question about allan wells training

I have dropped over 1 sec in the 200 and .30 in the 100 mixing CF theories and the training on this thread.

Thanks Youngy!!!

Great job! What does a sample of your training look like?

Thanks. It’s only 11.7/24.1 fat but hey Im 38 and I will take improvments where ever I can get them :slight_smile:

Basically I had a really rough time training for indoors. I had to be at work at 7am with a 2hr commute and I was having trouble recovering from training. So I had to give up indoors because it was causing me too much trouble. I even had to pull over on the road because I would get drowzy while driving.I was way too tired to go to the gym after driving home for another 2hrs so I had to train at home im my basment. from jan to late april. I did some of the basment tempo video stuff and the speed ball and calisthenics training almost every day (not all in the same day-one or the other). I started getting worried about my legs getting weak during the winter so when my schedule allowed I went to the gym and destoyed my thighs. 20 reps w/275 squats 2x/week. I left the squats (all leg work) alone a week or two before i started the track work.

if you look above you will see the type of running I did. I changed it up according to how I felt but basically it was:

Monday special endurance runs (60s and 120s etc…)
tuesday. starts or sled pulls 20-30m and 8-10 100m strides as a cool down
wednesday tempo 2000m + gym (body wieght only)
thursday special endurance runs (60s and 120s etc…)
friday tempo 2000m + gym(body wieght only)
Sat starts and maybe some 60s or 120s (easy) (depending on how I feel)

I dont know if it was intensive tempo because I never timed the 120s since they were FEF runs but I know the 60s (2x6x60m) were about 7.2-7.5 (my best in training all out is about 6.9) my fastest 120 in training all out was about 13high.

I think for spp indoors I might do 4x6x60m (as in the SPP video) and work down from there. I will prob do this 2xweek and 1 day of blocks. I just need to figure out how to progress the 60s for the next spp… I was thinking to work all the way down to 4 reps for time.

You’ve ran 6.9 60m in training and your 100m PR is 11.7?

Ya even given a large margin of hand timing error, running a 7.4 still should give off a 11.5

I remember a guy in my local area several years back who ran 6.91 FAT 60m and he ran 10.6 in the 100m.

That does make sense does it not? Just added a bit more speed and had pretty good speed endurance by the time outdoors came around.

the 6.9 is ht and off my go i meant training pb not race pb big difference in fat i can prob do 7.3 or 7.4… but still, I have horrible endurance. I tend to burn up after the 60. I’ve been ahead as much as 2 strides in the 100 and loose…

Youngy

The anecdotal evidence though is irrefutable, as Bradley himself improved dozens of athletes, firstly in Scotland in the `1960’s to 1971 and later in Australia from 1988 through the 2000 and is the most successful coach in professional running history (Australia/Scotland).

Background

I never met Bradley. Have read much about his methods, and have heard lots of stories. Have met some of his, and your athletes. Besides, I have been observing “advancement” in training and on the circuit of pro runners in three squads over the last 10 years who have been religiously following Bradley’s methods. Their results are rather ordinary. They are fit, lean and well conditioned but not blitzing fast. Majority of them (regardless of their age) run anywhere from 10.9-11.6. Training age - from 4-10 years.

[i]Is it true that many pro runners flocked to Bradley over a few decades after there was an initial breakthrough with one of his champions and that Bradley wasn’t the one to identify them or select them?

Would you say that from such a vast number of willing participants Bradley’s chances to produce more fast runners were increased?

How many pro runners, or other runners in general under Bradley did not make it to an average level?

How many pro athletes apart from Bradley’s stable during the 60’s and the 70’s had followed well structured and planned training program over 6 days a week? [/i]

I do not dispute the fact that Bradley’s methods contribute to overall general conditioning or fitness. What I do notice is that Bradley’s methods are rather basic, archaic and very much related to strength and conditioning, which do help an athlete during GPP but ultimately do not produce elite sprinters. These methods can produce above average sprinters that can participate in let’s say the Australian pro-runners circuit without a doubt but not in the European Golden League, WC or OG. The best pro-runners in Australia generally would fit within 10.50-11.00s range and only certain percentage of them follow Bradley’s methods wouldn’t you agree?

