Coach Francis, Micro for FB?


Here is my $64,000 question:

With the importance of speed, strength, size, and anaerobic endurance in football, what do you recommend for daily priorities during the offseason. While many books explain periodization, cycles, and so forth, yours (CFTS) is the only one that addresses the difference between Muscular and CNS fatigue. I thought Christian would cover his micro, including the running, agility and plyos, in his new book, but he did not.

Obviously every year, the athletes will be able to handle more, so I am asking for the 11th or 12th grader, with two to three solid years of lifting, football, and track experience. My younger guys basically do GPP work and some skipping and hopping drills, along with core work and lighter lifting to prepare them for the 11th-12th grade offseason.

We currently use a system similar to Joe Kenn’s tier system, slightly modified, and follow your guidelines for running… speed or accel on lifting days, and tempo on off days. My problem comes with plyo work… a few of my guys are ready for some shock work (they are able to squat 2-2.5X BW top of thighs parallel).

Should I add some plyo work on speed days, or would it be ok to do a limited number of jumps before tempos? I know they drain the CNS, but to what extent?

I guess the problem is that many of the kids only run and lift after school. So, we have about an hour on the field/track and an hour in the weightroom on lift days. I keep volume low presently, and we have made great gains, but I know what jump training did for my vertical and ability to elevate on the move. I would like to share some of this with my seniors at least who will be playing on Saturday next year…

Thanks for answering a question rarely addressed in all of the “sports training” books.

BTW- How do you have a book about periodization and building of micro, macro and meso cycles, and only discuss lifting volume? I know many guys who were stronger than me who couldn’t run…

Isn’t running, and it’s periodization, volume and intensity, a significant portion of athletic development. If so, why are so many books that are touted as athletic training bibles so lacking when it comes to developing the micro with running/agility included?

I have Bompa, Siff, CFTS, Zatsiorski, Thibideau, Davies, etc… and still am waiting…maybe it’s time to start writing…

I know what we do, and have been successful, but I am young and lack your experience and wisdom.

Thank you Coach.

Always a student,

Coach H

Take a look at this thread, xlr8 uses charlie’s system for football training and has been quite successful with it.
As far as the running emphasis changes throughout phases and occurs with different focuses in the weight room(acc. dev. w/ max strength) and the focus is on low volume, high quality, all elements are always present, but some put into full gear more than others. Thats just my take on it.

Good to see you over here… (from T-Mag)

That is my take (concerning periodizing types of running with weight room emphasis), but am wondering about the incorporation of plyos, and micro development, especially with the increased demands of weightroom sessions… I will read the thread…thanks a ton.

Coach H

This is interesting to me. You really don’t see much in books about incorporating speed, “agility”, skill, and plyo work along with weights in the off-season.

If you’re training for something other than track like football, weights are still a big priority.

-With a 3x a week lifting schedule, would you do acc/maxV immediately after or is there a time required for a break?

Is this right:

-Speed work (acc>maxV) would come on the same day as lifting, either before or after depending on goals
-Tempo is on off days in between weights
-Agility and skill work would be paired together
-Plyos are cycled in and out
-Playing the actual sport would not be on weights + speed days

If you lift M,W,F and do speed work on M&F, then where would 1)tempo 2)skills 3)playing the sport
I would put skill work on Wednesday. Practice the sport on T, TH, Sat. Tempo on Sunday? Is tempo even necessary outside of GPP for football or basketball players?

One of the problems in any high school situation is the time element, so it would be tough to put all high intensity elements together EOD. Because your kids only need a small volume of plyos, I think it’s reasonable to do them on the alternate days. With CNS demand, there are two issues, height (degree of the intensity) and Breadth (the volume/duration of the intensity). In other words, it’s possible to have less overall CNS drain, even with a higher level of stimulus if the volume/duration is very low. Also the time in the training cycle determines how much the work must be spread. You will find a summary of potential workout splits by time in the phase in the GPP DVD.


I have both of your books, and they were very good. The DVD is next on my list, but I had to get a few items beforehand (CT’s books, and a couple Westside videos). Your materials have made a great addition to my library.

I thought that might be the case (plyos on T, R), but I didn’t want to stray too far from the idea of every other day CNS recovery. Especially since we have so much emphasis on weights and accel/change of direction work. We do keep volume very low, with intensity levels ramping for our 3rd year trainees. Using your training split along with a personally modified Joe Kenn Tier system, we produced the second fastest athlete in the Shriner’s Combine last year (Robert Garner). He ran a 4.36 twice in a row… I know the accuracy is lacking, but I was a walk-on at Florida, and was a low 4.5 -high 4.4 guy…and at Florida, the coaches said go. I cannot run with Robert,…not even close (although I get him in the pro agility).

We have numerous other strong and fast athletes, but Robert made the best progress over the past two years…going from a mid 4.6 down to the time above.

We all thank your willingness to share knowledge.

Lil Coach H

Thanks. Keep us posted on your athletes’ progress.

Your posts on t-mag have been helpful. Could you go a little into how you have modified the tier system and what your split is like?