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Life After 1×20, A Performance Roundtable with Jeff Moyer, Matt Thome and Ryan Bracius

Today’s episode features a special coaching roundtable featuring three experts in the implementation of the “1×20” training system: Jeff Moyer of DC Sports Training, Matt Thome of Michigan Tech University, and Ryan Bracius of Wisconsin Whitewater.

Most folks familiar with Just Fly Sports and the podcast know of Jeff Moyer, as he has been a frequent guest and writer, and is also the first guy to really get me intrigued by the 1×20 system, and its benefits for athletes.  Since then, Jeff has been a huge contributor to Just Fly Sports, and I’ve had a number of coaches ask me about the 1×20 system since our first episode together.  I met Matt Thome and Ryan Bracius in person at the Track Football Consortium VI in Chicago this past December.  Matt is the head strength coach at Michigan Tech, working with football and basketball, and Ryan is developing some of the best football athletes in NCAA Division III at Wisconsin Whitewater.  Both are getting fantastic results with rock-bottom injury rates.  Matt had the idea of talking not just about “1×20”, but particularly about “life after 1×20”, or how to transition athletes to the next step in their training after the 1×20 system has run its course.  It’s important to realize that coaches using the 1×20 model use much more than just this singular set and rep scheme.

For those unfamiliar with the 1×20 system, a simple explanation is as follows:

Start athletes out with 5-8 exercises, with 1 set of 20 reps each, building up to around 18-23 exercises over time.  Instead of pushing the gas pedal down the first day with the intensity, the exercises are “slow cooked” by gradually adding weight over time.  When athletes reach adaptation (stop improving) on the sets of 20, then the next phase is 1×14, and finally 1×8.  This system was taught to many coaches today by Yosef Johnson who was mentored by the inventor of the system, Dr. Michael Yessis. Coaches who have used the system have noted good to great gains in strength, but also in athletes explosive KPI’s compared to other systems, as well as a reduction in injury rate.

On the episode today, we go in depth on each coach’s introduction to the 1×20 system, how they implement it, and what kind of results they are getting.  We’ll also talk about why the 1×20 works so well from a physiological and neural level.  The second half of the episode talks about the transition from the 1×20 system into other training methods, such as velocity based, and special strength training.

Today’s episode is brought to you by SimpliFaster, supplier of high-end athletic development tools, such as the Freelap timing system, kBox, Sprint 1080, and more.

Life After 1x20, A Performance Roundtable with Jeff Moyer, Matt Thome and Ryan Bracius


Key Points:

  • Jeff, Matt and Ryan’s initial experiences with the 1×20 system and results
  • Implementation of the 1×20 system on the levels of the collegiate and private sector, and how the coaches work down to the 1×14 and 1×8 segments
  • The thought process of when coaches funnel away from 1×20 into 1×14 and 1×8 setups
  • The nature of velocity based training workouts after the departure of 1×20 and 1×14 set rep setups
  • Special exercises for use in velocity based, specific training periods
  • Approaches to 1RM testing in the 1×20 system


“(Regarding 1×20) Eventually we are covering every joint action, we have 18-23 different exercises on there”

“We might start with 5-8 exercises, the fall is a lot of teaching and a lot of learning”

“ My Freshmen will do 1×20 from August to Thanksgiving, my juniors and seniors who already have a very good base may only do 3-4 weeks of (1×20) to re-address it”

“Generally I’d rather keep athletes in the 20’s longer and just switch exercises, rather than get them in the 14’s (Jeff Moyer)”

“1×20 sets the scene for increasing connective tissue strength”

“If we’re talking about the primary factors that are increasing a jump test or sprint test with just the 1 set of 20, it’s probably more related to motor unit coordination and motor control in general more than metabolic factors”

“Transfer of training, we are looking at one exercise to another, transfer in process of sports form, we are looking more globally, so the training “this” has an impact on the actual event itself, so it might be a nervous system impact or motor unit activation impact”

“In my scenarios, 8’s end up being more velocity based… the strength comes so easily in the 20’s and the 14’s so when we are done with those phases, I don’t think they need more”

“I’ve seen some really good success with using 3 velocity based sessions, and one sessions where we do a set of 8 or a set of 8 and a set of 14”

“Bondarchuk said let’s keep volume and intensity relatively stable and just use novelty as the stimulus to adapt”

“It’s about finding the exercises with the best transfer, and then how can we best manipulate those exercises”

About Jeff Moyer

moyerJeff Moyer is the owner of Dynamic Correspondence Sports Training, whose motto is, “We Build Better Athletes.” At DC Sports Training, athletes work on the physical, mental and visual aspects to the sports. Their goal is to deliver the athletes of the greater Pittsburgh area the highest, most efficient results year after year of training with us. We will exhaust our means in order for our athletes to achieve the highest results, and to create a system model that will develop our athletes both physically and intellectually. Education must be the road to which will help us set this standard. Our results will be the vehicle which to drive us.