I also do not dispute the fact that the training done by Wells would benefit certain type of athletes who would improve and excel better than others following this training methodology.

Is it beneficial to overall fitness and conditioning? In my opinion, yes it is. Can Bradley’s methods produce 10 flat or sub-10 sprinters? I doubt it.

I am glad you have introduced CF’s methods in your training as well. A combination of different methods could be mixed up to suit an individual athlete rather than have 10-20 runners doing the same thing. This is exactly what I have pointed out to a few pro-coaches who have been following Bradley’s methods only. Some of them decided to modify their programs by introducing more current methods while others remain stubborn while creating powerful but not very fast athletes. I hope that those who did modify their programs will continue to do so over longer period of time so we can see if there was an improvement in the performance.

In my training program I do not use any of Bradley’s methods, and think that speedball exercise (with 6-8 mad pro-runners hitting it at the same time) is loud and, of course, irritating :slight_smile:

Cheers

RE: “I never met Bradley. Have read much about his methods, and have heard lots of stories. Have met some of his, and your athletes. Besides, I have been observing “advancement” in training and on the circuit of pro runners in three squads over the last 10 years who have been religiously following Bradley’s methods. Their results are rather ordinary. They are fit, lean and well conditioned but not blitzing fast. Majority of them (regardless of their age) run anywhere from 10.9-11.6. Training age - from 4-10 years.”

To my knowledge there is very few if any stables that ‘religiously’ follow Jim Bradley’s methods.

So I doubt very much you have done the homework you say you have.

I’m about the only I know that follows the Bradley training regime to any great degree. So if you are referring to my squad in Adelaide I suggest you go back to the drawing board and make a comparison of athlete’s performances before & after joining my squad. To suggest our results have been ‘ordinary’ is ridiculous and pretty insulting.

You can start with Robbie James who was training under a supposedly sophisticated sprint training regime put together by SASI sports scientists for 3 years. He was constantly broken down and on the pro circuit - rarely advanced beyond a heat, made no finals and won no prizemoney. He was also towelled up by lesser athletes in ASA competitions with PB’s stagnating at 11.07 and 22.4.

After coaxing him out of retirement and only half a winter, he won 5 pro races, over 3 grand in prizemoney, and ended up SAAL sprinter of the year. In his few runs in the amateurs he recorded PB’s of 21.98 and 10.99 PB’s. Not earth shattering I know, but a vast improvement on previous seasons under a supposedly more scientific based program. The 21.98 came almost 12 months to day when at the same track and in similar conditions Robbie ran only 22.62.

Alicia Wrench-Doody is the 3rd fastest SA female sprinter ever over 200m with 23.62 and she had never broken 25s before she joined us. At the U/20 nationals before she retired she was last in her heat running 12.8. After emerging from a 4 year retirement and after 18 months training on a JB program, she ran 11.66.

It’s OK to suggest that I may not have anyone at Golden League level, but I have only had one athlete come to my squad who was sub 11s before joining me and that was Duncan Tippins who joined my squad at 29 years old, broken down with chronic achilles problems & with a 400m PB of 48.20.

He ended up with a 400m PB at 33 of 46.63. He also ran PB’s (at age 33) for 100m - 10.81 & 200m - 21.52.

It’s not my fault some of the best SA sprinters are diverted or squirrelled away by others in more influential positions or choose to move elsewhere - I work with what I’ve got and I strongly doubt you or anyone else could do better. And if you did do your research - with 189 pro sashes in 11 years no one has.

I’m more than happy with what I’ve learned from Jim Bradley and applying that knowledge accordingly.

I agree others have attempted to apply some of Jim Bradley’s methods and have failed to have the level of success they were probably anticipating but to my mind they don’t totally understand the principles and tend to add their own ideas which in my view 'bastardizes" the program.

By the way, apart from Steve Brimacombe who also uses much of what he learned from Cliff Mallett when he was with the QAS in the 1990’s, there are not many other former Bradley trained athletes actively coaching. So I’m always a little sceptical of those who say they train the Bradley way when they were never there in the trenches with the man himself.

