Classic sit ups not bio-mechanicly relevent?

Love the exercises though could do with a few posteral changes in all but the last exercise, great position to do the squats in.

My humble opinion

No problem with the ab movements but those MB drills look too slow…


too short??

Don’t know, the ball could be too heavy or maybe James want them to be slower. I prefer to use CF methods, 4-8lbs ball - rapid fire. We use 6 different movements for 20reps @ 3sets for 3rds for a total of 1080. It’s a race and each week I would like to see the sets/rds take less time.

The stuff on CF is a bit too high for beginners, they have to learn the basics before going high performance.

my humble opinion

It’s all a function of desired training effect. Our method of execution is accomplishing the objective of extensive reactive/elastic work and the associated adaptations I’ve addressed previously.

I encourage all to give this method a shot and see for yourself.

Rest assured that I don’t have my athletes perform one single training component that isn’t strongly justified and orthopedically sound.

What are you talking about?

Charlie, I own the video and I have applied it multiple times with very satisfying results. It is hard as hell, especially the lumbar exercises (I don’t seem to adapt to them). How do you fit it in the training plan of high-level sprinters (so reduced GPP with respect to what presented in the GPP video) ? I remember you said that 3 rounds would be approximately 50 minutes, so a good option would be tempo days during the short GPP phase of high level sprinters, am I right?
I remember also that in another thread you said that you trained a hockey player (in off-season) who never lifted weights before by using as strenght exercise only med-ball exercises. So only medball exercises as shown in the video plus explosive med ball throws? Was the sequence (extensive + explosive) like the one you showed in the med ball video?

I have no issues with the exercises in the videos or the volume claimed. However these are not full situps, and I would still like to see a forum member post vid of themselves doing 1000 situps in 20 minutes or less.


Thanks for posting the videos.

Is it accurate to say that this is an example of indirect conditioning for the power/speed athlete without losing site of the elastic/reactive demands of sport?

Ollie, the work furthers the dynamic stabilization ability of the active musculature, and joint structures, via the perturbations. This is particularly beneficial to the shoulder girdle, torso, and hip girdle relative to heightening the durability of the associated tissues relative to sport demands.

The extensive nature locally supports the training of the aerobic properties of the active musculature and generally supports the maintenance, or development depending on the movement rate, of general work capacity.

The reactive/elastic method of execution of the med ball rebounds serves as supportive role relative to sport demands and how the active structures are stressed.

The ground based abdominal work is, posturally/orthopedically consistent with McGills guidelines and, once again, the small movement amplitudes and regime of muscle activity are similar to the way in which the abdominal muscular functions, primarily as a stabilizer and force transducer, during field based sprinting, deceleration, changing direction and so on. The extensive nature of this work, along with the volume, serves to improve general work capacity as well.

This was done on tempo days- tough but still not high intensity.
The hockey player did as you say but was extremely strong and when he tried weights with one of his teammates, considered one of the top conditioned weight trained players, he was able to beat him in his weights workout.
Funnily, when two NHL guys were working with me and Scott (video) was coming out at the same time in the AM, they started complaining: “We won’t have to work with him will we?” (They’d seen him work out before!).
Another funny story. The med ball guy was doing a punishing big circuit on a very hot day and after he was done, an old lady sitting on a bench nearby called him over and said: “They aren’t paying you enough!” He replied: “Thanks mam, you’re the first person to ever say that to me!”

James Smith, thanks so much for posting the video. I am going to incorporate some of your movements into my medball circuit on tempo days on occasion. I tried them, and they are plenty tough!

Charlie, I have the medball download, and I know you talked about the medball work on the GPP download as well. I’ve been doing the medball circuit x2 on tempo days and x1 on speed days along with the situp circuit at least 3x per week, and the difference has been hugely noticeable, especially in my tempo workouts in just one month. My shoulders and arms are so much more relaxed and “down” when running.

Charlie, now that I’m transitioning out of my GPP, can I keep including the medball wall circuit x2 on tempo days and x1 on speed days, or must volume generally decrease as you advance deeper into the SPP?

