Question For Charlie

Charlie, on page 153 of your Training System book, it says “A basic principle underlying all training is to bring only a fully regenerated athlete to each training element. The element is then performed at the highest quality possible. This results in athletes performing at very high levels and even achieving personal bests to the point of world record levels in the controlled environment of training.”

On the one hand I understand this, but the other I don’t because how can supercompensation occur if you have to completely recover for every single training session? Surely you’d have to push the athlete into an ‘over-reaching’ state to allow supercompensation to take place.

A more correct statement would be: “The athlete must be regenerated completely to the level required for the next training session, regardless of its nature.”
BTW I answered this question a while ago but I think it got blown away when the system was down. Thoughts? I’m sure we can expand on this for quite a while.

I am a college level sprinter who began this indoor season following the micro cycle in the CFST manual. I quickly realized I was over training, the day of my meets I was no where near fully recovered. I realize that program is for a professional sprinter, with many years of training behind him/her, who does not compete on a weekly basis. I was doing 3 speed days per week, mon.,wens., and my actual competiton on sat., with tempo on tues., and thurs.
I have recently changed my program to a hybrid of the 10 day taper, and the weekly micro cycle,
Sat. Race day, speed
Sun. off
Mon. tempo
Tues. speed day 95%
Wens. tempo
Thurs. speed day 95%
Fri. off
Sat. Race day.
I feel much better, but will this be enough speed, weekly to induce adaptations? I am open to any suggestions about any other programs.

Please note: I have one race per week, every saturday.

Thank you.

I am a bit astonished of how new debating threads are continually posted somewhere else on this Forum apparently indagating mysterious Strength Coach’s identity and actual existance with much energy and enthusiasm,while this extremely dense answer of CF’s falls unheard…
Aren’t we losing the big picture frame for details here?

That is completely true, but I think this is a consequence of how this community has evolved into not only catering for those who seek speed in their athletic pursuits, but also for those whose interests lie mainly in strenght-training.

While I cannot do but agree with You, I the statement above does apply in pure strength training too,and to certain extent even to bodybuilding approach,and it’s well worth discussing!

OK, the problem with the Charlie’s answer is that while it is completely true and makes total sense, the trick is not understanding it, it is applying it. How exactly does one determine exactly when the athlete is “regenerated completely to the level required for the next training session, regardless of its nature”? I think that DB has generated so much interest precisely because he claims to provide a formula for figuring this out. Although I have to admit that I don’t yet understand it!

BTW, I think that controlling the overall volume/intensity of an athlete’s training is perhaps the most important factor in their training. And therefore should be at the forefront of every coach’s mind at both the macro-cycle and micro-cycle level.

You are perfectly right! And purpose of my thread was only to discuss Charlie’s words further,in order to find out not only His application of the precious concept,but also others’ experiences.

Personally, a couple of things I have noticed in my Swimming Programs :

  • with a High/Low Intensity approach,and H.I. volumes limited by intensity >95% allowed, I actually find 48 hrs being on the lowest scale of recovery time,both metabolically and neurally,without constant access to regeneration and therapy. 72hrs seem to allow for a new high quality stimulus to be introduced,while depending on the quality worked,and all factors being equal, 5 to 10 days generally allow for new training progress.
    I think the numbers outlined are dictated by complex interactions of lactate metabolism and CNS readiness.
    I am talking of Swimming here (generally a low impact/low force etc. sport),and my Athletes range from Age Group National (Italy) Record Holders to Open National/Olympic Trials level in Events up to the 200m.

  • I am still experiencing in different contexts DB’s rule of thirds and the fatigue/frequency (two factor) model,and so far I find the drop-off margin scheme easier to apply and manage in the Gym,rather than in the pool, where I actually failed to observe predictable returns,and where I would anyway question the value of having an athlete repeating a task a thousand times waiting to drop off to the required level. More details and successful experiences in the application and planning of this model are needed to gather the promised results,I guess…Sometimes are the subtilties of the model that make it successful,rather than the model itself.