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What weight training for a sprinter?

Hey guys. Can anyone give me advice as to what training to do for sprinting in addition to my work on the track? I’m a bit confused as to what advice to follow. Poliquin recommends you stay below 8 reps to access the higher threshold fibres, but King says training experience should be more important. Keeping that in mind, I’ve only been doing weights for about 4 months so I guess I’m a beginner. Should I just worry about hypetrophy then strength later or should I be worrying about hypertrophying only the higher threshold fibres so I don’t run with nonfunctional weight? At the moment I’m only about 150lbs (5’8’’), 6%bodyfat, and I want to get to around 160lbs-170lbs. Should I be looking just to get some weight (ie do something like GVT) since I’m a light bastard or should I do something like Ian King’s ‘white man can jump’, his limping series, or poliquin’s 1-6/maximal weights programmes. I have about 15 weeks before I get to college and really wanna impress the track coach. Any help would greatly be appreciated.

there are a couple of keys to focus on for sprinting. 1)acceleratiion 2)speed 3)endurance. endurance is not a problem on sub 1 min. sprints, but anything longer and you may want to address it. Anywho, spend 4 weeks in a hypertrophy phase, pyramiding reps down/ weights up. A traditional bodybuilding workout split of 3-days per week will be good for the weight room. remember though, your training for sprinting, not b/b, so sprints 3 times a week are neccessary. Weeks 5-12 should focus on heavier weights w/ compound movements only. Reps should be in the 5-7 range. focus on squats and stiff-legged deads. incorporate 1 day of hang-cleans and plyometrics(get a book on the subject). PLYOS ARE THE BEST EXPLOSIVE POWER BUILDER. And, don’t forget to continue w/ your sprints(3x/wk.)Weeks 12-15 should consist of one heavy(4-5sets/2-4 reps) upper day (incline bench, weighted pull-ups, barbell shoulder press), an explosive power day(hang cleans and plyo’s), and a heavy leg day (squats and stiff-legged deads). On the last 6 weeks really focus on fine tuning your sprinting. This is almost identical to how I am tarining for the BMX world championships in july. Good luck and let me know if you have any Q’s.

wut up? I run college track the 100 and 200, and if your inseason you need to work on a specific workout with base lifts at 85% one rep max at like 4 reps by like 4 sets or 3. Now if its a summer workout well im giving Ian Kings new workout a shot “White men can jump” in the summer a month after track season ends. So try that to, upper body wise you could use THE GVT workout, or one of Ian kings on the t-web. Good Luck, oh try androsol with Tribex-500 it works for adding muscle.

this could be wrong but i dont think that poliquin and king contradict eachother on their training ideas. you said Poliquin said uner 8 and king says that since your a begginer you can make strength gains using reps a little higher than what most would make strength gains on. I would bet that number would be 8 or less.
Bompa has some good thoughts you could by one of his books
other than that youll need some one more knowedgeable than me to reply

Since I assume that you are inseason right now, there is really nothing good that can come out of hypertrophy-type training. This is because that type of training will tend to produce too much soreness, which will inhibit technique and intensity of your sprinting. It also seriously interferes with your sprinting frequency. Also, I would avoid doing plyometric drills, since sprinting is, in essence, a plyometric drill, and is, obviously, more specific to sprinting then depth jumps or any other plyo drills. Plus, you are probably getting enough stress on your joints from the sprinting that you don’t need to put any extra stress by introducing any other drills.

I can’t believe none of you guys recommended charlie Francis’s books, like speed trap, etc.

