T Nation

How Much?

Yes, I have looked through the site. My problem is I am doing the 400 meters for the track. I felt I needed to get bigger to be faster but my coach feels I am a good build for the 400. My question is should I start on weights to increase my speed? and if so what can I do without effecting my 400 time in a bad way?

He says I have “good natural power and a pair of lungs like a bin liner”. I am 5"8 and about 140.

Squats, Lunges, Deadlifts

[quote]Welsh Warrior wrote:
Yes, I have looked through the site. My problem is I am doing the 400 meters for the track. I felt I needed to get bigger to be faster but my coach feels I am a good build for the 400. My question is should I start on weights to increase my speed? and if so what can I do without effecting my 400 time in a bad way?

He says I have “good natural power and a pair of lungs like a bin liner”. I am 5"8 and about 140.[/quote]

Yes, start on weights. If your coach believes that increasing your strength/muscle mass through the practice of resistance training will slow you down, then he/she is still living in the stone age.

An increase in strength and muscle mass will almost certainly lead to improved times in the 400 meters (provided of course that you keep up your conditioning and actually practice running the 400 meters).

I agree with newb’s recommendations. Also adding in some variation of the olympic lifts (perhaps power cleans and power snatches) would also help you in developing explosiveness and posterior chain strength.

Good luck and good training.

Sentoguy

The 400 is a sprint, not distance. You need to be strong to run the 400. The stronger your legs are the better your times will be. I agree with what everyone else has said. What are your times right now?

He didn’t seem to enthusiastic for me to hit the weights. I know I should start on the weights but I really don’t know how much is enough or too much etc. I have recently turned 16 and I ran 56.4 last Thursday, although I know I can go a lot quicker than that. I am going to be training at the track twice a week. Doing 250’s and the other day work for the 100.

Can anybody link me towards a programme that would suit my needs?

Would I be ok using Chad Waterbury’s total body training programme?

I wouldn’t go off of one of the writers templates. unless you find an article for sprinting maybe.
You need to place most emphasis on the posterior chain and explosivness. take these guys advise, olympic lifts and some speed pulls.
If your only goal is speed, do you really need a bigger bench?

This DVD won’t give you an exact workout, but it is a great resource.

store.speedtrainingstore.com/sttrforsp.html

I am taking in what you all are saying about the posterior chain and the olympic lifts. Although I am not to sure how to implent them into a programme, I don’t lift at all currently.

I think I will purchase that DVD when I have some money. Thanks for the link.

Okay, first things first, don’t listen to any of the replies thus far, these people are not sprinters.

Having said that, like all sprints, the deciding factor in the 400M is top speed. Unlike the shorter sprints however, the acceleration component of the 400M is limited. In the 100M you need a good start to win, but in the 400M it’s all top speed and special endurance, the contribution of the start is negligable.

Since the 400M is such a long race, being light is where it’s at. Jeremy Wariner, the world’s fastest 400M man, is 6’ tall and weighs 150 lbs. Everyone on this site would tell him to bulk immediately, but he’s built for his sport and that’s what matters. As a 400M man yourself, your focus should be on top speed (fly 30s) as well as special endurance (15-45 second runs).

As far as weights go, stick to the very basics. Squat and GHR relatively heavy, but keep the reps on the lower end. Also, remember that weights are secondary, so don’t wear yourself out in the weight room. Lift heavy, but leave plenty in the tank.

The weight room can make you a hell of a 60M sprinter, but it won’t make you a great 400M sprinter. Don’t focus on getting stronger, that will happen on it’s own, focus on getting faster.

Let me know if you have any more questions.

You sound a lot more like my coach haha. I am just starting to train for the 400 now, One session I will be doing repetitions of 250 meters and the other session I will be working with the long jumpers/sprinters (Thats what my coach does) to work on top-end speed.

My question is how much and what exactly should I do in the weight room? I am going to sell myself short here and say at the moment I am running 12.5 in the 100 and 56.4 in the 400. Thanks for your help.

RJ24 is right … don’t blindly accept what others here are throwing at you.

Make no mistake, training with weights makes you stronger AND can make you faster, but it is possible to train with weights in a way that makes you slower for the 400. You must train in a way that will specifically enhance your running.

Unfortunately I don’t have anything specific to point you at, but again warn you not to blindly leap into just anything.

Don’t assume more muscle mass will make you slower, but don’t assume it will make you faster for a specific distance.

You are young and quite light, so you have room to put on some good pounds.

Find out what your weakness is, and train that.

[quote]Magarhe wrote:

Make no mistake, training with weights makes you stronger AND can make you faster, but it is possible to train with weights in a way that makes you slower for the 400. You must train in a way that will specifically enhance your running.

[/quote]

That is exactly what I was trying to say. Hopefully someone can tell me the correct way to train. I have trouble understanding what do to when someone just tells me to do “Squats” or “Lunges”.

[quote]Welsh Warrior wrote:
You sound a lot more like my coach haha. I am just starting to train for the 400 now, One session I will be doing repetitions of 250 meters and the other session I will be working with the long jumpers/sprinters (Thats what my coach does) to work on top-end speed.

My question is how much and what exactly should I do in the weight room? I am going to sell myself short here and say at the moment I am running 12.5 in the 100 and 56.4 in the 400. Thanks for your help.[/quote]

Well WW, I wish you the best of luck if your coach thinks repeat 250s are speed work. Speed work usually doesn’t last longer than 60M if accel is included or 30M with a fly in zone. What you’re doing is special endurance, not even that if you’re not getting full recovery.

Your 100M time suggests to me that you do need a lot of top speed work. Try to talk to your coach about doing some shorter distances with longer rests, it’ll help.

As for the weightroom, you can never get too strong, but you can get too big. I would do maybe four lifts. A squat of some kind, a p-chain move of some kind, and press of some kind, and a pull of some kind. Do 3-5 sets of 3-5 reps twice a week and never go anywhere near failure. As I warned before, remember that weights are supplemental and they should be taking very little away from your track work.

And make sure to get plenty of sleep. Trust me, it helps.

400m is an event that you will see people train for many differeny ways. On one hand you have a guy like Butch Reynolds who has trained with Louie Simmons and who I believe is a big advocate of lifting.

On the other hand you have other coaches who hardly utilize weights and are very successful.

I mean, look at Cylde Hart, maybe the best American sprint coach out there for 400m and he hardly does any lifting or even hardly any speed work, it’s almost all tempo. You can’t argue with his results- Michael Johnson and Jeremy Wariner among others.

Some info on Hart’s methods:
www.elitetrack.com/articles/clydehart.pdf
www.elitetrack.com/main/component/option,
com_smf/Itemid,94/topic,2071.0

Hart’s athletes are nice jtrinsey, but none of them ever ran a 12.5 in the 100M. Hart’s system probably won’t do much unless you have a blistering top speed. Then again, it all depends on how fast you want to go.

WW appears to have enough speed to run the 400M 1.5-2 seconds faster than he is currently doing. Getting in shape will allow those seconds to be trimmed. Beyond that and he’ll have to get faster.

I am doing a top speed session also, Im sure I said that. Recently my 100 time has been near 11.9, but I don’t think so at the moment. I know my other session is speed endurance (8 minute recoveries btw).

so I will do 4 sessions a week 1 top speed session, 1 speed endurance session and 2 weight sessions which include 3-5 sets of 3-5 reps of things like Squats, deadlifts and olympic lifts.

No OLY lifts are needed. All speed and power things should be taken care of on the track. Also, doing a squat and a DL in the same session might be hard on you. Pick a less strssful P-Chain exercise.