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Friday, January 11, 2013

The Charlie Francis Training System

Old school training for TODAY'S sprinter
I first discovered The Charlie Francis Training System through Bret Contreras, someone whose work I admire and respect. Only available in Kindle edition, I wasn’t sure what to expect from an interview with a 1980’s track and field coach conducted by the coach’s wife; but it was excellent. Becoming acquainted with this coach and his athletes was more of an education than I anticipated.

Does anyone remember sprinter Ben Johnson for his incredible athletic talent and superiority as an athlete? Some do. but sadly, most people remember Ben Johnson for being the first athlete in the modern games to be stripped of his gold medals after testing positive for performance enhancing drugs. What a shame. Johnson was a dedicated athlete who gave his all to be one of the greatest athletes of his day.

Taking performance enhancing drugs does not mean one can sit back, relax and not work at their chosen sport because the drugs will take care of everything. It doesn’t quite work that way.

There is no one to explain how this works or rather, doesn't, better than Ben Johnson’s coach, Charlie Francis. In the late 80’s, no team of sprinters were winning medals with the frequency and technical superiority of athletes coached by Canada’s Charlie Francis. His athletes were the cream of the crop and they were winning regularly. Unfortunately, Francis developed a reputation as the man who introduced his athletes to steroids. But, he was so much more than that.  A true technician, Charlie began to talk about his training program with his wife, Angela Coon, herself, a former sprinter. They decided to keep his vision alive by documenting Charlie’s training approach and technique, writing the original version of the book in 1992.

Angela highlights everything from Francis’ support of his athletes both on and off the field, to the indispensable benefits of massage and soft tissue work as well as how to construct a workout that isn’t so intense that an athlete does more damage to his training than benefits from it.  From strength training to sprinting mechanics to sports psychology-they cover it all.  It’s worth repeating that these techniques are every bit as relevant and applicable in training today’s athlete-or yourself. Go ahead. I challenge you not to learn something.
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Fitness expert and integrative performance coach Jini Cicero, CSCS, teaches intermediate exercisers how to blast through plateaus to create incredible transformations. Are you ready to take your fitness to a whole new level?  Find out now!  Take Jini's "Are you Ready?" Quiz at © 2011 Jinifit, Inc.

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