Youngy,

To my knowledge there is very few if any stables that ‘religiously’ follow Jim Bradley’s methods.

Well, there are few where I come from :slight_smile:

So I doubt very much you have done the homework you say you have.

I doubt that your speculation about my homework may ever be correct :slight_smile:

So if you are referring to my squad in Adelaide I suggest you go back to the drawing board and make a comparison of athlete’s performances before & after joining my squad. To suggest our results have been ‘ordinary’ is ridiculous and pretty insulting.

Never been to Adelaide Youngy, and was not referring to you at all.

After coaxing him out of retirement and only half a winter, he won 5 pro races, over 3 grand in prizemoney, and ended up SAAL sprinter of the year. In his few runs in the amateurs he recorded PB’s of 21.98 and 10.99 PB’s.

That’s about right. My argument is that with Bradley’s methods you will always have well conditioned, lean, and overall powerful and ready athletes BUT not TOP or ELITE sprinters.

I’m more than happy with what I’ve learned from Jim Bradley and applying that knowledge accordingly.

Youngy, you got me wrong. Didn’t think of your stable at all when I was writing my previous response to you.

If you do not mind, and when you get a chance, would you be so kind to enlighten me providing answers on those questions?

[i]
Is it true that many pro runners flocked to Bradley over a few decades after there was an initial breakthrough with one of his champions and that Bradley wasn’t the one to identify them or select them?
( Further comment - let’s think of Glen Mills now. He does not need to travel the world scouting for athletes. The best will come to him. The same, I believe happened with Bradley. Therefore, it made his work (selection) much easier. Therefore the greater chance of success.)

Would you say that from such a vast number of willing participants Bradley’s chances to produce more fast runners were increased?

How many pro runners, or other runners in general under Bradley did not make it to an average level?

How many pro athletes apart from Bradley’s stable during the 60’s and the 70’s had followed well structured and planned training program over 6 days a week? [/i]
(Further comment - Think of AFL players during the same period and of today. Many of them back then just played games with little or no conditioning training. Any of AFL players of today would absolutely destroy those that played during the 60’s or 70’s. Why? You know why. Bradley only was among the first to introduce a more comprehensive training that would include strength and conditioning…athletes were better prepared and one could notice greater improvement during this initial period…then as they’ve achieved PBs they also achieved stagnation and were not in a position to improve further.)

Why the (out of the blue) attack on Youngy, and the Bradley methods?

OK Sevastocrator,

I accept you are not referring to my squad among those you consider are delivering ordinary results. However to base your assessment of the Bradley methods on a few squads that have delivered ordinary results is a little misleading. You should be looking at those who have had been able to use the methods successfully not those who don’t. There could be other reasons why they have not had success other than the employment of the JB system.

Another coach who based his training on Jim’s methods - Neil King, is probably the most successful coach in Stawell Gift history having trained 4 winners in 6 years from 1982 to 1987. One of King’s athletes - John Dinan ran 20.19 in Canberra in 1986 - still the fastest time ever by an Australian on Australian soil. That is elite level sprinting in anyone’s language.

I find your comment following the “Robbie James” quote bemusing. How can you say that an athlete trained along the Bradley methods could never be elite based on the James example. This lad had retired, completely disilusioned by his lack of progress over 2 years in the hands of the SASI sports scientists. I took him over and he smashed his PB’s, won a bucket load of races and SAAL sprinter of the year. He has never shown the capacity to be elite so it’s mischevious to suggest if James does not become elite the Bradley method is a failure. On the contrary he has improved markedly since moving away from a more supposedly scientifically focussed program.

OK now I’ll address your questions:

Is it true that many pro runners flocked to Bradley over a few decades after there was an initial breakthrough with one of his champions and that Bradley wasn’t the one to identify them or select them?

There was more than “A” break through - during the 60’s there were a string of athletes who went to Bradley and improved dramatically. So much so that by the time Jim left Scotland in 1972, the Scottish Games handicappers felt compelled to re-handicap an athlete who went to Bradley up to 4 yards, just to maintain a level playing field.

