Note from Charles Staley

Dear Charles:
From your Article: " When you try to develop every imaginable quality at
the same time, you can’t really do adequate justice to any of them. You’ll
always work on everything, but with varying degrees of emphasis, depending
on which phase you’re in."

This is not an original interpretation of horizontal/vertical integration.
It is a summation of the remarks I made to you, in Toronto, about a lecture
I presented in Holland in 1994 and the interaction I had, at that time,
with Professor Verkoshanski. This requires an acknowledgement by you as to the source of the concept.
You are perplexed that I did not approach you directly on this matter. I submit that it is not my responsibility to remind you of what you already know.
I will post your letter and my reply on my site, as you have requested,
and, as a form of belated recognition of your source, I would appreciate it if
you post both these letters on as well.

Charlie Francis

Sent: Friday, May 09, 2003 2:43 PM
Subject: Plagiarism?

Charlie, I sent this message to TC, Tim Patterson, and yourself at, but that address seems not to be working.

You might consider posting this at your forum eh?

Hey guys,

It has come to my attention that Charlie Francis has accused me of plagiarizing his work in the following passage (part of my current article entitled: “Periodization That Works” at

Diagonal Summation

The macrocycle we’ve been looking at, when taken too literally, is an
example of what I call “horizontal summation.” In other words, you work
on one quality for a while, then the next quality for a while, etc. Horizontal summation is predicated on the correct assumption that you can only work
on so much stuff at any given time. It’s kind of like packing for a trip you
can only get a limited about of stuff in the suitcase, so it better be
the most important stuff.

If you’re a contrarion, out-of-the-box thinker like I am, you might feel
compelled to do exactly the opposite vertical summation. But in this case
anyway, “doing the opposite” has it’s own drawbacks. Specifically, when you
try to develop every imaginable quality at the same time, you can’t
really do adequate justice to any of them.

What’s the answer? Diagonal summation of course! All this means is that you’ll always work on everything, but with varying degrees of emphasis depending on which phase you’re in at the time. So as an example, during
a maximal strength phase, about 1/2 of your time and energy will be spent focusing on maximal strength, and the remaining 1/2 will be devoted to
maintain the remaining relevant qualities.

I know everyone’s time is valuable, so I’ll be as succinct as possible:

  1. First, this entire issue came to my attention through an e-mail I
    received from someone who noticed a thread on this issue at the forum at Had it not been for that e-mail, I would remain
    completely unaware of the issue, as neither Charlie nor any of his
    followers/supporters have approached me directly with an accusation of

  2. I was asked (on my guest forum this week at t-mag) if I’d ever met
    Charlie, and whether or not he had influenced me at all. I responded
    that he had indeed been a strong influence this is something that I have been quite vocal about over the years. In fact, I often tell people in seminars
    that reading Charlie’s work was perhaps the primary reason I embarked upon my
    profession in the first place.

  3. Have I ripped Charlie off? I may be wrong, but I don’t think so.
    Charlie has used the term “vertical integration” to describe the downfalls of
    the opposite approach, namely, training one quality for several weeks, then
    another quality for several weeks, etc. The problem with the so-called horizontal approach is that when you shift to the next training phase, you lose the previously-developed qualities due to neglect. I used the term 'diagonal summation" to point out the possibility of an approach that allows the benefits of both approaches without the drawbacks. I never heard this concept from Charlie, but perhaps he has used the term “diagonal summation” somewhere that I’m not aware of. I might also add that I’m sure many coaches use this same concept, using various descriptive terms for it.

  4. Throughout my career, I have often made the point that there’s really
    nothing new out there, just new ways to describe and teach what has
    already existed. I’ve even made this point about my own training system, EDT.

Guys, here’s my position: Charlie, I’m somewhat perplexed that you, for whatever reason, felt you could not approach me directly on this matter.
You remain one of my most valued mentors, despite our very limited
interactions, and despite the issue at hand. Nevertheless, I did not intentionally
plagiarize your work, nor do I think I actually did so.

To Tim and TC, I sincerely hope this fracas hasn¹t caused any problems between the magazine and Charlie, or any other undue stress.

Most sincerely,

Charles Staley
Integrated Sport Solutions, Inc.
Toll-Free: (800) 519-2492