5-3-1 template

I often reinforce to my guys how important it is to me that their bodies feel excellent as frequently as possible and how I’m willing to go to great lengths to do what I can to assist in this process.


I’ve learned of an incredible amount of programs, both collegiate and NFL, that never conduct actual speed work. Hence the inadvertent compatibility of the monstrous weight training loads that we see so commonplace.

This is because the coaches, apparently, do not understand what actually constitutes speed development due to the indoctrinated belief that ‘you can’t teach speed’ and athletes won’t get much faster then they were in high school.

I know of one ACC school right now and they are pushing hard.

Position specific work


Position specific work


300yd shuttles
Position specific work

The speed days will turn into “SE days” = speed circuits. Back in the day his athletes use to do 8-9x300 at 52sec with 30sec!!!

Those M/W runs all depend on the speed. Slow enough can serve as tempo, too fast and you end up in trouble.

I visited an NFL team with a similar set up, although their speed work was more like cone drills, and their “tempo” run speeds increased each week leading up to a 4-day balls out session, 2 weeks before training camp, where they would participate in 60 practice sessions in a few weeks time. :mad:

Yes, the Mon/Wed is more ext tempo and maybe int tempo for some guys. The 110’s are at 15-16-18sec. His speed work models CF and Jeff Howser.

Jeff Connors?

Nope. You can stop guessing now, because you probably won’t get it.


Thanks for the insightful posts. A couple of questions:

  1. Do you feel the risk of hamstring injury can be reduced more by program design( what time of year you do RDL or GHR) or limiting intensity?

  2. Some coaches are critical of reverse hypers because they feel they teach a pattern of lumbar extension. Any thoughts?

  3. Some coaches favor lower reps for leg curls and higher reps for hip extension work. Any thoughts?


Thank you for your input! When doing weight training and alatic work on Mon/Thurs. Are you doing Monday upper weights and Thursday lower weight or doing both upper and lower on Mon/Thur?

  1. Absolutely
  2. Totally unnecessary. A multitude of movements may accomplish the same objective
  3. I don’t like leg curls for the same reasons I explained regarding why I don’t have my guys perform the GHR. Higher reps are more effectively tolerated when the magnitude of resistance is low

Total body primary weight training on Mon/Thur
What we’ve been doing for the first block:

  1. Bench
  2. Half Squat
  3. RDL
  4. Bench Pull
  5. Hanging Leg Raise

Thanks James!,

If your doing total body workout, are you doing medicine ball throws with upper and lower throws? For example, medicine ball chest throws with front medicine ball throws and backward medicine ball throws. How do you determine the volume of intensity of throws?

James, what is your basis for this? Could you elaborate? Considering a hamstring pull is multifaceted, all things being equal I feel the opposite about the GHR.

We know that the primary function of the hamstring during ground based locomotion is to extend the hip. Placing substantial load on it as a flexor of the knee, in my view, places a non-complimentary stress on it that when combined with the stress of high speed locomotion increases the likelihood of pulls.

This is the theory that makes sense in my system and I have a fantastic track record of hamstring health with my players during the times of year in which I have autonomous control over the entire training load.

It is not my intent to discourage others from performing GHR and hamstrig curls. To each his own.

I’m wondering if you could put this in some kind of context for the sprint community here.

By that I mean is there a point, in terms of distance, where certain exercises become more risky? I imagine some exercises are less risky if being done during a time which emphasizes 0-20 compared to max velocity work?

You are correct. As ESTI mentioned earlier, the dynamics of sprinting, from a muscular standpoint (specifically regarding the hamstrings) exist as:

  • start and early acceleration - lesser hamstring involvement
  • as the upright position and max V is approached the stress placed on the hamstrings is at its height

Thus, from a weight training perspective, far greater liberties may be taken during the GPP and early phases of a short to long program because the stresses associated with max V and speed endurance runs are not yet present and any strength gains yielded from posterior/hip/leg resistance training are likely to be realized in improved start and acceleration.

Exactly. Just received a message from one of my college athletes. They pushed the envelope in the weight room while adding longer max speed runs. 5x10 on RDLS at a fairly high percentage of their squat. Guess what happened?? After 13 hamstring pulls, this coach still hasn’t learned I guess. :mad:

RE Charlie’s GPP, I’ve selected to disperse certain intensive elements across the number of weekly training sessions.

Thus, our explosive throws are performed on our aerobic days Tue/Fri

We perform backward overhead throws, squat throws, frontward overhead throws, rotational throws, and hurdle/implement hops + squat throw

In regards to the volume of this type of work, I reference Charlie’s GPP and make modifications according to my programming.

This has turned into a really interesting thread, thanks for all the info James.

I really like the look of your programme in general. One thing is was wondering about though is the above quote. I understand where you are coming from in that general strength is one of the easiest qualities to develop in your athletes as a strength and conditioning coach. I believe that most football S&C coaches put far too much emphasis on it at the expenses of other elements of their programmes. However I am slightly surprised at just how little emphasis you seem to put on it.

Simply looking at it on paper I would have thought that only the most gifted athletes would develop the strength and size necessary for football without more emphasis on weight training. Obviously this is not the case as your athletes are doing tremendously well.

I would assume that the answer probably lies in the other elements of your programme such as sprinting/jumps/med ball work driving the progression of weights and allowing you to use lower volumes/intensities. Would you agree with this?

If you had a player come into your programme that was skilful but much weaker than they should be for their position, do you think a greater emphasis on strength work would be necessary, or would the way your programme normally works be sufficient to bring them up to the desired strength levels?

Thanks for you time.

When I make statements regarding the ease of general strength development and how it only plays one component in the global process- this doesn’t mean that it isn’t addressed.

For those who arrive here underdeveloped in this regard I certainly make it a point to bring them up to speed. Same goes for guys that have been here and came here underdeveloped.

when I state that general strength training isn’t emphasized, my point is that I view it as just one of the many necessary variables in the process. I don’t get rah rah about it and more often than not the environment in the weight room is nothing like what we see in so many weight room videos of other collegiate programs. This is not to state that our training atmosphere is like an insurance seminar; however, our guys know that we’re not winning games in the weight room.

Exactly right. The interplay between all training modalities must not be underestimated.

Agreed. Considering again that hamstring pulls are multifaceted I thought I would make some points worth noting.

  1. It is now generally accepted that the biceps femoris acts more as a knee flexor and external rotator of the tibia.
  2. Biceps femoris is the most commonly torn of the three hamstrings.
  3. Deceleration of the lower limb during sprinting once the femur as reached peak hip flexion is a common source of hamstring pulls.

I believe the GHR assists in preventing hamstring pulls in these specific circumstances. But of course, progressive practice of maximal effort sprinting is king in preventing hamstring pulls during sprinting activities. As someone mentioned earlier, we have coaches trying to find gym exercises that do this and that, but without any actual full recovery sprinting within the program.