Ok so I am still trying to pound into my head the less is more mantra, and really(even though I know he isnt popular here) have been looking at Charles Poliquin’s stuff and really like it. The idea of set/rep rotation and minipulation, multi joint movements, exercise rotation, size can come from low rep multi joint exercises, etc etc and as well have seen a split of his that I like and have used this week and has worked well for me I think. What I couldnt find was his thoughts as to speed training, conditioning, agility, plyo, etc… Does anyone know his thoughts on these? CT?

The main thing Charles states about speed training, is it should be performed 4-6 hours prior to a weight workout. This window seems to optomise the nervous system activation, thus allowing one workout to facillitate the next. He doesn’t really go into much about the types of plyo’s or speed work he uses, that is mostly what Ian Danney did for him.

Charles Poliquin is a great strength coach, if you ever go to any of his seminars you will immediately recognize that. Just realize that he is a great marketer, to the same extent that he is a great strength coach, and his writings reflect that. I know I was let down by his manly weight loss book, and it was apparent his material from that point on, generally speaking, was focused towards the 17 y/o bodybuilding, flex reading crowd.
He works with athletes who have large amounts of discretionary income, and much of his supplement and training methods reflect that. It’s not practical to apply some of that info to the college athlete at the division I level.
In my opinion, you don’t need to look any farther than this website and the products available here to learn the BEST info on speed and plyo training, as applied to sprinting or speed for athletics in general.
Personally, I remember the days when everyone would talk about what Charlie did, but besides speed trap, was never able to verify what others would say regarding his training, now we have the incredible opportunity to hear it from the “horses mouth”. My training methods, and hence my athletes success has improved considerably since Charlie’s new videos, ebook, and DVD have been out. My only wish is that Charlie would increase the pace in which he made available more education material!

The most significant thing I took from from CP was that the higher the standard of athlete, the greater the importance of variation in training. Now even my novice lifters have programs where no back to back sessions are identical.

My advice: Consider everything. Question everything. Develop and refine…

David W
Just for my own info, what sort of variation are you talking about? Switching exercise order, exercises in general, reps, etc. I know from my own coaching experience that I need to have a greater level of continuity in training, especially with OL lift derivatives. If I move an athlete away from these lifts for a short cycle, once they are reintroduced, form has deteriorated. Even with athletes that would be considered at a high level (for American football). Just wanted to get your thoughts on this?

My initial guess is your variation lies more within reps and sets than exercises? That is what I have generally seen as being optimal from a motor control/learning standpoint. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Your quite right. My Olympic lifters will generally keep to a small set of exercises e.g:

Clean, Clean Pull, Back Squat
Snatch, Snatch Pull, Front Squat

Variation is typically provided through (5%) changes in intensity. On the classic lifts the most common set/rep pattern is 4/5x2r at target weight.

Considering that CP andI use a lot of the same methodologies it would be hard for me to say anything bad about him training-wise! He IS a great strength coach and has done more for the strength coaching community than any other individual.

However, understand that just because Poliquin (or Thibaudeau, or King, etc.) writes a program it doesn’t make that program magical! Getting stronger, more powerful, faster and bigger is not such a big mystery. Most top strength coaches will use many of the same tools with a little variation. Simply because he is the coach who makes the most money doesn’t mean that his programs are way above all others.

There is also the fact that he choose only to work with genetically gifted athletes: easy responders to training. So it’s hard to judge on the efficacy of his methods on less gifted athletes (who cannot consecrate their whole life to training and have almost unlimited financial ressources).

It’s not to say that these methods will not work on an average athlete, it’s just that we cannot look at one of his general program and follow it blindly.

One more thing to consider is that CP’s biggest quality as a coach is evaluating an athlete and finding his exact weaknesses. So following one of his programs without training with him kinda means that you are missing out of the best portion of his methods.

That having been said, for GPP work he focuses a lot on strongman exercises, interval running and weighted throws.

not trying to follow one of his programs, just he has written a lot on how he goes about strength training and very little on speed/conditioning, just curious, I have my idea’s(derived from you, charlie, and many many article read) and just wondered what his stuff looks like.

I wouldn’t say Poliquin is unpopular here, it’s just that we tend to be more critical of him, rather than accepting his advice at face value, especially since he is not a track coach. But I certainly consider him a great coach. As was stated above, Poliquin is also very good at marketing himself and is able to produce a lot of written material because most of his stuff is ghost written by Kim Goss down here in Dallas (Plano to be more specific).

Regarding Poliquin’s approach to speed and agility training, I attended his speed/agility seminar almost 4 years ago and posted a rather detailed description of what I learned at the seminar. I’ll try to find a link to the post.

My main critique of his strength routines is that the volume tends to be too high. But this all depends on the individual athlete, which is why you can’t copy some else’s training.

Here’s the link to the thread containing the post I referenced above:


ive found some of his ideas towards the higher volume end of value. For ex. my warmup consist of doing something for the upper body(ie dips, DB presses, for as many sets of 5 as I am doing per an exercise, so if Im doing 6x3, I’ll do 6x5 with the DB, it helps greatly as I am pumped for the workout). Although i must admit the sessions do hit you very hard. I like that though.

I need to be more specific. I think his weight training volume is too high after you figure in spinting, explosive medicine ball throws and plyometrics. As stand alone programs, they’re fine.

I use plyometrics in conjunction with the weightroom(3 weight moves and 1 plyo) and sprinting. I do sprints(4-5 with full recovery) then weight room. It works well for me