Under Jim Bradley’s guidance, Ricky Dunbar improved every year for 9 years before moving to Australia in 1966. When Dunbar went to Jim he could not break 12s for 100 yards. He ended up covering the distance in 9.4s.

One anecdote - In 1964 Jim and Rick went to Spain for a holiday and whilst they were there Jim entered Rick in a Valencia Area championshp event. The Spanish officials welcomed Rick and were astonished when Jim said Rick could run 10.5. They didn’t believe him as the Spanish 100m record at the time was 10.6.

Rick won the race in 10.3 and the Spanish officials shouted “Tokyo”. Jim explained Rick could not run in the Tokyo OG because he was a professional runner.

Dave Walker went to Jim as a runner who could not even time (12.00 for 120 yards) and ended up running a consistent 5 in evens, winning the British & Scottish professional running sprint titles.

After Jim had trained David Deas to win the New Year Sprint, footballer George McNeil was so impressed he decided to join Jim’s squad. McNeil was run out in the semi final off 9.5yds in the 1969 New Year Sprint and was immediately pulled 4yds back to 5.5, just for joining the Bradley squad. Didn’t matter as he easily won the 1970 New Year Sprint. In 1971 he ran 2nd off scratch. In two years he had gone from missing the final off 9.5 yards to running 2nd to his stablemate off scratch. That sort of improvement is unprecedented in our sport.

The athletes went to Jim both in Scotland in the 60’s and Australia in the 80/90 era because they knew they would improve. The athletes that had gone before them had exhibited much faster running than they had before. So athletes seeking success went to him.

It wasn’t just one champion - it was several athletes.

Would you say that from such a vast number of willing participants Bradley’s chances to produce more fast runners were increased?

Yes but firstly Jim Bradley has never had access to the elite level junior champion and makes do with what turns up to his track. So these athletes weren’t 'fast’t to begin with. Neither Dunbar, NcNeil or Walker (Scotland) or Brimacombe & Crawford (Aust) were running in junior titles. But as you allude to, a good sized squad of athletes (8 to 10 or more) is important as athletes can work off one another and the coach can run decent trials. Jim has always said that in order to run fast an athlete needs fast athletes to train with. So he has always advocated for a solid number in a squad. That’s an imperative in his methodolgy.

How many pro runners, or other runners in general under Bradley did not make it to an average level?

In my time with Jim every athlete who trained with him for at least a season, and did the work…improved substantially. He had most of the backmarkers in the early 90’s. Athletes won races, went back to tighter handicaps and won again.

Those that failed, in my view, failed because they were not prepared to do the work necessary.

I’m currently experiencing the same thing - I’m at a stage now where I can categorically say that every athlete who joins me from another squad…and does the work required…will improve. I’ve not had a failure in 10 years of coaching.

So to answer your question - if they did not attain an ‘average’ level, then they were not going to attain it anyway, regardless of the coach.

How many pro athletes apart from Bradley’s stable during the 60’s and the 70’s had followed well structured and planned training program over 6 days a week?

I don’t know because I was not involved in those days. But I will grant you this - that it’s likely that Jim’s more professional approach and his structured program was probably a lot more advanced than those of his peers and hence he stood out from the pack.

Finally - I agree the quality of coaching has improved, or it should have, however very few, if any current sprint coaches in Australia have had anywhere near the success that Jim has had in developing very fast athletes.

Dunbar, McNeil, Walker, Robbie Hutchinson were running the equivalent of 10.2 in the 60’s - they were elite sprinters who would have represented the UK in the Olympics had they been allowed to. Based on his running in the ITP series in the early 70’s McNeil would have made the Olympic final in 1972.

Allan Wells’ PB may only be 10.11 (10.06 wind assisted) but given it was in 1980 and came after he went on a Bradley type program at the age of 24 when before it he couldn’t break 10.6, is still significantly faster than any current Australian sprinter can run at the moment. In Australian athletic history only Patrick Johnson, Matt Shirvington and Josh Ross have run quicker…but they are all a long way from that form now.

