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AFM Magazine

Undisputed Results

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Can a strength, speed and agility training system that has been used by over 800 NFL players, including devotees Brian Urlacher and Champ Bailey, translate to high schools and produce champions?

For years, the Competitive Edge Sports (CES) system has been the primary training regimen for hundreds of NFL players, with incredible success. Urlacher and Bailey are only two of the 300+ active players on NFL rosters that train with CES. That’s one out of every five players in an NFL uniform. Three Heisman Trophy winners, over 20 first-round draft picks and 39 Pro Bowlers have relied on CES to make them peak performers.

But will methods that help the elite athletes who play on Sundays also work for those who play on Friday nights? Just ask Head Coach Jess Simpson of Buford High School (GA). Simpson’s Buford Wolves started using the CES system in 1999, seeing incredible results. Since 2000, the Wolves have a 110-6 record, including four undefeated seasons. They’ve had 45 players receive football scholarships including five in the SEC this year alone, and have taken home four Georgia AA State Championships, the latest last season. “We start our kids in the 7th grade with the CES program,” said Simpson, “and by the time they are at the varsity level, we just have better football players than everybody else.”

Now, for the first time, this revolutionary training program will be available everywhere to schools that wish to transform their teams by using a proven training method.

The CES system is the brainchild of renowned athletic trainer Chip Smith, who based it on the innovative methods he learned while studying at the Soviet Sports Institute in the 1980’s. “When I grew up, it was generally thought that there was a ‘genetic cap’ on an athlete’s potential,” recalled Smith. “Either a kid was fast or he wasn’t and he couldn’t be taught to be faster…our program proves that’s just not true.” In those early days of strength and conditioning, it was also believed that the same program would work for all athletes; a ‘one size fits all’ approach. But Smith discovered that these generalities weren’t effective. “I learned that the key to getting results that translate to the field is sport-specific, position-specific, movement-specific training.”

Using his proven methods through the key elements of resistance and over-speed, Chip Smith created Competitive Edge Sports and set up shop in Atlanta with partner and Director of Strength Training for CES, Robby Stewart. Since then, they have perfected the CES system and trained far more professional athletes than anyone in the world.

While Smith has taken the lead by developing training methods to meet the needs of today’s specialized athletes, he thinks most programs are stuck in the past. “I see schools that have weightlifting programs that produce big muscles, but it doesn’t translate to results on the field. Bodybuilding and power-lifting are great sports, but they don’t necessarily produce great football players.” said Smith. “In the NFL, they don’t talk about who can bench 500 pounds, but how many times a player can bench 225.” Smith also believes that many coaches are making a big mistake by using the same methods to train athletes at different positions. “Schools are training linebackers, linemen and quarterbacks in the exact the same way. It’s insane – it makes no sense.”

The CES system uses proprietary training equipment invented and manufactured by CES to address specific movements made by athletes playing particular positions – making those movements faster and more explosive. Every athlete, regardless of their sport or their position, is trained in a program designed to enhance the specific moves they must make to excel in their position. “Our combine classes that go through six to eight weeks of intense training in the CES program shave two-tenths off 40 times, add four to six inches to their verticals, cut body fat in half and add 15-20 pounds of lean muscle mass on average” according to Smith. “All those numbers are great for the NFL Combine, but what keeps guys in the league is their ability to play football. That’s what our system is really all about, getting the results that translate directly to the field.”

The CES system has delivered undisputed results among elite athletes from the NFL and other professional sports for decades. But perhaps the most powerful example of the program’s potential is how it has transformed entire teams, such as the Buford High School Wolves. “We’ve worked with select high schools around the country,” said Smith, “and we’ve seen that the program elevates the entire team when all the players participate in it. Decent athletes become good athletes, good athletes become great athletes and great athletes become All-Americans. We trained over a dozen high school All-Americans last year, and most of those kids started in our programs between their freshman and sophomore years.”

Coach Jess Simpson of Buford has seen such results since the team adopted CES. “It’s no shocker to us that our 5’10”, 190-pound kids routinely outplay the 6’2, 220-pound kids we see from the big schools year in and year out. Our kids are just so explosive and bring such intensity for 48 minutes that most kids at the high school level have never seen anything like it. Opposing coaches ask me all the time how we get so much out of our kids. I say we get out what we put in every day…CES.”

To help other teams achieve the success that Buford has with the CES system, Chip Smith is making it available high schools nationwide starting this year. But it’s not as simple as supplying coaches with a training manual. Smith explains, “The CES Program can’t be run without the right equipment and the right training. If you don’t know how to use the equipment correctly with the right exercises, you won’t get results.”

The CES plan is to certify coaches within a ‘Master Trainer’ program. In this program, CES will provide the license, proprietary equipment and training system, along with access to online tutorials and a tracking system that allows you and all of your athletes to measure their progress. “CES is a custom program that is designed and implemented on a case-by-case basis,” according to Smith. “We’re results-driven, so we work with coaches to establish specific goals for the entire team.”

The cost of the program is based on a very moderate per athlete/per program/per season amount that will be different for every school based on the number of athletes and the number of different sports. “The system is applicable to both boys and girls in all sports, so the cost per athlete can be very low if multiple sports at a school utilize the program.”

Who is CES right for? Certainly for the team that aspires to become champions like the Buford Wolves. “But also,” says Smith, “teams that may have limited resources. It’s perfect for a school that doesn’t have a strength and conditioning coach or a school that’s planning on starting a new football program next year. In effect, CES will be your coach and training program.”

Coaches who are interested in learning more are encouraged to contact CES as soon as possible. “It’s better for a coach to have time to build the program at his school in preparation for off-season training and conditioning,” said Smith. “So the time to start that process is now.”

For more information: 214-614-8121 -


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