I’m a sprinter at a large college university so i’ve done a substantial amount of reading about sprint training and talked with various coaches.
I wouldn’t pay too much attention to what poliquin said about sprinting because I recall he was talking more about elite level sprinters with 2-3 years of solid strength training behind them.
From what i’ve come to understand, a begining sprinter should aim in their offseason weight training to build enough functional muscle mass in the appropriate part of their body to become a good sprinter. Charlie francis talked a bit about this in his book training for speed, highlighting how there should be enough muscle mass so that the fold inbetween the glutues and hamstring isn’t necessary.
To reiterate, the initial part of a sprinters training should revolve around gaining functional muscle mass, so use reps in the 6-8 range, perhaps the 1-6 principal, or some sort of wave loading like 7-5-3 or 8-6-4.
I don’t think doing any of the routines on T-mag would be the wisest choice for a sprinter. Most of the programs are for bodybuilers and put too much emaphsis on upper body, or to put it an other way don’t concentrate enough on sprinting specific exercises (such as variations on the olympic pulls and hamstring development exercises).
You have 15 weeks to get in shape which is a long time. So you should go through at least 4 training cycles where you use a different workout each period (3-4 weeks for each period).
I would mainly concentrate on squatting and the olympic pulls, that is if you know any or can get anyone to teach you them.
I would try using ploymetrics during one cycle, such as jump squats, and then during one cycle I would use snatch grip deadlifts from a podium (they are explained in one months poetry in motion). Poliquin said they were an excellent preseason preprator exercise for sprinters. I tried them out and agree, helped me a lot with my starting power, was able to drive much much harder out of the blocks.

Also forgot to mention the importance of core abdominal strenght. I like the recommendations of charlie francis and paul check (see his article on functional abdominal training on www.chekinstitute.com). Francis emphasized medicine ball use.

i think the core stuff is over rated; Charlie Francis does advocate high reps in hundreds and up btw. I cannot see a reason why a westside approach wouldnt work. If your maximal strength levels are low (below a 1.5 -2Bw squat), work mostly on bringing up maximal strength. If your maximal strength is better than that, bring up your power (Westside covers both of these issues in their conjugated periodization setup btw); because there is a cut off point, where if you can produce tons of force (say to squat 600lbs) but can’t develop that force in a quick enough time, then all that extra strength goes down the toilet.

Thanks for the advice guys!
By the way here are my strength stats in the lifts: bodyweight: 66kg, power clean: 80kg, bench 100kg, full squat 120kg.
nothingx, I know Testosterone is mainly full of bodybuilding stuff, but have you tried the limping series? Did it help your sprinting much?
I took a closer look at the limping series, and past the first two hypertrophy phases, it’s mainly wave loading (5,4,3) and 1,5 stuff on the hammies which is what most of you guys you remcommded. Think it would be a good choice? And with the ‘choices’ King offers, ie those more interested in hypertrophy or explosive power, I know I want power but in ‘Train right for your type’ King says that training age overrides training goal, especially if you’re a beginner. So should I be doing say the deadlifts instead of the clean pull variations? I was thinking of doing his suggestion of doing cleans in Phase IV, or should I stick with the deadlifts since my hypetrophy/training age isn’t advance enough? Thanks again guys.

Somebody earlier said that endurance isn’t a concern on sprints less than 1 minute. I disagree. Looking at some of the best sprinters (Lewis, Johnson), many times they won not because they were the fastest, but because they slowed the least at the end. Not tying up at the end of a sprint can win many races. Any way, my recommendation is to use a basic full body routine, and add sled pulls for a distance longer than your race distance. Just my 2 cents worth.

The core stuff isn’t overrated…
A strong core is neccessary to squat, deadleft and do any of the olympic pulls with a large weight.
A west side approach might work, but it isn’t optimal, their training revoles around powerlifting, sprint training is different. you may be able to adapt some of their methods, but i don’t suggest a beginning sprinter jumping right into it.
I don’t think doing maximal strengh training is appropriate until you’ve developed sufficient muscle mass for sprinting in the legs and upper body. (assuming your not also long jumping or something else which requires low bodyweight)
I wouldn’t do ian kings limping series because its too much volume and too unspecialized to sprinting. I am assuming here you will be sprinting 2-3 times a week, maybe more.
I disagree with king that training age overrides training goals, that isn’t necessarily true…strength endurance is very important in sprinting, but why do sled pulls for a longer distance than you sprint for. anyways sled pulls and overspeed/underspeed devices are rarely used in an early sprinters career, i would avoid thjem.