Athletes don’t stagnate if they train properly. They improve as they grow stronger and buld upon the gains from the previous season.

Ultimately it’s up to the individual how they train and what they do, and I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea.

But I know I inproved substantially under Jim’s guidance and I’ve enjoyed a pretty good coaching career so far by sticking with a few of his fundamental principles including the use of the speedball.

Just on a totally unrelated note, is Matt Shirvington still running or is he retired?

A few comments:
First off: I totally reject the concept of luck in training (he’s just lucky cause he gets all the athletes), cause if you are a screw-up, everyone you get will fail, no matter what their pedigree.
Second: The program can work or fail, just like other programs.
The idea here is to look at various training models and decide if any of them can help you or not.

Thanks Youngy.

This lad had retired, completely disilusioned by his lack of progress over 2 years in the hands of the SASI sports scientists. I took him over and he smashed his PB’s, won a bucket load of races and SAAL sprinter of the year.

I won’t use any names here but will give you an example that just proves the opposite. A coach that is very familiar with the Bradley method took under his wing a sprinter who was trained by a butcher (injuries, shin splints you name it) and in under a year has turned this runner into a pro champion who ran his fastest around (if I remember correctly) 10.40-10.60 range when he peaked. Then he got injured under the same coach and has not achieved the same level again.

Change of a coach can initially help by creating more optimism and hope in an athlete. The results could be noticed relatively quickly especially if the new coach is experienced, has more sophisticated and well planned program and if the problems have been identified and addressed. It was the case with Bradley who was at the time more advanced than any of his peers. It was, again, the case with the coach in my example who was not only more experienced but also a better coach than the butcher. As I said previously, the Bradley method was much better than any other “method” at the time in Scotland or Australia. Simply because there were fewer methods that worked or more importantly existed. These years could be easily considered as pioneering period in sprint coaching. But TODAY - the Bradley method is applied only (as far as I am aware) within a small group of pro runners in Australia and perhaps (not sure) in Scotland. The Bradley method surely would work to certain extent in other sports when addressing strength and conditioning areas. Anything further - I am very much skeptical and doubt it. It is only my opinion of course.

But as you allude to, a good sized squad of athletes (8 to 10 or more) is important as athletes can work off one another and the coach can run decent trials. Jim has always said that in order to run fast an athlete needs fast athletes to train with. So he has always advocated for a solid number in a squad. That’s an imperative in his methodolgy.

Absolutely. Take a look at HSI or now at the JAM squads. Smith/Green would say - “surround yourself with greatness to achieve greatness”.

So to answer your question - if they did not attain an ‘average’ level, then they were not going to attain it anyway, regardless of the coach.

But nevertheless their number is far greater then the number of pro champions Bradley produced, right?

Dunbar, McNeil, Walker, Robbie Hutchinson were running the equivalent of 10.2 in the 60’s - they were elite sprinters who would have represented the UK in the Olympics had they been allowed to.

That’s about right. 10.2 in the 60’s (hand held) is about 10.40-10.50, and that’s exactly what one can achieve following the Bradley method with one or two exceptions (in 50 years).

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions and for providing me with the anecdotal evidence I was not familiar with.

JohnG109

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All this makes for very interesting reading and of
course there is no right or wrong. One method or
another cannot ever really be proved beyond all
doubt to be the best or better, simply because
every single person will adapt differently to each
stimulus. Just because Bradley’s approach was
quite basic doesn’t mean it wouldn’t work just as
well today. I don’t really think we’ve come all that
far since then. The basics are still the same.
Speedball is just another (very effective) way of
producing a very very strong core and that was
probably lacking in some of the regimes pre-Bradley.
I also like the use of the heavy bag for the same reason.
It takes a lot of discipline to do a Bradley speedball
session PROPERLY and that’s probably where the
secret to it is.
Only very talented people break 10s so i think
it’s a little misleading to say that this training
doesn’t produce the very top level sprinters.
I wonder how someone like Asafa would go on
this type of training?
Just the thoughts of an interested observer!

