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RPR Episode 19: Brandon Senn
Episode 1923rd February 2020 • Rebel Performance Radio • Rebel Performance
00:00:00 01:04:24

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Brandon Senn, Head Coach at Kabuki Strength, joins the show today to talk about his path to powerlifting, powerlifting coaching, the use of velocity based training, Kabuki Strength equipment, and his philosophies on programming. 

Brandon found his way to the fitness realm after he realized that he no longer had the athletic prowess to continue playing sports after high school. As someone who loves to stay active, he started lifting weights with a focus on aesthetics, but quickly fell in love with lifting to get strong. Brandon became the Head Strength Coach at Kabuki Strength in 2015 and has since built a stable of impressive lifters.  

We kick things off discussing Kabuki’s history with velocity based training. Brandon started implementing these methods into his coaching practice around 2014. He believes when it comes to sports tech, you need to stick to just one platform for your clients in order to keep adherence acceptable. Something like the GymAware is a nice tool in this regard because it is simply present during a training session. 

Overall, these devices provide very actionable data because they keep you competing against yourself every single session, take away the burden of judging RPE or RIR, and most importantly give you objective performance measurements. Kabuki Strength uses velocity profiles for clients in order to look at how fast each percentage of a 1RM should be moving. This keeps their athletes working harder while maintaining the intent for the session. 

Next, we switch gears and discuss how Kabuki implements different equipment into their training. A large portion of Kabuki’s business is equipment sales, including the Transformer Bar, Duffalo Bar, loadable mason, and many others. Most of the equipment includes slight adjustments from basic equipment that can make a massive difference, and particularly give an advantage based on biomechanics. We discuss the Transformer Bar specifically, and how for non-powerlifters it makes much more sense to load more strategically and continue to train hard without as much wear and tear on the body. 

Lastly, we jam on Brandon’s process for onboarding new athletes and what that process includes. He starts with an athlete profile that collects basic information such as the client’s goals, available equipment, and schedule. He then hops on a phone call to discuss their answers more in depth, and get to know the athlete better. Brandon looks at what they can commit to and tries to maximize the amount of work they can do throughout the week. He aims to keep the core contents consistent and can make adjustments around that. Most importantly, he aims not to overplan and thus isn’t resistant to make changes to what isn’t working. We then dive in a little deeper on ideal splits and layouts Brandon uses for his clients, including his thoughts on training frequency. 

Enjoy and hit that subscribe button if you learned a thing or two.

Episode Highlights:

2:15 – Brandon’s background

14:00 – Velocity based training

35:15 – Kabuki equipment 

46:00 – Onboarding new athletes and training splits

58:00 – Brandon’s recommended resources

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