T Nation

"3 Bad Ideas You Need to Stop Repeating"


#1

Thought this was a really good article, except for his points about elite sprinters. Even the weight lifting numbers were quite a bit elevated relevant to what most of them are capable of/can do. They are mostly more in the mid 400’s squat (a few 500+ exceptions, more often decathletes - i.e. Bryan Clay), and even the strongest guy (Harry Aikines-Aryeety) is still only upper 300’s clean and bench.

More importantly, the point about intervals. Yes, they do a lot in the low distance, 100% effort, 100% recovery. But throughout the year, on a weekly basis, they almost all do “intervals” - typically 1 session weekly of:

  1. Extensive Tempo - slower running, working on mechanics, and a low CNS intensive means of building volume. This was actually a staple of Charlie Francis template, as well as Clyde Hart - 2 of the best sprint coaches of all time. Anywhere from 2000-4000m of volume at the 50-60% effort range.
  2. Intensive temp - quicker - more in the 80-90% effort - with long (but not complete) recovery.

The speed work (stuff at 100% effort) typically begins at acceleration development in with reps of 15-20m - 10-15 runs with 1-2 minutes recovery. Then progresses to 10-15 runs at 20-30m - and on out to a mix of accelerations and max velocity or speed endurance runs as the season progresses.

All of this works on different energy systems. Even the guys who do less tempo still use it (Dan Pfaff, Boo Schexnader) do a fair amount of extensive and intensive tempo throughout the year.


#2

Ben Johnson did 600 for a triple (parallel squat,but still) and benched 425, Linford Christie squatted 660. Blake squats in the high 500, Maurice Green squatted in the mid 500, Bruny Surin (I trained with him) squatted in the 500.

I also train 3 boblseigh guys who are “sprinter types” who squat in the high 500, clean and bench in the mid 300. I also worked with one (who was also an indoor 60m runner) who did 525 squat, 425 bench and 335 power clean.

I didn’t put these number out of my arse. But regardless of the actual numbers, even a mid 400 squat and low 300 bench at their body weight would indicate a good weight training experience.


#3

Dude, I get your point. And I know full well about tempo running. But this has no similarity at all to HIIT, which is the point of the article.

Extensive tempo is low intensity/high volume work. With complete rest intervals. Compare that to HIIT which is an all-out effort followed by a brief active rest with a large fatigue build-up from interval to interval. Not even close to being similar.

And intenisve tempo has even less in common.

It doesn’t change my point that sprinters don’t do anything similar to HIIT in training.


#4

Great points all. I’ve trained with a bunch of those types guys and heard those numbers but never saw it legit with my own eyes. Clay did hit 540 ass to grass. (At 180 body weight).


#5

Point taken. I was more making the point that intervals as sprinters do them is very valuable metcon - and doesn’t create distance runner bodies :blush:


#6

Just a related question.

A popular structure for strongman moving events is 40-60% EMOM - basically speed work at intervals. You’d do this once per week for one or two moving events. Say, 10x30m (each set probably taking 10 seconds)

As strongman competitors, we want to build muscle to support the strength requirements of the sport. Do you think this rep scheme is counterproductive to these goals, particularly as it will usually be done at the end of a session? Would it be better to do 3 sets at higher intensity and full rest?


#7

Of course! But the article was not about detailing the yearly programing of sprinters, but to show that sprinters don’t do the type of training that could be defined as HIIT even though HIIT proponents use sprinters’ physiques to back up their claim.


#8

Yeah, but it’s not HIIT or anything close to it. It’s like saying that olympic lifters do “high reps work” because they sometimes do sets of 5… its high volume for them but not compared to bodybuilding work.


#9

If I had wanted to wrtie an article on complete sprinting methodology it would have been a lot longer than 3 paragraphs in a general article :slight_smile: The point was more that the sprinters physique to prove the superiority of HIIT is flawed because sprinters don’t do HIIT work.


#10

Or at least not HIIT as general public defines it. Great points and not trying to do an internet critique but rather point out the types of intervals that have proven extremely beneficial.


#11

I totally understand where you are coming from. And for a training geek like me, these discussions are gold, truely.

Was just using the common folks definition of interval work.


#12

When I was doing track competitively (All american) - didn’t know anything about this. Only got into it in my 30’s when I started hiring the best programmers - and became a ridiculous nerd about studying this - and got as good at 34 as I was in college. This is the most fun training I’ve ever had!


#13

When you find a way to train for performance properly, it is one of the most rewarding thing you can do.