RE: “But TODAY - the Bradley method is applied only (as far as I am aware) within a small group of pro runners in Australia and perhaps (not sure) in Scotland”

You have hit the nail on the head Sevo! And probably blows your argument out of the water.

You have conceded that only a handful of pro-running squads who invariably consist of average athletes with limited natural talent train with the Bradley method.

So how in hell do you expect them to be competitive at a ‘Golden League’ level? There is no sprint training program on earth that will transform a battler whether he be your average interclub athlete or a pro-runner into a 10.00s elite level sprinter.

As far as I know, none of us - myself, Jim Bradley, Neil King, Wilson Young, etc, have had an athlete of West African descent or an African American or the genuine gun who could run 10.6 at 16 years of age.

Look at the current sprinting landscape in Australia - who is delivering fast athletes on a regular basis? No-one, not even the institutes and academies of sport who have access to the best talent.

What about yourself Sevo - are you coaching anyone to sub 10.4 level? And if you are, were they already sub 10.4 before they joined you?

Bradley’s squad from the 60’s would wipe the floor with the current crop of Aussie sprinters.

George McNeil was genuine world class, he proved it by matching the likes of Warren Edmondson & Tommy Smith in the ITP series.

Wilson Young once stated that McNeil was better than Allan Wells (although it was said before Allan won the Olympic gold medal).

To say Bradley’s methods are not capable of producing an elite level sprinter is just absurd, when you consider how good McNeil and Wells were.

The reality is there is no sprint coach in Australia regularly turning out fast sprinters at the rate Jim Bradley has done in the past.

All I know is history says that it’s only a matter of time before it happens again.

Watch this space. :wink:

PS: Charlie’s right of course any program in the hands of a bad coach is doomed to failure. If you don’t like Bradley’s methods then don’t use them; no-one’s forcing you to. I can’t see the point of saying they are archaic and won’t work when the evidence overwhelmingly suggests that if done properly the program can be very productive.

Like Youngy has said, there is no point in saying that Bradley/Youngy can’t produce sub 10.2x sprinters like S Franics/Mills/Smith, because we all know that genetics play a role in who gets to the start line in the Oly/WC Finals (The last Caucasian runner to make the Olympic Final was Wells 1980 (Bradley Trained), WC Final – Finnish runner Matic Osovnikar in 2005). There’s only a handful of Aussie runners who have run inside 10.20 and as Youngy has suggested, these runners often get pawned off to the institute coaches for ‘expert’ training.

It would be interesting to say the least if the current crop of elite Aussie sprinters took on JB methodology of training!

This history of the Bradley program suggests they completed this type of training since the poor weather conditions outside prevented them from training (rain/snow in the Scottish winter) and therefore JB devised a methodology which would strengthen and condition his athletes to be physically superior to other squads once the track preparation begun. The training is systematic and demanding and many on the ‘outside’ see it as a foolish method of training, however like Youngy says, those who knock the program have generally not participated in it or not followed it correctly, and therefore have not received the rewards on the track.

I don’t think it’s that established runners flock to JB or Youngy due to the success they have had or having, i think it’s more that runners on the outside look at the success these programs have, and the lack of success THEY are currently experiencing, and make a choice to move to one of these squads to learn another training method. Usually, these athletes have been under-achieving with their current coach or training group for several seasons on end, and then once put into a training environment which is systematic, brutal and physically demanding, they tend to fulfil some or if not all of their potential once the season starts.

Many ‘knockers’ choose not to embrace the JB program due the fact that science hasn’t endorsed ‘hitting a speedball’ and doing ‘bodyweight circuits’, but i would suspect if someone did conduct a study some of the findings which would result would include:

Increased Anaerobic Threshold
Increased VO2 Max
Increased Capillarisation
Fibre Type Transition
Increased Power Output
Increased Lean Muscle Mass
Decreased BF %
Increased RFD

Now, none of these are training adaptations which cannot be achieved through other training means, however i have seen them occur through the JB method and just because they haven’t been measured doesn’t mean they don’t occur.

Youngy’s results in South Australia speak for themselves!