nothingx, you sound like you know exactly what you are talking about. So what do you think about using Ian Kings “white men can jump” workout for a track athlete who already has the muscle mass. The workout would look like this: phase 1 for one week, phase 2 for 1 week, phase 3 & 4 for six weeks each. I’ll be doing sprints twice a week during the summer. What do you think?

i disagree with the second half of brider’s statement. The reason why Ben Johnson won at Seoul is because he had the best acceleration and the highest top speed of any of the runners.

Nothingx, the core stuff and its training aside (thats another argument). I cannot imagine why the WSB approach would not work with sprinting. If you read The Science and Practice of Strength Training, it relates many of those same concepts that WSB talks about to Olympic events. Why not go over to EliteFitnessSystems and “Ask Dave”, about how to alter it. Finally, i cannot imagine why you say you need significant muscle mass before developing maximal strength. Sprinting is a sport in which the athlete utilyzes relative strength and absolute strength. Thus, keeping all things equal (like strength) EXEPT weight, the lighter athlete would win. Myofibular hypertrophy is an effective means to gain strength (particularly in the first few years), but programs like GVT and limping and others, often utilyze more of sarcoplasmic hypertrophy, which is dead weight for a sprinter.

say dman, what do you think of Ian Kings “white men can jump” workout for a sprinter who already has enough muscle mass, of course I will alter the workout to minimize the hypertrophy phases and spend more time in the neural phases. I run the 200, and 400. See, my track coach never gives us legit workouts for off-season and pre-season. So far I have been doing t-mag workouts through out my college career, Im a junior now, my times have barely gotten better and I blame it to my strength workouts. So what do you think and How do you think I should go about with each individaul phase?

Correct me if I’m wrong, but don’t phase III and IV of the limping series create functional (myofiliar) hypertrophy for a sprinter? Ie, squats and deadlifts 1,5,1,5 and in the last phase wave loading, 5,4,3,5,4,3?
And wouldn’t the explosive (there’s some plyometrics in there) stuff help sprinting a lot? There’s lotsa straight leg deadlifts and hammy stuff in there. Sorry if i’m repeating myself, I’m just a bit confused because there seems to be a lot of strenght/hammy stuff in there but you guys don’t recommend it? Maybe a sample workout and your 100m times would help? At the moment I’m 18 (I’m from Sydney by the way, and run 10.98 for the 100m It’s my first year training so my endurance isn’t too good…

I honestly think you probably need to work on bringing up your power. Get The Science and Practice of Strength Training for more info… Serriously consider the dynamic stuff presented by WSB (do a search on periodization). go over to EliteFitnessSystems (make that into a URL) and goto the “ask dave” section. He said today he and Louie Simmons are already working on several guides to WSB for different sports like football. Go ask him a question, tell him your stats, ask if he thinks you should improve starting speed, rate of force production, or whatever, and ask for any advice you could do for your sprint training. By the way, also check out deepsquatter, they have a new article entitled “Eccentric and Concentric Training” by Louie Simmons, here is a quote from it, “Charlie Francis used a contrast method for sprinters: heavy weight lifting in the morning and sprinting In the afternoon”

Despite the recent attention core strength is still underated. It is the key to physical performance. Take a look at the torso movement of a world class sprinter like Marion or Michael. The initial power may be generated by the legs but the core muscles are what allow the power to be transfered into motion. Lots of medicine ball work and rotational throws are of great benefit amd so are plyos. Make sure sombody teaches you them correctly and use proper progression. And rember, Train slow, be slow.

Oh yeah and Nothingx. YTou got it right bro.
I agree completely.