A question about the 40 Yard Dash...

Is it a proven fact that it’s impossible to break 4 seconds in the 40???.

no it is not

dont know, but on the the homepage(www.charliefrancis.com) he says 3.7s for 40

By definition you can never prove that anything is impossible. You can only prove something IS possible.

Having said that, a sprinter that runs 40y in 3.99s FAT should be able to cover the 100m in about 9.2s FAT. You can judge for yourself how probable something like that is.


I ran 4.34 last week from a standing start

Well, there is no world class sprinter on earth running 9.2’s for the 100m. So that puts a sub 4sec 40 into perspective. As for 3.7’s, if you have a jet towing you that could be a possibility.

I heard Mo Greene ran a 3.9. That time doesn’t come from a reliable source, so I take it with a pinch of salt.

Does anyone know how quickly Tim Montgomery got to 40yrds with his WR in Paris???.. I don’t think its a legit time, he ran with a +2 tailwind, I mean we could all shave tenths off our times with a gale at our backs…

TM’s leg frequency in Paris at the time of his WR was a scary, scary thing to witness.

Chris, Would that time have been better if you had started from the blocks, or do you get better times from the standing start time???

What you weighing???..

guys are we forgetting that the football 40 is from first movement NOT the gun

Every time I hear someone talking about a 40yd time I take it as a joke. Add a quarter of a second because it’s timed at first movement or first step and then add another quarter of a second due to dubious timing to get the real time. All these 4.0 40 footballers aren’t doing more then mid 4’s, more probably high 4’s.

my thoughts exactly!

Ben Johnson ran 3.7

40yards come on lets talk in metres.40yards=35.5metres(i think)

do what has been done to the 100yards,dump it

So why wasn’t he running 9.2’s for the 100m???..

Charlie mentioned he was timed by football scouts for the 40. This means from first movement and hand-timed.

The truth is that most forty times are about .15-.2 seconds off their true times (not two quarters like ALN proposes). This is affected by the reaction time of the timer. This time will be quicker than a sprinter in his blocks due to the auido/visual discrepencies, and a starter is using his finger.

I was an athlete who was always timed at 4.3-4.4 hand held in high school. I was a walk-on at UF in the early 90’s, and there I was a low 4.5 to high 4.4 guy. But, at Florida, they said “Go!”. So, you lose you advantage. That is why Fred Taylor and Jevon Kearse were vaulted post private workouts. At Florida, they had similar speeds to me, but at their privates, they both were low 4.4 guys. After a number of years, I was e-timed as a 4.49 in the 40… that was coming off of a summer soccer season… once again, the coaches had me in the 4.3’s.

Football players will never be able to compete with sprinters in terms of a one-time burst. They train to repeat maximal linear and sideways speeds for short bursts of 4-7 seconds with small rest periods. Most NFL teams do this 65-85 times per game over 3 hours.

Furthermore, few football players have great Max Speed mechanics, because they don’t work at it. Max Speed, like catching a ball, reacting and tackling another elite athlete, or stalk blocking is a skill that must be perfected.

Finally, football players carry extra muscle mass due to the nature of their sport. While Ben was a beautiful physical specimin compared to other T & F athletes, on the football field he would be a very small wide receiver at 5’11" and 185 pounds… stunningly fast, but small. As Charlie very correctly points out a number of times in his book, this extra size impedes maximum speed and acceleration. Couple that with the fact that a substantial amount of this size is due to gains in sarcoplasm (non-functional) because of the training styles of many collegiate strength coaches, and it is easy to see why football players are relatively slow when compared to elite track athletes.

I do believe that a hand held sub 4.0 second forty is possible. At Florida, we had a couple guys run 4.28 in the Spring of '91. One guy’s name was Tre Everett (so you don’t think I am making this up). Remember, at UF under Spurrier the timers said “Go!”. So Tre probably ran about a 4.1 or so…but, he was wickedly fast.

Just my .02

Coach H

I was assuming 3.99s FAT and starting with the gun. Maurice Greene would have gone through in about 4.39s in Athens (99) and ca. 4.34s in Edmonton.

Even if you use first momevent, a time close to 4.00s FAT would thus be hardly achievable for the world’s fastest sprinters.

If you hand-time from first movement you can basically get any result. I have seen timings being half a second off even in proper, hand-timed competitions.

40 yards are 36.58m, by the way.


Charlie has stated on several occasions that Johnson’s 3.7, done by NFL scouts, was “timed” from Johnson’s first movement with a hand-held stopwatch. Take away reaction time and the normal human failings, and it was probably a 4.1 or 4.2, which is about what his Seoul time was in the first 40 yards.

I read a breakdown, I think it was a 4.29 in the seol run

In training, Ben ran 100 m in 9"18… but standing position and hand time after the first movement
There is a gread difference beetween a standing position and a start from block and beetween a FAT time and a manual time from the first movement (CFrancis says 0"65 for Ben, if i remember well [ok,9"18 + 0"65 = 9"83 like Rome])


I think if i crouched down it would be alot fast but i dont now out of the blocks. I weight about 175