How to Make 40 Yard Dash Faster in 3 Months?

Hello! I am 270lbs have been trying to get my 40 time down from a 5.08 to 4.65 (my original) time. The last time I ran this fast was in high school and now it’s been ten years since. How can I get it back down to my original speed? Thanks in advance

By getting on a decent program with hills, tempo runs, etc.

Just consistent, intelligent programming.


weighing less than 270lbs would probably help


Ya, this should be your priority. How tall are you?

While this was basically my first thought as well (more generally “lose excess weight”), I think we need a little more context from OP. Are you trying to do this just for jollies and self-satisfaction, or are you doing it for a larger goal (i.e. trying out for semi-pro football team?)

I’m 6’0

Yes imaam doing it because I have a CFL tryouts and AFL-CIO tryout coming up.

So you’re 6’ tall, 270 pounds, running a 5.1-ish 40-yard dash.

What position are you hoping to get noticed for? Nose guard, I am guessing? Either that or you’re a former LB/FB that has overgrown your position a little bit? Obviously this matters. If you think you’re going to play on the defensive line, it will not do much good for you to show up weighing 250 (even if that nudges your 40 from 5.1 back down into 4.9 or 4.8 range). If you’re hoping to catch on as a linebacker or a fullback, then you might be better suited showing up around 245-255 with a faster 40. To be honest, I think the kind of training you’ve been doing recently matters, too; are you still in pretty good shape? Have you been lifting or sprinting at all?

Regardless, the training you should do at this point seems pretty obvious. Get onto any good football lifting program, add some sled drags / hill sprints / etc, do some work on your vertical leap as well (that’s usually tested, too; even if you’re a lineman, a good vertical is a sign of all around athleticism), same goes for your broad jump…the only thing I’m not sure of is whether you should ALSO prioritize fat loss (if you’re expecting to play LB and need to show up more like 250 pounds running a 4.7-ish 40) or just get as strong and fast as possible (if you’re expecting to play DL, you probably need to keep your current bodyweight).

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I was told to go out for linebacker and to lose weight as well! Do you know if I can get back down to a 4.7 by April?

Apologies for my earlier comment, I went off half-cocked thinking you were just some fat guy trying to get in shape.

I’ll duck out of this thread because I don’t know how to do what you’re trying to do, but I wish you the best of luck in achieving it!

Only way to know for sure is if you try.

There are a lot of variables in play here:

  • just how deconditioned are you vs. your peak? Have you been training at all recently? If so, what have you been doing?

  • how is your technique? Combine-preparation coaches often spend entire days teaching the athletes how to run the 40. People have figured out that stuff which has little to do with on-field playing speed can make a pretty big impact on running the 40.

  • how much excess weight are you carrying? i.e. are you a borderline-ripped 270 and looking like an NFL linebacker, or are you 240 pounds of muscle that has ballooned up over the years?

  • what are you planning to do for training and diet? How much time and effort can you devote to this?

Besides the 40, what else are you going to be tested in? Vertical leap? Bench press? Three cone drill? Do you know? Again, it’s kind of important to know the entire range of things you’ll be tested in…

Ok so i have Been working out more in the gym than on the field so I’m 270lbs with 18% body fat

I have done sled training, I can squat 600lbs, I have done box jumps, I have done Glute and hamstring exercises. Only thing I haven’t been doing is sprinting on a consistent basis which I have started yesterday and have committed to it. I am also doing the broad jumps, vertical, and short shuttle. I love tpositivity learn technique for whatever I’m doing on field ready hungry to learn more. The position I have always played was defensive end but one of the coaches from the AFL told me drop weight and he will teach me the technique to play at linebacker. I have ample amount of time to train for the upcoming tryout and I always do 100% effort or more. And diet I eat very healthy about 85% of the time.

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Definitely try to drop a good 10lbs see how you feel…also look into trainer nick curson…works with multiple ufc fighters, olympic athletes on speed, agility training

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I don’t know much about American football, but I think losing 10-15 pounds will make all the difference.

I would do 2-3 running sessions a week.

  1. Shorter sprints (15-30 yards)
  2. Longer sprints (80-100 yards)
  3. and maybe a day of some hill sprints or sled pushing/dragging.

You are going to have to be smart with programming squats and deadlifts. I would keep weightlifting short and sharp and explosive and not much more than 70%. You should be walking out of the gym feeling fresh, not tired and busted.

Practicing a-skips, b-skips and arm motion practice in your warm-ups would be a good idea.


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I HIGHLY recommend you study Louie Simmons’ thoughts on improving running speed…he doesn’t have any of his athletes run. I went to an NFL combine as an Outside Linebacker, and blew my groin out in the short shuttle, just before the 40 yd. test. Major letdown. At that time, I was running a 4.7 @ 269.2 lbs. My bench was 225 for 32 reps, and my vertical was measured at 35", down from 37" 2 months prior. I went through an intense training regimen to prepare for the combine, with specific programming. If you shoot me your email, I can give you what i used, not saying it will produce the same results, but we seem to be similar in stature. When I started the program, I was three months out, weighing about 288 with 21% BF. If I knew than what I know now, there would be a few things that i would have done differently in order to improve my running times. I did ALOT of sprinting, and that wasn’t a great idea IMO

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yeah I wasn’t doing any running whatsoever until Wednesday of last week. I literally just started running Wednesday of last week. So I want to see how quickly I can get my 40 time down before this next tryout.

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Hey comrade,
could you tell me about your results and your experiences?
there’s been a while since you posted this thread , hope you have done well!

Hi yes my 40 time went from a 5.08 to a 4.58 after much training of doing plyometrics and lunges with weights and form running. Thank you for checking on me!


Thanks forthe rapid answer,
you have got some astonishing results,…could you post your actual sprinting training routine to get there?

I hope I could learn something from it.

By the way, if you have pictures or documents and you don’t feel like typing it here, I am willing to give you my email address.

Be strong, comrade!

Never done it myself, but I’ve read a little about it, there are programs you can follow, but basically the key is it isn’t acually cardio. Closer to a max lift.

That is you train it, when fresh, with an extended warm up, long recoveries and sprinting near max speed. 40 yard is mostly acceleration so focus on short sprints mostly acceleration. It’s mostly neural so you have to take your nueral recovery into account. Also connective tissue etc too, it’s demanding, listen to your body and build slowly.

Losing any fat you carry would also help :wink: