For Speed Review

Athletes Nation: Accelerating For Speed

Video Download

Coach Dan Lajoie of presents this video download on developing acceleration and linear speed for teams sports. The video follows a typical acceleration workout consisting of warm up, plyometrics, explosive medicine ball and sprint based running exercises with three developing team sports athletes.

The video begins with a segment on PNF stretching where Dan explains the purpose of the stretches and when and how to use them. Following this the athletes move into dynamic stretches with a specific focus on relaxation, which plays a major theme in the movie. In my experience many lower level athletes underestimate the importance of smooth fluid movement while running and it is good to see a coach trying to incorporate these aspects of high performance training into the work of developing athletes.

Several power speed drills from the Mach drill series are then demonstrated including A and B skips as well as running As. During these exercises Dan expands on some of the finer technical aspects of these drills. The next phase of the warm up is simple accelerations from a press up position over 10 yards and progresses to 20 yards once the athletes are fully warmed up. The accelerations are shot from several different angles and Dan spends a great deal of time going over the key coaching cues.

Having completed the warm up the workout moves to top speed work, which is often overlooked in team sports. A rise in maximal speed increases “speed reserve” which means that everything slower than this pace becomes easier. This is similar to the idea that if an athlete improves from squatting 100lbs to 200lbs, when they return to lifting 100lbs it is now much easier. These simple exercises also help to work on “pick up” following the initial acceleration from a stationary position and are performed over a total distance of 60 yards, with a different emphasis on each section of the run.

Having completed the running part of the workout the athletes move to plyometrics and medicine ball activities which help to support certain aspects of the sprint workout. The first half of this section covers explosive medicine ball work such as overhead and forward tosses as well as several novel forward throws. The video then moves onto some basic plyometrics progressions working from various forms of box jumps, towards multiple hops and hurdle jumps. Throughout the progressions Dan talks through the important technical aspects and explains how each exercise helps develop qualities necessary for explosive acceleration. Overall this section is invaluable for athletes training on their own or for coaches who need ideas for such drills. I’ve been using similar exercises for years and the development of these qualities is vital to aid progression in sprint and power based activities.

The second part of the video is a commentary by top speed coach Charlie Francis from In this Charlie gives his own comments, and a touch of humour, on the workout and picks out those areas where he feels further information is necessary. Charlie has worked with many of the world’s top sprinters and team sports athletes and consults with numerous pro teams in North America. His ideas also form the basis for much of the Athletes-Nation material so this commentary is very worthwhile and adds a different perspective to the activities. To echo the comment at the start of this review, Charlie closes the video with a few words on the importance of relaxation and the way it drives everything that is good in performance sport.

The running time of this download is just over 50min and at around 90Mb it won’t be eating into precious hard disk space. Overall this is a good overview of sprint training for team sports and would be especially beneficial to athletes training on their own as well as strength and conditioning professionals who want to start incorporating field based speed work into their programs.

Another great review TC…

I’m curious how this video differs from GPP and Speed Strength, besides Dan explaining the drills.

Seems like something that every ncaa football strength coach need to have.

This film is more systematic and concise in it’s content. What you lose in Charlie’s anecdotes and humour you gain in precise instruction.

In this respect it addresses a different audience. As a track coach I want to know all the fine points and the man himself explaining it to me. As a team sports S&C coach I just want some more concise explanation and ideas - especially since I’m not used to working on speed as I spend most of my time in the weights room.

Either way I like seeing different people explain similar material (like with the Olympic lifts). Sometimes it really helps hearing things a different way.

Hey does this dvd come with graphs similar to van dvd or sample workouts for diff sports?


I am Dan La Joie from, and I will try to answer your question as to the differences between GPP and Accelerating for Speed.

I think first and foremost, the focus is on team sport athletes so the design and structure is built around their needs.

Second, there are a number of specific details and discussions that specifically relate to team sport athletes and an invaluable evaluation by Charlie Francis.

Third, we included a section on power development options for team sport athletes which covers a wide spectrum. I think you will find this section very valuable and a good resource.

One of the most valuable elements of this educational DVD is the slow motion video analysis and picture and picture. Rupert did an excellent job incorporating these elements into the DVD, giving it a lot more depth and clarity.

