Yes, I have definetley used DeFranco’s WS4SB to great success. As a matter of fact, if it wasn’t for DeFranco’s work, I would not be where I am today. Not to say that I’m anywhere great (which I’m not), but I will be soon. You could say that reading DeFranco’s site/articles was my “introduction” to the darkside of sports training.
That being said, my views have changed very dramatically, very recently I might add. The more I read and learn the more I realize I do not know. I’m beginning to better understand and quantify the role of GPP for the sport athlete, all the while trying to advance my skill capabilities in my sport (usa football).
In that respect, simplest is best. Why use a barbell when you can accomplish the same task with bodyweight? Football linemen, TE’s, and LB’s must first overcome their own bodyweight before they have to overcome external loads. For team sport athletes, their most important task is the execution of the sport. So, I want to save as much energy/reserves for that as possible. Basically, the path of least resistance. JKD “reject that which is useless” , etc. etc.
Understand that I have used the farmer’s walks, tire flips, car pushes, sled drags, etc. and was not satisfied with the progress I made. Therefore, I continue to pursue alternative knowledge, namely USSR coaches/sport scientists and the western coaches who they have influenced (francis, simmons, smith, mclaughlin, morris, myslinski, etc. etc.) I don’t think any of these people (especially the USSR) use “strongman” exercises (or oly lifts except for the oly lifters) to hardly any extent except for maybe punishment.
Also, when you say “finisher,” what exactly do you mean? Like i said, the “finish” to your training session should be a cooldown to get the nervous system back into a parasympathetic state. These “finishers” as I’ve seen utilized are actually likely capable of causing more physiological harm than good. The extreme stressors take longer to calm CNS, muscle tonus, etc. thus prevent recovery so you can “start” your next training session.
Also, understand it’s not that a farmer’s walk is a terrible exercise or anything like that. I’m just saying for a football player it is completely unnecesary. How the exercise is implemented is 100000x more important than what the exercise is. An example, two guys squatting one does 3x5 @ 60% the other does 5x3 @ 85%. The training effects are going to be very different even though the exercise is the same. What you have to do with the team sport athlete, is make sure the training effect is in line with their needs and the requirements of their sport. That being said, (i may be wrong here), but I don’t think there is one team sport where maximal strength is utilized.
Sorry for the rant. I hope you see where I’m coming from, and I’m enjoying the debate.