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How Does An Olympic Discus Thrower Train?

Proud to be Swedish as my fellow countrymen managed to get both gold and silver medals in discus during the ongoing olympics!

This made me wonder what they actually do in terms of weight training? From a training seminar 2018 the gold medalist’s trainer stated the following:

Appearantly they mix really heavy excentrics as a foundation, with lighter/faster concentrics as they approach the competitive stage. Powerlifting, Olympic lifting excercises. Other than that jumps, throws and more specific training.

What caught my interest (and maybe yours) was the fact that the excentrics had such an impact on the ground strength during the important build up period. Appearantly they refer to this period as the “puking phase”. Consists of extremely heavy excentric training with up to 150% of ones personal max as negatives! Brought back up (positive) with the help of assisting training partners (doesn’t state how many).

Lots to add, but I thought Dr Darden and other excentric training proponents would find this equally interesting. Have you ever trained a discus thrower, Dr Darden?

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Why not ask a lifetime discus thrower and trainer of discus throwers like Dan John?


Just read @hel320 log


First you must watch this movie about Björn Rickard “Ricky” Bruch.Former World Record holder (1972, 68.40). Held the Swedish record for 33 years until broken by Stahl in 2019 .It is the 'Pumping Iron" for Discus Throwers. The Soul Is Greater Than The World - Ricky Bruch - Obsessive Quest To Become Greatest Discus Thrower - YouTube


Thanks @hel320,

Ricky Bruch was indeed quite a character in swedish sports. I heard on a radioshow that he even had a short unsuccessful career in bodybuilding after he’d finished the discus! Was looking for this movie a couple of months ago, without finding it. Really appreciate you linking to it! Cheers.

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Apparently, at one point, Dan John tried training on Nautilus equipment.
I believe he even purchased a full on line of Nautilus machines. But in the end, he gave up on the machines, and went back to using Olympic lifts, because he says his throwing performance started to suffer. He wrote a very entertaining article about his experience, which I suspect you can find via google,


I have no idea how a discus thrower would train, but I would speculate a strong core (glutes, lower back, abs) would be crucial in addition to upper body strength.

Thanks again,

Such a great and inspiring movie to any athlete or trainee. The old-school vibe just adds to the experience. Highly recommended!

Edit: Memorable moment when Ricky piles up his stacks of vitamins (hundreds a day), stating the goal of ingesting 750 pills (!) a day when he’s reached the target dosage.

Actually looks like legit vitamins, but you can’t help wondering if there were some anabolics in there? As far as I’m concerned he used AS earlier in his career (by the way, when it all was “legal”).

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Dr. Darden’s negative-only chins.

Makes the lats super strong. The lats are the prime upper torso rotary muscle. Bonus is the grips and biceps are decimated!

Baseball hitters listen up!

The in-vogue high fastball for baseball pitchers works due somewhat to the lack of bat speed due to insufficiencies of human anatomy. One cannot rotate the upper torso due to lack of the lower body helping on high fastballs.

High cheese is what it’s called!

In the discus movie about Ricky Bruch, we could follow him a lot in the gym. Heavy olympic lifts, not any negatives there. But, what stood out was his repeated use of heavy rotary torso with barbell! He really took that movement to it’s limits.

Btw, another interesting segment from the movie, was him using an Eleiko bench press device with air pressure, obviously maxing it out on “300” which could correspond to kg. Fun to watch.

Very Hard!!