Review: Speed Training with Charlie Francis: PART I”
-“Injury Rehabilitation: A Common Sense
– BOOK REVIEW: “THE CHARLIE FRANCIS TRAINING SYSTEM”
people always have varying views of the same event or information.
For what it is worth, this review will cover a book by a
very infamous name in Canadian track and field, Charlie
Francis. You may remember the name Francis being associated
with the biggest scandal in Canadian sports history because
Charlie was Ben Johnson’s coach.
of your opinion on steroids, there was a lot more to making
Ben the fastest man in the world, a man that could once
run 44km/hr, than steroids. Francis used advanced recovery
techniques, properly incorporated periodization (times of
varying training intensity & volume), and applied scientific
principles to his workouts. Granted, not all of his ideas
were perfect or as effective as he may have believed, but
Francis brought Canadian sprinters and some interesting
training techniques to the forefront of the Olympics.
Francis recognized the importance of leg strength in its
application to sprinting. He believed that the thigh musculature
needed equal strength (i.e. quadriceps and hamstring strength
should be equal), however most athletes were not training
their hamstrings enough. If the quads were too strong, they
exerted a greater force in the deceleration phase (braking)
of sprinting thus serving to slow the runner down.
the weaker hamstrings would have a greater force to work
against, and the hamstrings are probably more important
in sprinting because they act to extend the hips and propel
the body forward. The bottom line: train your hamstrings
with hip-extension exercises like deadlifts and reverse
leg presses. For the calves, they would develop well on
their own through plyometric exercises.
– DILIGENT & CONSERVATIVE INJURY REPAIR
athletes, weightlifters, and fitness enthusiasts, we often
spend time planning our workouts, recovery, and nutrition.
Some of us even get very scientific about it, and even more
of us strive to make a career out of it! However why is
it that some people still will not back off from an injury
even when their athletic experience and common sense tells
them to do so?
lifters suffer from long-term (chronic) injuries but will
benefit from a 4-week program of reduced intensity training
and isolated injury rehabilitation exercises (a plan of
common sense in combination with proper training methodologies).
common sense. For example, if it hurts, don’t do it. If
it doesn’t hurt as you do it but it then hurts the day after
then don’t do it. Do not train through the pain, it will
get you nowhere in respect to rehabilitation.
the time off. Substitute a new activity. Accept the setback.
to discomfort, avoid pain, etc. Anytime you feel a “twinge”
stop your set. If there is an uncomfortable feeling after
a set, respect that feeling. Do NOT do another set just
because you have it scheduled in for that day. Deal with
the source of discomfort rather than further aggravating.
Injuries do not just go away with ignorance.
and implement a thorough and specific warm-up for your injury.
Warm-ups should not be generalized and the same for everyone.
All athletes have a different trouble spot. It is
very important to address the weak or injured area with
the proper warm-up. Do light movements as this will lubricate
the joint, promote blood flow to the muscles of the area,
increase nerve impulse conduction, and mentally prepare
you to train that area without hesitation.
warm-up may take 15 minutes, it may take 25 minutes, but
always be conservative. Even if it only allows you to get
in two working sets, this is better than 4 working sets
with an unprepared body. Warm-up through a full range of
motion for the joint and perform light stretches to assist
the elasticity of the tissues.
rehabilitation is not a 30-minute workout 3 times per week.
It is a 24 hour, 7 day per week physical and mental awareness.
If you have to adjust your workstation, do so. If you have
to adjust your sleeping position, do so. Stretch the injured
area at regular intervals during the day after some light
keeping the rehabilitation as an active process you can
reduce your warm-up time before the workout and will have
more time to perform strengthening for the area. The constant
attention may also promote better recovery.
order for some individuals to take time-off to rest the
injury but also to prevent stress from a workout layoff,
you should incorporate some form of cross training. It can
simply be an activity that you do not usually do and that
does not aggravate the injury. Even a long walk is mentally
and physically helpful in rehabilitation.
be conscious of your injury. This is basically a summary
phrase for the previous 6 steps, but it reiterates the point
quite well. Modify your life for a few weeks to get over
the injury. This will build injury-preventing habits that
will help you in the future. Best of luck beating the injury