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Track & Field Program Help


Hey guys this is my first post, I have recently decided to run track and field this year, I ran 11.07 and 22.47. I am a small white kid (140 pounds) and my coach refuses to let me do weights. I am going into university next year and I need to get faster. Can somebody give me a good work out program just for weights (I have a full running program already)
Thank you


First off tell your coach to go blow himself as this is the same problem I see working at highschool speed camps across my state. Its the same response everywhere, "love the conditioning drills, but well focus on the track and stay out of the weight room so the kids dont tighten up and get hurt." A good example of this is Tyson Gay. He was one of the best 200m runners because his top end speed and his ability to run the curve as best as anyone has seen. He since tested the waters on the 100m race and he would usually come back later in the race to win. But ever since he started to train with squat more seriously he stepped his game up to another level. The result? the American record, unofficially a 9.67, the fastest time ever recorded regardless of wind factor. Im not here to argue that sprinting is nothing more than stride length x stride frequency but adding in some lifting is going to develop strength and power in those type 2 fibers sprinters look to activate.

assuming you have a full running program you need to add in lifting, weighted running and plyometrics.

The lifts I see give sprinters the greatest results are:

Front squats, Squat complexes (e.g. heavy squat followed by box jumps) and hundreds of varieted single leg squats.
Basic start is:

Monday: 3 sets of 10 for all unless noted
hang clean 5x3 explosively
Single Arm Dumbell Bench Press
One Arm Rows
Front Squat 5x6
Leg Extensions (light weight, for patella tracking purposes only)
Leg Curls or Romanian Deadlifts
Lat Pull Downs or Seated Rows
Elevated Split Squat Lunges with DB
Single leg Squats (no weight)
Back Hyperextensions
Triceps work 1-2 exercises
Bicep Curls 1-2 exercises
Pull Ups
Plank holds (1-leg elevated at a time if possible 30sec holds)

Thursday 3x10 unless otherwise noted
Cleans 5x5
Push Press 5x4
Incline Dumbbell Press
Bench Steps ups with dumbbells
Leg Extensions (light weight, for patella tracking purposes only)
Single leg Deadlift with DB
Cable Crossovers
Seated Pulls
Lat Pull Downs (Back)
Bicep work 2-3 styles
Triceps work 3-4 styles
Abdominal work
Try using a medicine ball and performing mason twists 25x, woodchoppers 25x, standing twists 25x for 2 rounds

Make sure to take off a day between lifting and dont do a massive lift the day of your running program or before a competition. The sprint program comes first and the strength here is just an additional concern so take your running and form as a priority and as you add in the lifting you should notice an increase in performance. If you have a coach that can cue you while lifting or correct poor form that would be ideal.

after a few weeks and a decent base in strength plyometics, olympic lifts, complexes and weighted sled tows begin to really change the game.


Thank you very much, this is just what I was looking for. I noticed you only had front squats in there, is there a reason, are normal squats not as effective for sprinting?


All due respect to MSOB, but the "program" he suggested is completely fucking retarded and has no apparent rhyme or reason.

Sprinter, check out some articles by Dan John. He's a coach who work with a ton of track and field athletes.


Either of the above plans would be a much better and more logical place to start. Also, don't forget to clean up your nutrition if you're going to start training like an athlete.

I like this article for some solid tips:


It is pointless giving you proper advice unless we can see your running program first. Remember that you want the track work and weight work to co-exist peacefully and not completely exhaust you. Some very GENERAL advice without seeing your running program would be:

  1. Do your weight work on the same day as your maximum speed sprinting and make sure you do it after your runs and not before.

  2. When training the hamstrings for a sprinter, avoid any form of knee flexion exercise like the plague (Leg curls and glute ham raises). Instead focus on hip extension exercises such as hyperextensions, RDLs, reverse hypers and goodmornings. Leg curls and GHRs are causing an epidemic of hamstring pulls ... AVOID THEM!

  3. An upper/lower body split might work well. Do the lower body stuff on your speed days and the upper body stuff on your easy days. E.g 2 lower body sessions & 2 upper body sessions. Also don't get too carried away with the upper body stuff, do bench press and chin ups and leave it at that.


first off, why did you post you're white?? i'm curious on that one..

if your current coach is against weights,and you're off to college next year, contact that colleges track and field coach where you will be attending, tell him your goal, that you will be running for him and need a program made out for you.
coming on a forum like this where most people lift to get bigger, and are not into sports specific training, you'll get some off the wall replies..

as a former 4:03 miler, i dont know it all, but do know a bit about running, and IMO, your best bet is to contact the coach of your future college and have him put you on a training schedule....


