the University of Pittsburgh and has learned from elite coaches such as Louie Simmons, Charlie Francis, Buddy Morris and others.
Brandon’s unique blend of rotating training stimuli, and his competitive, PR driven environment has elicited noteworthy speed, power and strength gains in his athletes.
If you follow Brandon on social media, you’ll see the regular occurrence of sprint and jump records from his athletes. Brandon has some of the highest-output training out there in his ability to cultivate speed and strength.
I always enjoy digging into the training of elite coaches, into the nuts and bolts that drives their systems. Some of the running themes on this show have been ideas such as the rotation of big training stimuli from week to week (such as in EP 190 with Grant Fowler), the power of resisted sprinting (EP 12 and 63 with JB Morin and Cameron Josse), overspeed sprinting (EP 51 with Chris Korfist), and then the power of competition and PR’s (EP 135 with Tony Holler).
This episode with coach Brandon Byrd truly brings all of those elements together in a way that gets some of the best training results you’ll find. On today’s podcast, Brandon goes into the core of his system, and how he rotates his sprint efforts based on the needs of the athlete, to get the most out of their system. He also goes into his background with Westside Barbell, and the elements he learned from Louie Simmons that go into his training, as well as strength pre-requisites he carries for his athletes to optimize their readiness for the strength and speed program.
(Note that when Brandon is talking about fly 10’s he is talking yards, not meters)
Today’s episode is brought to you by SimpliFaster, supplier of high-end athletic development tools, such as the Freelap timing system, kBox, Sprint 1080, and more.
View more podcast episodes at the podcast homepage
Timestamps and Main Points
5:00 Brandon’s main influences in athletic performance and speed training
11:30 How principles of West-side Barbell training show up in Brandon’s sprint training system
22:45 How Brandon rotates uphill and downhill sprinting to blast personal bests in speed
29:30 How Brandon uses wickets in context of his speed and sprint training
39:30 Concepts in using resisted sprinting, as well as jump training in Brandon’s program
45:20 More specifics on how Brandon rotates and progresses his speed and sprint training throughout the training year, and also how he modulates this for stride length, vs. stride frequency style athletes
58:50 What Brandon’s weekly sprint setup looks like for athletes
1:07.20 The power of “PR”s in Brandon’s system and how that feeds into his entire training session
“Once you can control 90% of the force-velocity curve, you can create great athletes”
“I don’t think the FMS is a great thing, because when you are sitting statically and not under high forces or high loads, everyone is going to look great, but once you are high speeds in sprinting, or high loads in lifting, you are going to see some weaknesses”
“I believe your technique in sprinting is determined by your weaknesses… once you fix their weaknesses, then it is easier to fix technique”
“Glute, hamstring, and opposite QL, those must fire explosively and fast, and they all must be strong… when I start an athlete, the first thing I do test is that QL”
“In my gym, if you can’t do so much in a 45 degree hyperextension, I can’t put a bar on your back”
“The body is scared to go faster… it hates change, so you have to force change by changing modalities… regular sprinting can’t do all those things (in context of using uphill, downhill and resisted sprinting to help break barriers)”
“65-75% of the kids I get are heel strikers; they have to run fo...