I hope I have answered your question and look forward to answering any others you may have.

Hi tambf,

The video will be supported at and I will assist customers (coaches and athletes) with any concerns on programming and design.

Hey Dan,
I see your screen name is “nap.” Given that your last name is La Joie, are you related to the baseball player Nappy La Joie? Hall of Famer, IIRC.


My baseball career didn’t quite turn out as well as his though!!!

but it is still of benefit for sprinters?

Its of great benefit to sprinters, the “team sport” aspect in this film comes from being able to see the interplay amongst different athletes of various skills and abilities.

CF’s analysis certainly lends a great deal of value to ANY athlete, including sprinters. See for yourself…



Finally, a video explaining the Charlie Francis warmup & sprint principles to high school athletes. This video contains everything you need to conduct a proper acceleration / speed training session with young athletes. Simple as that. Dan LaJoie does a good job and Charlie provides feedback on his session at the end of the video.

Product that is interesting to watch. There are some drills not shown on GPP DVD (i.e. hurdle jumps, box jumps, some medball throws), but its most important contribution is the ‘simplicity’ of speed work, especially geared toward high school athletes and team sport athletes. Sometimes I caught myself thinking that I don’t know jacks*it about training, and after watching this kind of training videos I ‘remember’ that’s because of its simplicity that gross ammount of coaches doesn’t seem to grasp. For speed work they use numerous gadgets, too short rest intervals, too much ‘agility’ (COD work), ladders, small hurdles, tubes and another fansy equipment. The thing is that this is unnecessary and most of the time counter-productive. With this simple approach (sprints/starts, medballs, jumps/hurdles, strength training) I sometimes think that it is too simple to be true and wonder what the hell am I doing as a coach. But it is not. It is too effective.

I’ll buy them all when its all said and done. Charlie do you think the sprinter in the red shirt (outside lane) has his arms to straight (on the backswing) in this video.

When I did tempo incorrectly, this is what I am talking about. I actually ran with my arms straight on the backswing until I fixed. Don’t count the initial push off, but you’ll see what I mean.

Either way, technically speaking…straight arms on a backswing would be wrong correct? Or would it be ok in the acc.? I would definitely think it would be wrong during top speed, right?

Hi dr. sprint,

You are correct in your analysis of the arm action of Jed (the guy in the red shirt). Jed is a U.S college baseball player who plays on the same team as Matt (the guy in black and red).

Jed came up to Canada for Thanks giving break to workout with Matt. I have been training Matt for 4 years but it was my first contact with Jed. He has some good strength and decent speed, but needs some work in technique and power. He will be returning to work with me in the summer.

Hi Duxx,

Thank you for the input on our video, you make some great points that I think we coaches often over-look.

Coaches are inundated with the over-choice of training programs, concepts, and gadgets, and it is easy to be over-whelmed by the How’s? and What’s? of training.

One thing that I did was to base my programs on training principles. I selected the principles of training which I evaluated to be the most effective taking into consideration the variables that my athletes and I have to deal with. As you can see I have been heavily influenced by Charlie Francis, and some others whom I believe have a great understanding of training.

These coaches have the ability to take the complicated and simplify using intuitive skills based on logic, experience and most importantly common sense. Their success speaks for its self.

Total run time: ~50 minutes

I was very impressed with the video as it was very ‘hands on’ and showed you how to incorporate CF methods into a team sport training atmosphere. I believe most of these athletes were baseball players, yet still were using push up starts, EFE’s, etc etc. Another case in point that every athlete can benefit from this type of work, not just track sprinters.

I also liked how Dan talked you through the warm up,speed work, etc and explained why he was doing what he was doing with the athletes. It was obvious that Matt had been training with Dan for a while as his technique was pretty solid and demonstrated good power in the med ball throws and box jumps.

The video takes you through a sample speed sessions of warm up 1/2, push up starts, etc onto some plyometrics, med ball throws… All the while Dan explaining reasoning of why he puts these elements into training programs. Also cool to have Charlie’s analysis for about 10-12 minutes of the athletes technique and compares some side by side slow mo shots of each athlete.

Overall another solid product to add to your arsenal. Great job Dan, CF, Rupert, and the rest of the crew.