PS I got worked over by Waldemar on March 7, and he told me to beg you for a mechanical assessment (if you have time).

I think you can probably keep the MB circuits because the same volume should get easier as you go along, adjusting the workload for you but you may need to drop the circuit on speed days depending on what you have left at the end of the session after improved speed.

Along the lines of specificity, do you transition from ground based routines to standing or movement oriented routines? Or do you rely on the sporting movement itself to fill those needs?

The way I block the training, there are elements that do become more specific in terms of overall transference as camps near; however, it’s important to note that even the general training is not entirely non-specific.

Transfer must be understood as negative, neutral, positive as well as indirect and direct.

It is therefore critical that no training ever results in negative transfer because that is synonymous with a waste of time.

In regards to ‘specific abdominal work’ in order to attain a high correlation to field based sport demands the drill would have to become very close to playing the sport itself (in order that all or most of the criteria of dynamic correspondence are met). This is where the ‘functional’ enthusiasts reveal there pedestrian qualification level because you can imagine how perverted the exercise becomes when one attempts to match a component of the competition exercise without possessing a sufficient understanding of biodynamics and bioenergetics.

So what you see in the extensive med ball and abdominal work is highly beneficial supportive, not specific, work. The transfer is positive due to the regime of muscle activity; however, the forces involved are very much different. So this work, in conjunction with other training, serves to develop an excellent work capacity, of positive transfer, from which to either build upon with more intensive demands (in the case of a beginner or one coming of a prolonged period of no training) or a strong supportive element that is performed in concert with more intensive forms of training within the same training week, such as tempo, (and in this sense it also serves a restorative function due to its extensive nature).

Thanks for posting video James and thanks for awesome posts, along with Charlie. I am glad you are again posting Charlie!

Actually, I do similar training as you have posted. Currently, in this ‘block’ I aim at improving my aerobic capacity for boxing practices. I cannot highly suggest a book by Joel Jamieson: “Ultimate MMA conditioning” that utilize Block approach toward MA/MMA athletes. Joel calls this kind of aerobic capacity training an aerobic plyometrics (if I remember correctly). I noticed that after a wall MB drills my form and pace on LSD run is better (better transfer of energy through the core?), along with having better upper body endurance and power for striking.

Although this is a form of plyometric core work, I see it rather as “aerobic upper body plyos” (for lower body aerobic plyos I use hops on coordination ladder and/or jump rope).

The workout I did before couple of days was:

  1. Boxing practice
  2. Cardiac output (aerobic capacity)
    • Bike for 10min @140bpm
    • MB wall for for 10min (HR was around 140-150bpm) w/3kg MB (I should use heavier but I don’t have one at the moment) [I do a movement for 20-30 fast reps and continually for 10mins)
    • repeat twice
    • Total duration 40min

I also run for 20-30min on grass 3x/wk (preparing for tempo and aerobic power intervals) and do 3x/wk upper/lower strength work. This kind of aerobic capacity work provides good aerobic stimuli for upper body and lower body without screwing my shins (compared to running every day).

For core work I also do:

  • Full contact twists w/2x20kg on one bar end for 10-12 reps
  • Hanging leg raises
  • Side bridge holds w/20kg plate for 30-60sec
  • Roll-out
  • Chops

I am not a fan of high-reps crunches etc, although I do them from time to time at boxing practices with the “crew”.

I will try to post a video or something in due course…

Keep up with a good discussion.

The stuff on CF is a bit too high for beginners, they have to learn the basics before going high performance.

my humble opinion

I suggested the vid of workout needed a few posteral changes, heels off the ground, bum back and knees slightly bent. By doing this it will allow more time for the muscle groups to be controlled. I assume CF med ball work is much closer to the wall with much more speed involved. The beginner would be relying more on the hip stabilisers as apposed to abs.

Try unlocking your knees when you run, the tibia rotates and the soleus ?? is being overused, heels slightly off the ground (too keep angles right)

science fiction?.

Another example, I’m not sure what I think about straight leg ab work anymore but this is a quick way to get reps.