T Nation

Elite Sprinters Strength/Weight Ratio


A significant factor in sprinting is strength/weight ration.
Given that sprinters have some of the best physiques in the world (albeit pharmaceutically enhanced!) and are clearly not muscle bound I would be very interested to know their norm levels of strength/weight ration (olympic level sprinters) on the following exercises :
1- Bench press
2-pullups bodyweight how many max reps??
4-power clean

Can anyone help me with this??
Also what would the vertical jump of an avarage olympic sprinter be??
p.s why don`t sprinters do deadlifts??


like a bagillion to one...all BBers should train like sprinters...why haven't they caught on yet?


There was an article on this site a couple years back by the coach of Darvis Patton. If I remember correctly, he was RDLing 405 for 5 reps.



I am a sprinter (but far from elite though :wink: ) )and can maybe tell you some interesting things about their weight trainig.
Elite sprinters have an extremely fast-twitch dominant musclature. That's why they hardly make gains from the bodybuilders' usual 6-12 rep scheme but from 1-5 reps training. Sprinters especially train with very high weights and few reps because it is important for them to produce as much force as possible with each step in a race.

In the gym they often lift explosively which targets the fast twitch muscles more. They train for a good relative body strength which means that muscle mass is not what counts but strength is. The sprinter has to "move" his body with every step horizontally and vertically. For the horizontal part, having a high weight ("many muscles" and/or fat) is disturbing.


The use of the word disturvung made me laugh.


Who said sprinters don't DL?


What sprinters use the exact same rep range?

Bench pressing helps sprinters?

You read too much T-Nation forums. There's pretty much 5 consistent factors to elite sprinters.

1) They all started young
2) They sprint
3) They do track and speed drills
4) They squat
5) They're black

Rep ranges, Upperbody exercises, Olympic lifting, are pretty inconsistent across the board male and female elite sprinters.


GB Sprinter, P.B. ~ 10.10 secs at my University track

1- Bench press - 160kg +
2-pullups 40 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkAyy7HlhdM
3-squats 190kg front squat http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CXZrfVS3KK4
4-power clean 170kg http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L9TG3hpUkA8&feature=relmfu

They tend not to deadlift because the time it takes to recover makes it impractical to fit into a weekly workout. I've seen them do hex bar deadlift.

For general elite sprinters i'd say:

Bodyweight 80-85kg
Bench 120kg+
Pullups 30+
Back Squats 230kg+
Power Clean 120kg+


The actual exercises used vary by group/coach, but it is safe to say all elite sprinters are strong. However, the expression of such strength might not always be in a traditional form.


Good question as to why sprinters don't do deadlifts. The first thing I had my son do was focus on deadlifts and along with his strength going up his times in the 100 and 200 meters went down. When you make your posterior chain stronger you will go faster those are your sprinting muscles!


Keep in mind that you must also do sprint workouts along with posterior chain work in order to get faster.