Carl Lewis- No weights after March

Simple question guys.
In his book ‘One more victory lap’ Carl Lewis states that he did not do any weights (or other forms of conditioning) after March (certainly in 1996 anyway). Yet Charlie tells us that after approximately 8 weeks of maintenance the loss of strength starts to outweigh the benefits of freshness. How, if Lewis also should have been going sub-max speed in his competition period training between races was he able to keep improving beyond the 8 week window? Also has anyone had any success with extending the maintenance period beyond 8 weeks and getting personal bests without throwing in a SPP mid-way in the season to reload?

This is even more surprising considering Long Jump was his main aim in 1996. Long Jump is closer to strength and it seems illogical moving to far away from MS cycles in the jumps… what was his training from March? could the elastic benefits of SE that have been discussed accounted for his 1996 Long Jumping?

Last year I pbed twice when doing no squats. Power cleans were the only lower body exercise, then bench press + pull ups.

It depends…Lewis was famous for " no weight", but he simply didn’t like em…Tellez plans has in it…for march, weights no…but maybe more bounding, more med ball…just squat jumps… ( I do not trust lewis that much :slight_smile: )

Have you seen my thread about squats? What u mention applies to the discussion.

Yea, I’d take much of Lewis’s comments with a pinch of salt.

This is going to sound cliche, but training at the highest level is highly individualised, maybe even more so for horizontal jumpers. Look e.g. at what Jonathan Edwards did, and compare that to the Polish school of triple jumping. The jumps themselves take so much out of you, with the load on joints, ligaments, it’s an art to juggle the other training elements around it in an optimum way.

What do you people not trust in lewis???

i believe in what he says and as a matter of fact he didn’t even touch weights till later in life!

whats the big deal here anywany

Going back to the original question then (I for one cannot understand why he would lie on this particular point)- how does he maintain specifc strength levels attained in the winter?
Does, as UKcheetah indicates, the SE play a greater conditioning role due to the elastic benefits attained. According to what I have read the SMTC often did breakdown sessions of 300-200-100 in season. I was also told by an athlete who was being coached by John Smith in the late 1990’s that he was given 300’s in-season to top-up specific fitness levels (though I may have misinterpreted what he was telling me).

i have covered this topic is great depth in the past.

the breakdown sessions were done all throughout the season…from start to finish and typically every monday at UH

Lewis only worried about maintaining the strength levels he acquired during puberty. There is a reason, short of one season or so, Lewis barely improved and did not steadily improve throughout his career. (

People need to come to the conclusion Lewis was a freak of nature and trying to examine any of his training is futile unless you can also wake up out of bed and jump 27 feet at 18 years old (just about 29 feet at 21 yo) and want to know how to maintain this ability for over 15 years. If you want to know how to improve find the guy who jumped 18 feet after puberty and pushed that to 25 feet later in his career and ask him what he did.

Carl Lewis = one of the most gifted athletes EVER.

Adding: and that’ why focusing on single athletes, who are often exceptions to every rule is a mistake. Focus on what the majority do to improve

Case in point, Chad HEdrick, started speed skating before he could walk. Never lifted weights, never rode a bike, never did anything that 99.9% of speed skaters have done. Was World Class on inlines for over a decade, moved to the ice and won a world championship after 1.5 years (he had played ice hockey in his youth).

He’s known for partying (or was anhhow) and has skated amazing times hung over.

He’s the exception: he has never done anything that any other successful skater did. But no one else would benefit from even trying to do it the way he did.


i agree with 95% of what you are saying but the guidance of tellez was tom is not the greatest coach but a very good one.carl was an exception and any decent coach would have reeped rewards with him but my point is that tom produced other great sprinters which makes my belief in him even greater,this is not co-incedence but just good understanding and coaching on toms behalf.

carl went from 9.99 in 84 to 9.86 in 91-at his level this was immense and a great achievement.what he can’t understand is how an athlete can run 10 flat and within 1 year come out and run 9.6

10.0 was off a single race, he was probably able to run sub9.9 from how he challenged Gay in the bend during 200m race.
Some of the guys Tellez coached had tremendeous improvement within 1 year (examples for 4 athletes): 10.31 to 9.94, 20.44 to 19.73, 20.27 to 19.75, 20.24 to 19.75.
Just pointing out contradictions.

IN fact…Tellez has a great coaching resume.
What I was thinking is that Tellez template has weight session, and I cannot figure an 18yo coming to Houston dictating changes in a veteran coach,working for more than 30y…
No weights seems like a religious thought…squat jump ok, using a 20kg weight plate or…but a bar with 50k no?Seems stupid…find what works, what you need, and leave religion to private life…
Then if it happened, and at 36y of age you jump like 4 years before dedicating to more strength, you maybe realize you were not the smartest guy,

yes pierre mike marsh had some great years and good consistancy behind him.floyd was always there but lacked something and same applies for mark witherspoon who isa gent.the biggest improvement i seen was with leroy.mechanically what tom did with him was immense and the times showed the changes.

overall his athletes were always ready for the big meets and consistancy was great.