Cat out of the bag

I found this interesting tidbit over at Christian Thibaudeau’s Ice Dog forum at under the title “Strength training before an event”

{I remember Coach Poliquin saying something about how before springing, a very prominent female runner would do a 3RM very close to competition. I’m not certain if this was in one of the Q&As, but I will search for it!

-Sean }

Christian Thibaudeau:
{CP actually reported that Ben Johnson would do a 3RM squat before racing. However when T-mag interviewed Charlie Francis he categorically said that it was baloney. Here’s the exact quote:

"T: We’ve heard of sprinters performing a three rep max in a certain lift, like a stiff leg deadlift, and then being able to perform better 10 minutes later.

CF: Yeah, I’ve heard all that. They’re claiming Ben did this.

T: Is there anything to this?

CF: No. Well, you’d have to warm-up to warm-up to warm-up? }

more info was in the post but due to the drug content I didnt include it.

Interesting stuff. I guess now its no longer a mystery where that came from.

There were no weights in the warm-up area in Munich either.
I’ve heard this crap over and over. Someone has a theory- and then sticks prominant names to it to give it credibility.
Again- I re-state- not true-didn’t happen.

For instance, Olympic Gold medalists Valery Borsov and Ben Johnson would squat a 3RM load ten minutes before their record smashing performances in the sprint to make use of this post-tetanic facilitation.

from The 1-6 Principle By Charles Poliquin

The myth grows.

Charlie said there were no weights in the warmup area.

so it would be impossible for this to happen with ben. maybe borzov did it :slight_smile:

I’ve actually know of a few throwers that like to use moderately heavy olympic lifts about 60-90 minutes before they compete in order to excite the cns. For example working up to a 3 rep snatch or clean (snatch preferably since its a speed lift and not as taxing) and they feel like it enhances performance. A heavy squat would seem to be not explosive enough and probably tire someone out instead of helping in any way.

There’s an extensive thread on this in the archives. CNS excitement can be achieved by actions taken days before, not necessarily minutes, and those with the most white fibre have the WORST response to this tactic right before comp (as their fibre can be depleted more easily)

The best intimidation is to use bumper plates disguised to look like real weight- or - if you’re not that imaginative- you could just kick the crap out of everybody in the competition.

I usually dropped my pants minutes before the race…the other guys would still be giggling at my A.O. at the start of the race and this would allow me TO CRUSH THEM!
(A.O.=atrophied organ)

good point clemson, i’ve used this technique myself before short pick-up basketball games.

i remember reading that article by poliquin last summer, i’d do a near max power cleans then play. for me it didn’t have any effect. but when i did a warm-up type of load it worked incredible.

I was going to leave this subject alone–

but the same person seemed to introduce himself as Ben Johnson’s strength coach while on a trip “Down Under” in the late 80’s

He’s never met Ben

a habit of making such claims. Will it never stop. For the love of God!


I confirmed that during a phone conversation with Ben a couple of years ago.

Ben didn’t even know who he was at the time.

Like I said…