Strength and Speed: Transfer Effect

The entire point of going to a Glazier Clinic at this point in life is to have a takeaway per session, right? How about if I took away a great phrase that summed up a page of text into two words? That phrase would be transfer effect and I’m stealing it from Mike Favero from Logan HS in Utah (he stole it from someone else). It’s regarding our strength and conditioning programs and how they relate to football.


So What is Transfer Effect?

It’s how much a lift, speed drill or agility drill transfers to our sport in question, which for most of us is American Football. Mike said the transfer of bench press was ranked 21st for all the 30 some lifts his research investigated. Think about it: football is a hand-to-hand combat type sport. Why would we lay down on our backs and practice pushing a guy off of us? What’s the transfer? There is little. But coach, what do I do?! Instead, you could have two players chest pass a medicine ball. This is done on their feet and every catch and throw will be different, just like every football play is.

Weight Room

But it also relates to not only the exercises but also the volume and intensity of said exercise. Why one-rep max or use a linear periodization system if we’re never going to play only one-rep in a game (or at least we hope we’re not a 1-rep-warrior)? Prepare our athletes to play a sport, not for a power lifting competition. I want my athletes working high volume with low intensity or medium volume with medium intensity. I never want to dip down into low volume and high intensity, at least for an extended period of time.


I used to use linear periods, or…

In January I would plan us to look like this:

  • 4 weeks 10-12 reps at 60%
  • 4 weeks 6-8 reps at 80%
  • 4 weeks 2-4 reps at 90%

Week of testing 2-rep maxes and field work (how stupid, I want you to be fast and quick but I’m training you to be slow and sedentary).

The closer to spring football (and then broken down into shorter periods for summer) the less reps we were doing and the more stress we were adding on teenage bodies. In reality, the closer to football the more volume and less stress they should be doing. If I’m creating a power-lifter of course I want him/her able to get their 1-rep and train accordingly. But if I’m creating a football player I want to prep them for what practice and games are like, especially at 3A, which is 130 plays / game at a fast pace.

Proper Transfer in the Weight Room

Proper transfer are lifts that are dynamic, on your feet, and focus on power endurance. We want our athletes stable, safe, and flexible. The idea that weights are only for “strength” is passe, it’s not a focus on pre-hab, powerful, flexible, and stable. Here at IMFB we’ve put out our unilaterals and bilaterals as “Install” exclusives on Patreon. But I’ve also posted workouts on the site and on Twitter. Athletic movements with safe weights!


Sample Comparison:

  • Bench Press 3×5 vs 1-leg Med Ball Passes 3×30 seconds
  • Incline Bench 3×5 vs push up & rows 3×30 seconds
  • Lunges 3×10 vs OH Lateral Lunges 3×30 seconds
  • Preacher Curls 3×10 vs Jump Shrugs 3×30 seconds
  • Lat Pulldowns 3×10 vs High Pulls 3×30 seconds
  • Cleans 3×5 vs Hang Cleans/Burpees 3×5/10

Field Work

Ropes, Tires, Agility Ladders, Low Hurdles, Dots, Plyo Boxes…

All of these things are familiar to us all and I’ve wasted my money and time on them too. When I spent the time and money with Dale Baskett to learn his methods to his speed camp, he also enhanced our dynamic stretch, fixed our Agilities (which you can click here to check out) and obviously our speed training. Dale is an expert FOOTBALL speed coach. He immediately eliminates gimmicks like:

  • Dots – fancy hop scotch, no transfer to football
  • Plyo boxes – just jump and touch the ceiling, why worry about hitting your shins?
  • Low hurdles – that’s not how you train football speed running form
  • Agility ladders – Dance Dance Revolution, too worried about where your feet are, you don’t run that way ever, it’s a gimmick that looks cool
  • Heavy tires – kids don’t keep form, anyone can tire someone out
  • Rope Drills – picking feet up too high, worried about tripping, eyes down

Coach Baskett believes in cones only, no gimmicks, and keeping feet low and shoulders fast. He preaches posture, foot position, arm angle, eye focus, and shoulder rotation. I can’t particularly show you his workout because he owns the rights- but I can say it’s done with cones and humans.


The images below are from the University of Miami and Mark Richt’s infamous “Mat Drills.” I love the basic mat drills using command and body weight and just wrestling mats. You are doing football movements, with just your body and a protective surface while following cadence and improving eye discipline.

Here’s where I see a lack of Transfer Effect in some of Coach Richt’s Mat Drills:

ladders no eyes.png

The player in question is looking down at the ladder, I hope he doesn’t play football with his eyes down and his weight misbalanced like that. “See what you hit!”right?


Ropes are easy to get caught in and injured. Also, we don’t run that way naturally. You’re also taking your eyes off the target and onto your feet.

bag drills.png

Again, emphasis on your feet being too high and your eyes on the bags.