Brooks Johnson interview

Comments? :smiley:

Interior muscles. Uh???

Interior Muscles…hmmmmm im lost. also saying that gatlin had too much power in his hip extensors. hmmmmm aint that what sprinting is about- using hip extensors with co-ordinated arm action!

strategically co-ordinated…

Good man. I trained with him for a 2 months a few years ago. He’s a scary coach to have, very old school, but hes seen everything.

Brooks is huge on teaching his athletes why you do things. He printed pictures of Flo Jo and gave them to all of us and pointed to the hip flexors. This preceded a workout in the long jump pit, where we did 10x60s high knees in the sand with 60s rest between each. This was tough as hell.

Although I don’t think his program is built on the latest scientific principles, he has many things going for him. Hes an amazing motivator, his group dynamic is such that everyone is a very talented runner, and people feed off each other. When I was there, he had David, a sub 50s 400m female, a sub 2min 800m female, about 5 13.3 110mh, sub 10s sprinters, ect… The group is stacked. I believe these things made up for other things that were lacking.

I’ve posted this before but what we did, and it sounds like he hasnt changed it much was 6 days per week.

Some form of tempo 2-3x4x150m, with cones at every 50m. You get progressively more aggressive after each cone, some concept of his.

He’s big on 300m, going from 9x300m in the fall really slow down to 3x300m towards preseason.

Speed was flying 30m between 6-9 reps.

High knees in the sand was one workout.

His hurdle program is based a lot on specific strength endurance drills (maybe of the internal muscles? lol). And they go over hurdles 2-3x per week.

Another one of his concepts which is confusing to me is he idea of a warm up 200m. Before their workouts the run a 200m @ 80-90% and this is timed. Then they wait 30mins and do their workout. This is really odd. When he was there he called it potentiation.

Syrus thanks for the inside info. the 200m warmup is going totally against tradition but he must have valid reasons for it but it still seems rather risky. are you saying the athlete runs it without jogging,stretching etc?

No they do a full warmup, then run a 200m @ 80-90%, then 30-45min rest and do the prescribed workout for the day. So I would assume Gatlin does his in 20.3ht, as Brooks talked about.

Is Gatlin currently training with Seagrave or Brooks Johnson?

Gatlin is training at Clermont with Dennis Mitchell. Brooks is at ESPN Disney. Both facilities are in Central Florida in the Orlando area.


Alot of 200 and 400 coaches do the same the day of meets - very similar to a short sprinter performing a 60m run at 85-95% then resting 15-30mins.

He’s training with Brooks, as that interview highlights and this recent article also points out

Interior muscles = deep muscle recruitment (via speical endurance workouts, capacity workouts etc)
Too much power in hip extensors = essentially what he means is there exists imbalance between the hip extensors and flexors.

Indeed, he is. Brooks first contacted me about a year ago, and athlete motivation is always a central theme of our discussions. He often cites the ballistic athlete’s need for immediate gratification, and seems keenly aware of how a technology could potentially be used to enhance that motivation. Brooks was an early adopter of Freelap timing for sprint and hurdle training, and his feedback influenced the design of the current generation system. The prototypes were validated at OTC ESPN, and Syracuse Coach Hegland was among the first to test the production units. Although Brooks is in his mid seventies, he is not averse to trying something new, and it is noteworthy that he played a key role in improving the design of a system that Oliver, Gatlin, Eaton, Leblanc, and others have integrated into their training. He is an engaging speaker and I always listen intently when he is explaining something, often taking notes. I find him to be a combination of pragmatic wisdom and visionary.


The video was shot last year when Gatlin was training with Brooks. Perhaps the article was republished with sections from a previous article. I spoke to Dennis this morning about Gatlin’s timing setup for indoor training and the potential changes in setup when he transitions to outdoor. They leave Sunday.


I’ve found the same as well with my athletes. Particularly during indoor season. 400m athletes might start the season at 250 and marginally reduce the distance or split prior to major activity. Though splits are preferred prior to some sprint sessions and after detailing the warmup process.

The longer effort at pace, is to fire up and increase the body’s concentration of lactate