Very Undersized Shotputter

I didn’t know where to put this so it’s going here

I really fucking hate running, and I’m a distance runner for the track team, so I’m trying to switch over to throwing because despite my 146 pound frame, I’m still better than the other throwers on the team. I’ve thrown 35’2.5” from standing and am working to develop a glide. I’m looking for advice on how to improve. I currently lift regularly, powerlifting style and my numbers are 205 bench, 315 squat, 355 deadlift

How to improve what? Your throwing or your lifting?

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The shot put is more speed and form than pure strength. But when everyone has the technique down, it is all speed, power and size. I would talk to your track coach about a work out. Your lifting will be all about explosive power. A more typical standing put while practicing is over 40’ in high school. How old are you? Still growing? 35 ft is great for a runner, but the big guys throw it a lot farther. The fact that you don’t know how far you can throw, says you do have a lot of room to improve. But if you are almost as big as you are going to get. Have you considered the decathlon?

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Power Output

Some of the greatest Power Outputs measured is with Olympic Lifters.

Shot Putter display Power Output that rivals Olympic Lifters.

The Shot Putt is all about Power, more so that Speed.

However, Speed is a component of Power: Power = Strength X Speed

The Foundation of Power

Strength is the foundation on which Power and Speed are build.

Initially, increasing Limit Strength is the most effective method of increasing Power and Speed.

Stronger muscles are able to display more force production.

However, combining Power Movements with Limit Strength Movements will increase Power Output; which leads to greater distance on Shot Throws.

Track Coaches Are Clueless About Strength Training

Track, Football, Basketball, Baseball, etc Coaches are knowledgeable about their sport.

However, they are clueless when it come to Strength Training for Sports.

Consulting a Track Coach about Strength Training for the Shot Putt would amount to having your Basketball Coach provide coaching on how to throw the Shot.

Kenny Croxdale

Are there weight classes in shot put?

Sure shot putters, they know nothing about strength training for the shot put. Best to get your advice from bodybuilders. (sarcasm)

Ok to be fair power lifters. But truthfully you guys know shit about the shot put and a track coach does have resources for his throwers. Hell he might even have been one.

So as I do not come across as an asshole, here is what a workout by a world class shot putter looks like. The man you are looking at is over 300lbs. And he moves like a gazelle.


Bodybuilders and Track Coaches have virtually the same knowledge base in regard to increasing Strength and Power for the Shot.

Track, Football, Baseball, Basket, etc Coach are knowledgeable in their area.

Unfortunately, they are required to perform double duty as the Strength Coach, as well.
These coaches have an limited knowledge of Strength Training.

That is the reason that Universities and Colleges have designed Strength Coaches. With in the Strength Coach, there are Specialty Strength Coaches, just as there are Sprint, Distance, Shot, etc Coaches in Track.

Shit About The Shot Put

I am not a Shot Put Coach. I never said I was.

Teaching the Shot is the job of a Track Coach; one that hopefully has some experience.

My area or knowledge and practical experience is in increasing Limit Strength (1 Repetition Max), Power and Speed with Resistance Training Programs. My credentials are listed on this site and online.

Track Coaches Resources

Their best source is a Certified Strength Coach.

Part my job involves dealing with High Track, Football, Basketball, Baseball, etc Coaches.

Overall, they are clueless individual with over inflated egos. They end up writing program that aren’t going to optimize their athletes true Limit Strength, Power and Speed development.

The good new is that novice lifter with little experience have a fairly positive respond; they will have some increase in Limit Strength, Power and Speed.

Being One

Most coaches have “Played The Game”. If you coach threw the Shot and you throw the Shot, that works out.

However, what end up happening the Track Coach also has to coach events that he “Never Played”, such as Pole Vaulting, Distance Running, Hurdles, etc.,

Thus, it isn’t likely that you going to end up with a coach that specialized in your area.

It is even less likely that the Track Coach will have the same knowledge and skill of a dedicated Strength Coach.

This brings us to the question of

Verne exactly what is your educational and practical experience in the area of Strength Training?

Kenny Croxdale

Ummm…you guys…he’s a long distance runner…that’ll totally kill any gains…you just can’t switch and expect results quickly. Totally different muscles…IMHO

Dan John has loads of good stuff on throwing, this below one of his main concepts for boosting strength…

Ideally get a copy of Never Let go or From the Ground Up(free on his site!)

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Small college football player (outside linebacker) and yes the shot put in track. Our strength program come out of USC which we were only 10 miles away from. We had guys on our track team who made the Olympics, it was a serious program. While I was the strongest thrower on the track team. I was never close to best. Im sure you are a far better strength coach, but the weight room is not the most impotent part of being a great shot putter. And yes the track coach, for the throwers, if he is any good knows the best workout

Makes sense.

Agreed, increasing Strength and Power elevate a Throwers ability.

However, Technique and other qualities are more important.

As Dr. Tom McLaughlin (PhD in Sports Biomechanics) stated, “Technique is everything.”

Kenny Croxdale


while I think this is a pretty good discussion in general, I’m not sure how much we’re really helping the OP directly. It would certainly help us if he would answer pertinent questions like what his age is, and how important this is to him. There’s really no need to get into the weeds so much if his goal is really just to make his high school team and stay on it/avoid running, right? And it sounds like that might be the case here.

I also think gaining weight should be a huge priority here, assuming that he’s not doing anything that requires maintaining a lower bodyweight (he has not indicated anything to that end).

I would say gain weight just like flip said and concentrated on some the main lifts, squats, dead, power clean, bench.

I was never an amazing thrower in high school I threw like 59 or something in a meet in high school, but I found that close grip incline bench had some pretty good carryover. As far as specific exercises.

If you have a coach who can teach you proper shot mechanics, like a solid left block, staying closed during your glide etc… can also really help.

Finally my most advance suggestion. Switching to rotational instead on linear could be helpful if you can find someone to teach you, the best gliders in high school get 5 or 6 feet more than their standing throw, and thats with perfect technique versus a less powerful thrower who has a good rotational technique can get like 10 to 12. This really only matters if you can have someone teach you, near impossible to learn on your own.