Jeff graduated in 2004 from Hartwick College where he was a two sport athlete (Football & Track & Field). Jeff has been a sport coach (Basketball & Football) at the youth, JV, Varsity and College level for football for over 10years. Jeff has been in the strength in conditioning industry for over a decade, having worked in the medical, private, team, high school and collegiate settings, training clients from youth development, to rehabilitation and sport performance.

Jeff has a relentless passion for all things physical preparation. His pedagogy is heavily influenced by Eastern Bloc sport science, while apprenticing under Dr. Michael Yessis and Yosef Johnson of Ultimate Athlete Concepts. Jeff has also been fortunate enough to extensively study with and work with Dr. Natalia Verkhoshansky, Mike Woicik of the Dallas Cowboys, Louie Simmons of Wesitside Barbell and Fellowship under Dave Tate of EliteFTS.

About Matt Thome

Matt ThomeMatt began his role as the Head Strength and Conditioning Coach at Michigan Tech in August 2012.  In August 2015, his responsibilities shifted to a 50/50 split appointment between Athletics and the Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology Department.  He is currently responsible for the preparation of the Football and Men’s Basketball teams and teaches several courses throughout the year.  Prior to joining Tech, Matt worked as an assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach at the University of Richmond as well as several private sports performance facilities.

Matt received his Bachelor’s degree in Clinical Exercise Science from Grand Valley State in 2008 and his Master’s degree in Exercise Physiology from Indiana University in 2011.  He is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) from the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA).

About Ryan Bracius

Ryan BraciusRyan Bracius joined the UW-Whitewater strength and conditioning staff in 2013.

Prior to coming to Whitewater, Bracius trained some of the top high school area prospects, NFL players and Division I athletes in a brief stint working with Dr. Mark Turner’s Injury Armored in Aurora, Illinois.

Bracius’ career in strength and conditioning began in Naperville, Illinois. He was the site director for Acceleration Naperville where he trained athletes in the top Chicagoland sports performance training center. From there Bracius accepted a position as the strength and condition assistant coach of football for Iowa State University.

He returned to Illinois to attend graduate school at Northern Illinois. While at NIU he served as a graduate assistant strength and conditioning coach for football including the first year power players, men’s and women’s tennis, women’s cross country, track and field and volleyball.

In 2010, Bracius headed to Rockford University as the Head Strength and Conditioning Coach for football. For the Regents he physically prepared the 2010 Division III leader in forced fumbles and eight All-Conference players during the 2010 and 2011 seasons.

Bracius traveled back to Iowa from 2011-2012 for two positions, one in the private sector and the other at the University of Iowa. Bracius was the Director of Athletic Development for a variety of sports at Fit2Live-Athletic Development and a volunteer strength and conditioning coach for Olympic sports at the University of Iowa. After his stint in Iowa, Bracius returned to Northern Illinois as a volunteer strength and conditioning coach for the Huskies assisting with football.

On the field, Bracius was a member of the Iowa State Cyclone football team from 2000-2002. Bracius is National Strength and Conditioning Association certified Strength and Conditioning specialist and United States of America Weightlifting Sports Performance Coach.

Bracius received a Bachelor’s Degree in psychology and sociology from Iowa State University in 2004. He received a Master’s Degree in education in kinesiology and physical education from Northern Illinois University in 2009.


  1. Hi guys. Total transparency I didn’t listen to podcast but are you suggesting 1×20 for a lift and that’s it?

    I’m old enough (early 40s) I’ve killed myself with Breathing Squats of 20 reps and then played with Dr Yessis HIT stuff, which then spawned the catostrophic failure of HIT training on Hammer Strength gear in college around the nation. I personally have a theory that it led to the sudden collapse of Midwest FB in parts of 90s to early 2000s and some even longer. I’m biased and think Joel is a rockstar so will assume I’m missing something bc there is far too much practical and theoretical exp. out there to blindly accept this as even something worth entertaining to be honest.
    With that said I’m wrong every day and open to new ideas and am not married to any philosophy like too many in the field. So what’s the difference ?? Thanks for all you guys do and if ever you would like perspective from an old guy who’s got some really broad experiences with 10-30 year olds and many females (VB most of all) , from novice to All American DI athletes , Gold Medalists and 5 1st Rd NFL guys (and a white boy from Iowa who hit a 42” VJ at last year’s anime Opening Final), I’m a fan and love to be on podcast or contribute in some way. Thanks again for all you do!

  2. Hey love the podcast and this episode left me curious, what would be the best resource for further reading on this style of training? I’m just beginning my training career and would love to be able to bring something like this to my future clients but its so different I would love some more information on this method.

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