Making his second special guest appearance on the podcast, Bryan Mann joined host Robbie Bourke for Episode 112 of the All Things Strength & Wellness Podcast. In this episode, Bourke and Dr. Mann discuss the Altis mentorship week, muscle physiology of force production, and strategies for monitoring stress with athletes.

The podcast begins with a bit of an update on Dr. Mann's current work, including some work he is doing with force plates, jumps, and mid-thigh pulls for evaluating athletes. Dr. Mann then shares his thoughts on the future of eccentric force capabilities in strength and conditioning and how the pendulum of popularity is constantly swinging in the industry. On this topic, he also covers the testing of athletes and how eccentric, concentric, and isometric emphases can be used.


Dr. Mann goes on to discuss differences between athletes in terms of strength and speed and how athletes will excel at different jumps and training methods. He emphasizes the importance of ensuring that, in the process of bringing up weaknesses in athletes, you only focus on the weaknesses that matter and that you never let an athlete lose a strength that makes them special. If an athlete has innate strengths that enable them to excel at their sport, don't train them out of that gift.

Next, Dr. Mann talks about his experience with Altis and shares his biggest takeaways and insights from his trip to Phoenix. Regarding his own presentation, he explains the physiological factors at play in force production, including myofibril components such as myosin and actin filaments and cross-sectional area. Going into greater detail, he provides information on neural factors and motor unit recruitment.

For the remainder of the podcast, Dr. Mann and Bourke discuss various performance topics such as high threshold motor unit recruitment, general and special movements, inter- and intra-muscular coordination, and myofibrillar versus sarcoplasmic hypertrophy. Dr. Mann closes by sharing information from his most recent academic paper on the topic of academic stress and its impact on athletes. Primarily, he reports findings that athletes are significantly more likely to experience injuries during exam and testing weeks when academic stress is higher.


By the minute:

  • (3:03) Updates on Dr. Mann's work
  • (4:49) Eccentric force capabilities in the future of S&C
  • (10:20) Testing athletes with eccentric and isometric emphases
  • (17:58) Athlete differences in jump skill and other training methods
  • (20:00) Experience with Altis and interaction with fellow industry professionals
  • (27:10) Dr. Mann's presentation on physiological factors of force production
  • (33:21) The usefulness of basic information and understanding foundational principles
  • (39:30) High threshold motor unit and type I muscle fiber recruitment
  • (47:00) Inter- and intra-muscular coordination considerations
  • (54:36) Rep ranges and myofibrillar versus sarcoplasmic hypertrophy
  • (1:00:50) Increasing athlete injury rates in response to academic stress
  • (1:05:20) Practical strategies for managing athlete stress
  • (1:11:12) Effects of social support on stress and injury

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