T Nation

Legs

Hey all,

I have read this forum for a long time, and have also posted a few times (very few),

I have a few questions for the experts, first of all I have been working out for around 3 years off and on with sports,

I flat bench 200 lbs, curl 110 lbs, and weigh 151 lbs, i have been reluctant to do squats due to growth spurts (18 years old), my legs, and calf’s were extremely tight and i had achillis tendonitis which was painful to say the least, and i feared a rupture, but now they seem to have loosened up over time,

one question is, i have heard that your upper body will plateau without working the legs due to testosterone releases,

another question, my weight is basically all upper body, my legs are small but explosive, i run the 100m in about 10.5s (unofficial timing) would squatting slow me down or speed me up, and what can i do to build mass on my legs but not slow down?

any help is greatly appreciated , thank you

-Andrew

I’m not an expert but I did spend 8 years training and coaching high school and college sprinters, everything from the 50 to the 400.
The biggest weakness I always found, that translated to unrealized speed potential, was weak hamstrings on sprinters. The imbalance found between their calf/quad strength and that of their hamstrings was due to improper emphasis on whole leg training…too much damn leg press emphasis.
Romanian deads, speed squats, glute-ham raises and extensive hill work were the foundations of my sprinters off season training. They kept their rep ranges around 5 per set and worked on their flexibility everyday after practice to avoid tightness related to getting bigger.
There is a great article in T-Mag 134 by Charlie Francis about this and other sprinter related training information.
I would also look into his website. Go to the library or bookstore and get yourself a copy of ‘Explosive Lifting for Sports’ by Harvey Newton and ‘High Performance Training for Track and Field’ by the late great Bill Bowerman.

10.5 100m at 18 with no lower-body strength training? Wow, you’re a world class athlete.

Do Olympic-level sprinters (by definition the best in the world) squat?

Yes, they do.

Squatting will only increase your speed, that is if you squat correctly. Blow up your posterior chain and you will get bigger, stronger, and faster. Is track the only sport you are involved in?