Speed Reserve

  1. Ok so I was reading an article about David Boston which his coach says that the idea of conditioning for the sake of conditioning is a bad one.

  2. He says that hed rather have his athlete quicker/faster so when he faces slower guys he doesnt have to take much energy to outrun them because he is significantly faster.

  3. The ex he used was say you have a 4.4 guy who conditions to run a 4.4 in the 4th quarter, where ass I have a 4.2 who I just work on getting faster, so first off hes already significantly faster so its take less energy to outrun the corner and second when my guy starts to fall off hes still faster.

  4. Is this speed reserve and is it a plausible training method?

  5. I like the idea and kind of agree with it, as it goes with the less is more principle

  6. but then again there has been great success with development of endurance on track and explosiveness in the weight room(Hatch System). He also says that to be at your peak you have to do the least you can get optimal results with. Thoughts?

This is all just about right (except for the part about endurance on the track and explosivness in the wt room…you develop explosivenss on the track as well!)

And it is even better than he stated because not only with the 4.2 guy be better at the end because of speed reserve, he will also be able to make plays that the 4.4 guy could neve make!

Yes I know, but you get any endurance you are going to develop from running on the track, I just asumed the idea of explosivness would be included, so basically develop explosivness in the weight room and track and minimal endurance training to make speed reserve(thus endurance) higher?

see attached article:


Boston is a unique individual. Optimal to him is different from anyone else. The downside to his speed reserve program or whatever he’s calling it, and to boston being so large is his increased recovery time. He is extremely explosive (very much like a sprinter) but needs much more time to recover than other wide receivers. Boston has done what is best for him at the expense of his team and teammates. While I admit to enjoying seeing him on the field (finally seeing what a real strength coach can do with elite professional athletes: 4.2-4.3 40, 240 pounds, -5% body fat) he can not be a real “contributor” to his team because his goals are not consistent with his teams. It takes so much to make one play in the NFL successful without the worry of having your best wide receiver be forced to miss 75% of the game to “recover”. Tell me who the best wide receiver in the NFL “physically” and I give you david boston. Tell me who are the top 10 wide receivers in the league right now and boston isn’t one of them. Football players aren’t sprinters or olympic lifters. They need to be able to provide sub-maximum efforts repeatedly in a “team” atmosphere. Sprinters and olympic lifters are normally afforded full recovery between competitions.

as for the explanation of boston’s numbers i personally dont think the ball gets thrown his way enough, and we have seen what happens when it does and that was without a running game or other wide out threat. The top statistical wide outs have great qbs and other people on the team who can catch as well as a respected running game. While Boston now has LT to make for the respected running game, he has no other wideout threat or qb to throw him the ball(dree brees and dug flutie, cmon). So the idea is proven and works, just he isnt around the right people or in a system that passes enough to giv hima chance to make plays.

That’s why I said “teamwork”. The way his team is built, he can’t operate successfully. We’re stating different sides of the same coin. Even Boston says he would rather be explosive for a shorter career, than slower for a longer career. His same philosophy is applied in game play, explosive (and wicked fast) for a play or two followed by an extended recovery period. His is not an example of speed reserve, his recovery is extended hence the sprinter-like speed. Boston has had numerous run-ins with the coaching staff (and especially the strength coach for san diego) because of the way he chooses to run his program. It’s always an up-hill battle working as a performance coach in conjunction with a coaching staff, and boston’s trainer has made things more difficult for the both of them. Basically, all I was saying is that the hand is already dealt against him, and with his lack of availability for a full game and with flutie or brees at quarterback, good luck having any success as a wide-out. The “speed reserve” is specific to boston’s body mass and conditioning. He only appears to not drop-off because of speed reserve, but in actuality, he is just recovering fully. If the cornerback assigned to him were to take plays off as well, i’m sure that he would be able to keep up with him more often. That’s not feasible though and so boston appears to be in superior condition. He is in outstanding shape (as an understatement) but does need more recovery (like a sprinter).

well im with him, maximize speed and power, let size take care of itself(although his is huge) and with that speed and power take advantage of smaller slower oponents, and i mean whats his ypc? from games ive seen hes 5 yards of the line of scrimmage for most of his receptions then gets yards after, true aboutt he team thing but i believe his thoughts are to make himself as fast and powerful as possible in order to benefiet the team. The chargers could hav turned him downbut didnt because of the tremendous talent he posseses. he told them he comes with his trainer and trains his way, they accepted it. i really am partial to this kind of training, work on developing maximum acc. and power, endurance training only hurts these qualities and while football does require it there are merits to the reserve. i mean while i may be trying as hard as i could, if i am twice as fast and strong as the guy across from me im only going to go hard enough to beat that man and make the plays, so while consciously i may be going as hard as i can, really im not, im doing plenty to make the plays because i am trying as hard as i can, but underneath my body is reserving itself for the game. i dont know if this makes sense, but do u get what im saying?

You’re absolutely right. I may sound like I’m taking a different side to the argument, I’m on your side. At no time has coach charles poliquin or boston’s current trainer (a former bobsledder I believe) trained boston for hypertrophy. They have trained for explosion, power, speed, etc. and his size is a side effect. Excellent points, numba56.

I did a search on David Boston to find out what all the fuzz was about, and now I know:

go look at espn3’s avatar, thats the big deal about boston

A little off-topic, but is Boston still being trained under the watch of Charles Poliquin?

no one of his former clients i believe ian danney

Unfortunately for myself, I happen to be a charger fan. In following the team’s record and some stats, i found David Boston performed much better when his body weight dropped to about 230 pounds, as opposed to what he came to camp at (260.) It seemed initially that Boston had a hard time running his routes, staying crisp, and yes he did spend a good amount of time on the sidelines. I think the speed reserve is a very valid theory, and is one I use in my own training. However, I think a few changes should have been made in an attempt to keep Boston’s muscle mass down, wether they be dietarily, or by more work on the track.

hey its probably the way he trains, his motto is eat right, lift right, sprint train right and let weight take care of itself(his just happens to be very high), now of course if he was doing more endurance work in the running department i believe his weight would drop, but if you look at how he trains it is not like a bodybuilder, its lower reps, higher sets, heavy weight, short intense sessions three times a week, multi joint movements, short sprints without full recovery, there is no endurance work and as his trainer has said they do not condition for the sake of conditioning.

yeah, hypertrophy was an after-effect in his training. poliquin has said often that with a fast-twitch dominant athlete, hypertrophy may still occur with as little as 3-rep sets. Crazy

and yes, ian danney has now taken over his training. danney is a genius as well.

do you know anything about how they sprint train? because from what ive read they develop acc. heavily in the weight room and with the use of specific strongman exercises(farmers walk, super yoke, log press, tire flip) and do a series of sprints one or two times a week with incomplete recoveries yet this method has turned in unbelievable speed(as shown when Boston outran charles woodson for 50 yards after the catch) and with the bobsledders unbelieable speed, so is there really no sprinting in the program?

Speed can be developed either through specific sprint work, or by training starting and acceleration-strength. Starting strength would be demonstrated when doing a deadlift with no eccentric loading of the hip and knee extensors (as seen when picking the bar up from the ground in an isometric stance) and lifting with near maximum effort. Acceleration strength is typically trained with eccentric loading and accelerating as much as possible through the concentric phase. Throwing medicine balls and olympic lifts are good demonstrations of acceleration. Acceleration is relative to the load though, because with heavier lifts, it may appear as if you have moved from slow to fast, but inertia has a lot to do with how a lift looks. The intent to move fast is more important than actually moving fast in mX strength and power training. But, yes, at times the amount in volume of sprint training they do is very, very low. As Boston moves closer to the season, the sprint training load is increased.

I understand what you guys are saying, but I feel part of being a strength coach, is to prepare the person for their sport. I think Charles and Ian just kind of flubbed on this one.

where is the flub, he performed well, more than likely if he had played in all games would have gone for 1000 yards, the only flub i see is perhaps a lack of “conditioning for conditioning” perhaps one day a week could be commited to this in a limited fashion, or perhaps two days of tempo running. that is the only flaw i see, other than that he has all the desirable qualities of a football player, the highest combination of size(an important factor in football), speed(hes very very fast, his electronic, although timed from first move, 40 of 4.17 for the chargers is amazing), strength(did you see him literally bitch slap a saftey into the ground then outsprint charles woodson for a 50 yard run after the catch), etc, etc, granted possibly the inclusing of a little conditioning could help, again tempo, possibly longer sprints(ie 150’s or 200’s). Other than that they did the perfect job, maximaized his strength and size without sacrificing speed, but actually improving it. So actually i see their work with him a total success besides his long recovery needs(again the addition of tempo or longer sprints could help).

Off the subject, but did you guys see mike williams knock that michigan db over in the rose bowl? Awesome. If leinart had seen him earlier, that’s a TD!