alternative strength training?

Just wondering what your comments are on the following concept.

Instead of lifting heavy weights for limit strength gains substitute plyos, weighted vest work, tows, and bodyweight circuits for all your strength work.

What are your thoughts on this?

Say for a speed endurance/strength day concentrating on lower body

This is just a quick example:

3 x 50m weighted vest sprints (no more than 5% added weight)
3 x 50m NON-weighted sprints
4 x 50 meter alt leg bounding (weighted or nonweighted depending on athlete strength)
4 x 15-30 second tows with partner (resisted)

For an upper body concentrated strength end day:

4 x 30 second running arms
plyometric pushups and med ball work
bodyweight circuit training (situps, chins, pushups etc etc)

From my own personal experience performing work like above makes me feel very explosive, and reactive and not as burnt out/CNS drained compared to a heavy deadlift/squat or upper body workout after speed.

Also I can fit this in the same session on the track minimizing total workout time.

I also find it is great from preventing the development of non-functional mass.

The weight training I have been doing has been fairly light (60-70% of 1RM for higher reps 8-10 to minimize CNS drain)

I know certain world class athletes have done similar style training in the past with very little weight training.

advantages/disadvantages? Thoughts?


(Thoughts) Limit strength (for me anyways) works best during GPP just to get to a new strength level (increased in bench squat etc…) Once I feel that I have made some adequate gains in the wieght room, which is right around SPP, I like to move to more dynamic/power movements.

(advantages)I think it works better for SPP. The work you described works in nicely for for a strength training program for a SPP, since you are doing strength work but it is directed at you will be doing in your sport .

(a possible disadvantage) The only thing to think about is possible limit strength going down since you are’nt doing any. If you are faster though I guess it doesn’t really matter.

How many days a week are you doing this type of work?

Right now I am in GPP and the program looks like this: (However I am thinking about modifying the lower body weight workout as I am sometimes slow to recover from it in time for the next session)

1 - longer speed/lactic work
2 - weights/core (lower body but not CNS intensive)
3 - Strength End circuit (upper body but not CNS intensive)
4 - Speed/plyos
5 - Extensive Tempo
6 - Tows
7 - Rest

1 - longer speed/lactic work
warmup/dynamic stretching/drills/
3 x 20 meter alt leg bounds
300/200/200 with 3 minutes rest between reps
6 minutes rest
200/100/100 with 90 seconds rest
cooldown 6 x 100 strides on grass, 1 lap jog and stretching

2 - weights
10 minute warmup on bike
3 sets squats or deadlifts
4 sets reverse leg press
5 x lying ham curls (ham rehab)
3 x (extensions, calf raise)
3 sets pulldowns
8 minutes on treadmill

3 - Strength Endurance circuit
warmup on bike
4 x (pushups (20), situps (40), floppyfish (15)) with no rest between reps or sets

4 - Speed/plyos
warmup - (1km jog, stretching, drills)
6 x 80 with 6 minutes rest between reps
(two going into the bend, 2 coming off the bend and 2 going straight down the track)
4 x 50 meter alt leg bounds

5 - Ext Tempo
warmup (1Km jog, dynamic stretching, drills, strides)
10 x 100m with walkback recovery

6 - Tows/running arms
1km jog, stretching drills
5 x 20 second tows
3 x running arms for 30 seconds with dumbells

7 - REST

Nice job Chris!. If it works for you keep it. Just of of curiosity, I dont see too much accel work or hills here. Are you avoiding them for any particular reason? For upper body no bench, Push press, rows etc…(avoiding extra mass)?

thanks! :slight_smile:

I am avoiding hills on purpose this GPP as they aggravate my hamstring that I injured last year. As far as the weights goes I did a TON of weights up until about 7 months ago. I found though I was strong my explosiveness wasn’t there and I was cooked all the time.
stats were:
Full squat (OLY buried, no belt, no wraps) 340 pounds
Deadlift: 425
Bench: 265
Push press: 205 for a couple of reps

I find I gain strength quickly in the weight room but it doesnt translate on the track and it hurts my recovery for the next CNS intensive session.

The short speed for me is the 60’s and 80’s for this phase. I am being really careful not to re-injure my leg and also want to get fit. (I am sort of training like a 200m runner)

Thanks again and any suggestions appreciated!