effect of strength gain on 100m and 200m

I had an interesting conversation with pierrejean about weight room strength gain (squat) and track performance. He mentioned that Angela Issajenko had told him that she felt her 200m time went south after her squat increased by a lot. I had a theory about it, concerning the energy enveloppe and the ability to spend it, but I’d like your expert opinion on it. I’m sure pierrejean would like to hear it too
of course anyone is welcome to chime in.

A thing noticed too if looking at Muriel Hurtis career. Increased max on half squat about 10-20kg per season (up to 220kg), decrease performances at 200m (at a point where she was slower than when she didn’t lifted at all). However it’s always difficult to isolate where the failure lies. What’s your opinion on this?

Sorry not quite sure what this mean by this :o !

Do you mean her 200 time got better as her squat increased or that her 200 time got worse as her squat increased? Just wanted to clear this up in my mind.

200m times get worse

220kg? I really wonder what kind of half squat we’re talking about. I mean I coach throwers but 220kg might be the problem

I said to G.O. that i never heard of such heavy half squats from female sprinters, some female long jumpers have similar data, but demand are not the same.

probably a third of a quarter of an eighth squat…if not I want to see it!

As far as Hurtis, her loss of speed (at least percieved as such) might be due to her strength phase lasting much too long and a failure to enter into a maintenance or conversion phase early enough-if at all. Too long in max strength phase can result in undesirable fiber conversion(to slow twitch) and a loss in RFD/Power well before max strength shows a decline as has been mentioned on this site numerous times. Maybe PJ can elaborate on this if he familiar with the specifics of her program. Thanks.

First, max strength only has a direct affect on the first few strides. So you have to ask yourself how important is it to blast out of the blocks in a 200m dash.
Secondly, most times an increase in your max is accompanied by an increase in bodyweight. And any increase in bodyweight has to increase the energy requirement. This may cause a problem in a race like the 200m where enegy management is so important.

energy management is the key there; Increased power means increased ability to spend energy.The 200 is long enough in duration that it could hurt you

if you do not stretch the energy enveloppe

it is well known that acceleration impacts SE negatively

Actually that’s a lot of speed endurance as for speed, she went from 11.3 to 10.9 at 100m, but her PB is stuck to 22.31 since 1999 when she was 20 in a time where she hadn’t started real lifting program. And her training was (supposed to be) specific to 200m. Anyway don’t want to talk about her case, just say that she gave birth few days ago so good luck to her.

I havn’t had experience of people getting slower with increases in squat but then I havn’t trained or met a girl who can squat 220Kg to parallel!

As several people have pointed out, in theory increased squat may lead to the FT curve shifting to the right and an increase in bodyweight which could reduce power to weight ratio. This could slow you down.

However, I have never seen this in practice for someone who is also engaged in a sporting skill - I theorise because sprinters do so much more running than lifting that the body doesn’t adapt in the same way as it would if you were just powelifting. It adapts to what it does most of which is sprinting.

Absolute strength sets the ceiling for all other strength qualities after all. I havn’t seen increases in max squat that havn’t lead to increases in VJ or speed over time when coupled with direct training.

Could it be that as the CNS output rose with the squat the volume of training wasn’t cut to allow recovery? The extra strength helped in the 100m but the CNS fatigue prevented optimal adaptions to the SE work? Maybe at a certain point really heavy squatting is too much to couple with speed training?

if this is the case -and i believe it is- and accel “goes along” with speed end. (>120m) -i am not sure about Romes’ opinion on this…- then a possible explanation in her case might be the lack of appropriate rest and/or maintenance phase for 200m-performance to develop, as suggested above; at this level this would be a surprise though!

PJ, any insight on this?

Are there any FAT times for her 100’s during the same period of her 200 plateau? True that it’s a great deal to do with speed endurance but since speed is the dominant factor in speed endurance I was looking for some clues as to why the loss or at least mere maintenance in 200 performance.

oh crap that does’nt sound good, i have been in max phase for awhile, but my strength is skyrocketing in the squat, but i’ve only been training seriously for less then a year, prior to that i did no weights at all. i usually maintain for 3 or 4 weeks increasing it by 5lbs if it gets easier, then max, then repeat. My track season really started now as it snows and rains all the time here in vancouver. i dont have competition till early may

what you described seems to be what my problem is. I’ve gotten so strong that now i lost the SE, so as i’m still getting stronger would the simple solution be to just continue with max strength, or maintain and work on SE in training, as the simple answer?..or is there more to it

I think you are missing the point that he is trying to make. A prolonged max strength phase leads to explosive strength not being expressed optimally DURING competition. This may well affect performance over 100m. If you are trying to gain strength and not maintain then there will be performance decrement during the comp phase. Along with no fast fibre overshoot and everything that is conducive to fast sprinting. Prolong your max strength if you want but realise that your best performances may not occur when you want them.

This is probably right. You won’t actually get slower (in terms of what you potentially could achieve) all that happens is that the emphasis on weights robs your body of the prepardness it requires to perform optimally in the sprints. See “Fitness-fatigue theory” (Zatziorsky, 1995: p15).

Don’t worry too much about getting too strong, worry about staying fit and injury free!