Well chris that program comes from one of the most respected usa track and field coaches, makes perfect sense to anyone with a degree in the related field and is designed for sprinters. I dont know where your core exercise experience with athletes lies, if you even have any, but mine happens to fall into this field so until you have some experience with sprinters and not with just reading tnation articles let me know.To answer your question on front squats its a better range of motion exercise to avoid hip tightness and allows you to activate more core musculature. it was just a basic 1-3 week program. after that basic core foundation was established it would ramp up and revolve around your sprinting program. Without that any suggestions are hard.


I have no "core" experience with training sprinters, but I'd also question any program that has as many sets of arms as it does sets for the PC.

The one day has 46 sets (I didn't bother to count the other day). Do you honestly expect someone to do this as a supplement to track work?


We really need to know what you are doing running wise. Not knowing this I can layout a general format:

Block 1:
Power cleans 12x2 rest 30-45sec
Back squats 3x10
Bench press 3x10
Rows 3x10
Rev hypers 3x10

Deadlift 4x5
Split squat 3x10
Weighted pullups 3x8-10
Hypers 3x10

Power cleans 8x3 rest 45-60sec
Front squats 3x10
Incline 3x10
Rows 3x10
Rdl 3x10


Lets see it depends on your track workouts and if you are preseason, indoor or outdoor...

Preseason we lifted 3x / week in college... MWF and we did our 'hard track w/o MWF as well. T/R we hardly did anything bc of NCAA hours nad it was recovery.

M would be an 'over distance w/o' for sprinters so (as a short sprinter) most likely 300/400 type stuff. Mon lift following practice would be 'quad dominant'. Hang/Power Cleans, Back Sq, Lunge (of some sort), Calf raise (for fluff) and Core work

T easy track work out more or less just a 'shake out' / striders or in/outs (stride, jog, stride jog) No lift.

W 'hard track w/o' 'underdistance' so for a short sprinter between 50m - 150 m. "hamstring dominant lift" DL variations, RDL variations, leg curls (w a part or w a ball never a fricken machine), glute ham raises, Core work.

Thurs easy track work out... same as tues... no lift.

Friday.... the dreaded hills 6-12 x 30-50 m hills. walk down = rest. "upper body dominant lift" Bench, Push Press / Shoulder Press, Curls / Tri (for fluff), Push up variations, Row variations, Pull downs/Pull ups. Core work...

And that is just for preseason... I am not sure if you are going to school in the states or not... but if you are there are NCAA rules to how many hrs a week you can have practice... during preseason (first day of classes til like 2 weeks before first indoor meet) its only like 8 hrs a week... so no offense to these other dudes that posted but u cant have a lift session with 15 different exercises for 4 sets of 10 reps... we got about 2 hrs to run and lift a day.

During season things change and you have more time... during most of indoor at my school sprinters still lifted 3x a week... towards the end for conferences etc we cut it down til 2... brought it back up to 3x for the first few weeks of outdoor.... but once outdoor gets rolling if you can lift 2x a week with out risking being sore for a meet you're lucky.

Hope this helps a little. If you'd like to chat more about college track and field let me know... I've been there done that... injured most of my career but I still think I can help. and I am a white female sprinter/hurdler/jumper :slightly_smiling:

Best! Good luck!


You state that you were injured most of the time. What were your injuries out of interest?


Healthy frosh year, ham string strains throughout soph year, sprained ankle for a month soph year, herniated disc 2nd half of junior year til current

the only thing that really interupted my training was my back... had to stop back squating period, and i only hang clean and front sq light weight now


I would suspect that it was the glute ham raises & leg curls from your wednesday hamstring dominant day that caused you your hamstring trouble. What ever it is, I have found that knee flexion exercises and sprinters don't mix. I cut them out 2 years ago and have never had a ham strain since. Every sprinter I know who does GHRs has bad hamstring trouble, yet I always get the same response when I tell them to cut them out: "What? they're supposed to bulletproof your hamstrings".
Sorry to hear about your back. Have you tried reverse hypers for a few months?


Not sure how I hurt my hamstring, I would think that usuakky muscle strains in track athletes come during a hard workout or competition (not warming up properly or just a weird stride taken) If you know a lot of track athletes, you know that we'll throw on a leg sleeve if we feel a 'twing' or something in stead of taking it easy or taking off. So a slight twing or whatever turns into a full blown strain bc the athlete will keep training. just my thoughts

Yes. Reverse hypers were part of the 'post chain' lift in college, but they seemed to bother my back more then help. If I do any sort of reverse hypers or GHR work I usually just do holds and not the FROM


Yes that is usually how the hamstring gets injured. Just to clarify, when I say that GHRs are responsible I mean that the athlete will pull their hamstring on the track as a result of including knee flexion exercises in their program and not while actually performing the GHR/leg curl. It's just what I see and have experienced myself several times.