Fundamentals 1: Speed & Strength Part One - Review


Along with GPP Essentials this is the most practical of’s videos. If you are an athlete or a coach you will get a great deal out of this production. It is short over two track sessions and you get to see how Charlie coaches as well as explanation and demonstration of block starts and Olympic lifting. A great video I can see it becoming the most popular of the vids.


The DVD starts off with Ashley warming up. Charlie wants to know how warmed up he feels but isn’t satisfied so he walks him through some of the ballistic stretching and hip work seen on GPP Essentials to get the areas warmed up. He then talks you through PNF stretching before getting Ashley to check his progress and see the improvement.

After a few runs Charlie comments on Ashley’s technique and makes some simple corrections to ankle Mechanics. During all this we get explanation from Charlie regarding general running mechanics.

Then the spikes go on and after a few warm up accelerations it is onto block work. After observing Ashley’s normal technique Charlie goes on to make corrections explaining block spacing setup, block angles etc. Charlie goes onto explain the importance of keeping still in the blocks on “set” and provides extra advice on “instinctive” starting, building on the information he outlines in Speed Trap. Ashley then performs several starts and Charlie makes observations. This is a great part of the tape for Coaches because you get to calibrate what you see against Charlie’s reactions. I personally have never been satisfied with other coaches explanation of starting mechanics and this section cleared up years of uncertainty on my part. During this section you also get more of Charlie’s little stories, made famous in Vancouver ’02 and ’04, this one concerning how the Russians adjusted the gun starts at the Moscow Olympics to throw off the East German’s fast starting tricks. This section runs at around 22min and is worth the price of the DVD on its own.

Next we move onto lifting. Derek Hansen analyses Ashley’s power clean technique and makes adjustments. This is a great section of tape for all those who have never formally been taught the clean by a qualified coach. As a coach, it was interesting to see the way Derek explained the lifts and the pointers he used to elicit improvement. By the end of the session Ashley looks a lot smoother and we get a full explanation of the clean with a little extra focus on the snatch and how you could work the lifts into a yearly plan towards the end of the section. It’s nice to see Derek finally taking a starring role after only briefly appearing at the start of Vancouver’02 and being hidden off cameral in the lifting section at the end of GPP Essentials.

Then it is back to the track and Jane from “The Jane Project” DVD is back from school and is in her first week of block work. Ashley also joins the session. Charlie starts by explaining how he wants to make changes to Ashley’s warm up to ensure he is ready for the days track session. You also get more explanation on a coaches role on PNF stretching.

Block work begins with Charlie explaining the reasons behind the pair’s different block settings and then moves onto so preparatory neural activation work with the med ball. Back in the blocks the pair go through numerous block starts and Charlie oversees the action. We then get a demonstration of the “starting arm drill” discussed on the forum, which cleared up a fair amount of the questions I had regarding those wonderful stick man moving gifs! Finally the DVD comes to a close with more block starts and coaching advice from Charlie.


I just love this DVD! It is has a fly on the wall documentary style that works really well with the material presented. As an athlete you get to see exactly what you should be doing in terms of starts and Olympic lifting and as a coach you really get to see how Charlie coaches and the things he picks up on. It is a great complementary piece to the other products but at the same time it can stand alone. This makes it a ideal first purchase for people new to the site, while still satisfying the needs of those seasoned in Charlie’s methods.