question about allan wells training

while looking at allan wells training on this forum, charlie mentioned that his method had been adapted from an older method and that people had run absurd unofficial times using it. my question is who used it and what were the times? i couldnt find anything using a search.

These were professional runners of approx 120 yrs ago. I don’t know much about the history but it seemed they had better times than their amateur contemporaries.

First look at this video

Second Allan Wells have a book

Seems like he had no track available, used no weight, just a lot of plyos and calisthenics early(GPP). I don’t have the book and I don’t know everything, but I have planned to use a method like this. In my opinion It would do wonder for strength dominant athlete

I tried training using Alan Wells methods for a brief period and did not have the balls to keep it up. Might work in a group situation with a strong support system or in an individual with a will of alien steel.

That’s your man

is this an admission you need to harden up? :wink:

Alan Wells adopted his training methodology from Wilson Young who was coached by Jim Bradley.

I have studied the ‘Bradley’ (Wells) method for over 20 years and the proof is irrefutable. Very few failures of those who have been prepared to do it properly and not seek short cuts.

Most significantly improve.

I personally improved at the age of 28 by roughly 3 metres under Bradley’s coaching.

For my squad, I use a combination of JB and CF and am happy with how things are going.

In 10 years - of those I’ve taken over from other squads, every athlete has improved. Some more than others, but overall my results are commensurate with those of Jim Bradley and Wilson Young (and Neil King who used the Bradley methods in the 1980’s with considerable success on the pro running scene).

Recently I’ve had a girl improve from around 12.6 to 11.8 (for 100m) in 12 months after her first decent winter prep using the Bradley methodology of speedball, body weights and track sessions. She has just won two of the biggest prizes on the professional circuit - the women’s Bay Sheffield and women’s Burnie gift, pocketing $7000 in the space of 5 days.

And she will get faster too…next season…as most do after another decent winter.

I have Jim Bradleys book at home, is that reasonably close to his training.

Congratulations on your athletes results in Tassie at the carnivals.

Thanks DMA,

I think its the first time the same squad has won the women’s Burnie Gift and open Burnie Gift on the same day.

And its the first time since 1987 & 88 that a squad has won consecutive Burnie Gifts after Tippins won for us last year.

We also had 1-2 in the 90m open.

But probably the most satisfying result was the 4 x 200m state relay. (Tasmania v Victoria v South Aust).

SA was 30m behind the Vics with 2 runners to go. We had the women’s Burnie Gift winner handing off to the men’s Burnie Gift winner and between them they made up the ground to beat Victoria by a few metres.

All 4 SA runners were from my squad. Vics & Tassie were combinations.

(The relay teams required 3 male/1 female)

Tassie was exposed at Burnie - real problems with the dearth of sprinting talent. Seems to be a lack of good coaches as some of the athlete look like they could run but don’t seem to be achieving the results.

Incidentally, Jim Bradley coached two Burnie Gift winners, Neil King coached one and Evan Armstrong coached 3 - so with our 2, it makes 8 Burnie Gift winners who have been coached by someone using Bradley’s methods.

Congratulation, This is some impressive results. Would you be willing to share some more detailed descriptions about the methodology?

Adonail wrote: “Congratulation, This is some impressive results. Would you be willing to share some more detailed descriptions about the methodology?”

Thanks adonail,

I’ve discussed the Jim Bradley methods used by Allan Wells and others quite a few times before on the forum. Should be still on the forum somewhere.

Basically how we go about it -

Our peak is December 28 to January 1 - These are when the major professional running races are held in South australia and Tasmania.

So we start off in mid May with the first 6 week block of gym training. Basically its 6 x 3mins on the speedball, followed by 3 to 5 sets of bodyweight exercises.

The seventh week is a testing week. It’s just an indication of how people are going. And its a bit of a respite before the next 6 weeks.

So there’s another 6 weeks of gym work then another testing week.

Last year I incorporated a ‘sum of 7’ skinfolds check with the SA institute of Sport for 6 of my leading athletes at the conclusion of the 14 weeks. All were under 10% bodyfat with most around the 7% range.

We then go on the track for the 60’s and 50/20/50’s and tempo work, building up for the comps that start in October.

By the start of December we have eased off the work load, incorported a few more rest days until December 18th when we go into a taper for the major races.

The 10 day taper will be a trial over 120m (off handicaps) then rest, a few flying 50’s, block starts and 3 to 4 x 60m trials all off scratch.

They can hold their form for another 5 days after the 28th so they can run well on New year’s Day at Burnie. Plenty of rest, massage and a few sessions of short sharp stuff.

It’s all pretty simple, nothing too complicated.

Thanks for the answer Youngy

What would be an example of split for each phases?

It overlaps a little - I don’t really have a cut & dried, start & end to each phase, once we are out of the gym. Tends to merge into each other.

Using CF (and now established) terminology, it goes something like this:

  • Active Rest is about 6 weeks from the end of the season until we officially start in the gym.
  • General Prep is the gym phase. Lasts 14 weeks. Not a lot of running involved. Lot of gym work.
  • Specific Prep is the first 8 weeks on track.
  • Pre-Comp is when we start the 60/80 trials, but are still incorporating the speed endurance and tempo runs.
  • Comp phase is when we get into the specific trials and incorporates more rest, recovery and sharper sessions of say 4 x 60.

Thank again

In the forum some said that plyometrics were done up to 6 times a week. That would be in the GPP phase. What a weekly schedule would look like? And what about other phases?

G’day adonail, (and others following this thread)

You are right - this is a GPP. We don’t use the gym much, once we are on the track.

I’m a little reluctant to expand on it too much as it can alter between athletes. Some do incorporate weights, some medicine ball and some do more running than others.

The core session is up to 6 days per week. Preferably no less than 4.
It starts with 6 x 3 mins on the speedball, followed by 5 sets of exercises. Sit Ups, Chin Ups, Squat, Dips, Push Ups are the basic exercises.

Running is mainly run throughs most nights - 6 x 100m.

Speedball is the key - getting over 800 hits per 3 min round. (Around 4.5 hits per second). Gets the heart rate up over the 150bpm and keeps it well in the 100 plus range for 23 minutes. Helps build an enormous ‘engine’, strips the excess weight off and develops a strong powerful shoulder girdle to be adapted to ‘propel’ the body down the track.

The use of the speedball for sprint training get’s criticised a bit, but I take it with a grain of salt.

I remember Wells himself saying that he would have changed the speedball training a bit where he to do it all over again. As I recall he attributed some tightness in the upper-back/shoulders to this training. Of course, he could have simply meant that he overdid it at certain times and not in general.

Hi Youngy

How much time do you give between the speedball sets themselves (6x3mins) and between the finish of the speedball session and the start of the circuit?


Youngy, if you don’t have access to a speedball are there any other alternatives?
Would cycling your hands in the air using an imaginary speedball yield results, or how about striking a boxing bag with quick rythmic hits?

I’ve found that arm swings with a 5-10lb db works well. I used to do 10x1minute swings (start out steady then ramp up the speed @ 45 sec) They hurt like hell but you WILL feel a difference in your arm drive…

Warning tho you’re going to be sore as hell the first few times :slight_smile:

Agreed.I do these sometimes, excellent exercise and boy will your upper-body be sore. Could be a decent alternative to speedball I guess.