First Hand Progression Rates

This Question is mostly for Charlie, but everyone who has had experience with a large number of athletes or even themselves feel free to follow. Charlie, I was wondering what the fastest rate of progression you have ever seen in an athlete has been. What was the period of time for the progression, and how much progression (in time) was made by the athlete. Not concerned with weightroom progression, just testing or race distance times (100—>400m). Thanks for the view…

I don’t know if this is a very fast progression, but it’s the steepest one I’ve seen here in Argentina and all the training groups I’ve been in.

My first 100 ever was June 29 2002, there I ran 13.3
On October 19, 2002 I ran 11.7 (+1.8)
On November 23, 2002 I ran 11.7 (-1.7)

So that was a 1.6 second improvement in 15 weeks … or to be scientific : 1.4 seconds improvement in 15 weeks if you adjust 11.7 to 11.9 for the wind. 1.8 seconds in 20 weeks if you adjust the second 11.7 to 11.5.

October 27, 2002 I ran 23.5 in my first 200 ever … when I ran that 13.3 four months before I couldn’t even make it 200m. (assume PB of 30 or something like that)! Hell I remember I barely made it to 100 in that race.

Note 1 : This improvement wasn’t actually suprising since I was very quick till 2000 (leading my league in stolen bases my last year of high school), then I didn’t do any sports till mid 2001, tried to start track then and wrecked my knee (chondromalacia) and took me a whole year to recover and finally begin to train again in mid 2002. So this wasn’t like I was a couch potato and suddenly in a couple of months training twice a week I was a half decent sprinter. So I think the point is that you can’t compare progressions just by the numbers, the story tells more then the numbers.

Note 2 : Unfortunately I haven’t improved at the same rate since! :smiley: :stuck_out_tongue: Actually, I can barely run 23.5 now, after 2 years! I guess carrying around 11 kilos of extra muscle around doesn’t always help longer sprints! (went from 58 kilos in Nov 2002 to 69 kilos now) :frowning: :frowning:

Was 2001 your first year ever doing sprint specific training? doubt, everybody has their specific situations, good progression. How tall are you? Because at 69 kilos…Im not sure being 155 lbs. (correct conversion?) would detract from your speed. Was your muscle build by a bodybuilding program or a sport specific designed training regime?

Yes the conversion is about correct, 58 kilos (my weight in November 2002) is around 128 lbs and 69 kilos (weight now) is around 153 lbs. I’m 1.74cm. (5’8" 1/2). The weights program was specific (lots of jump squats, weighted walking lunge, etc along with of course front, 1/2, deep squat, hang pulls, hang cleans, shrugs, hang snatch, etc). The only thing is that during GPP and SPP it was a little extreme, we would do legs 6 days a week (one day assisting exercises ie leg extensions, ham curls, reverse press, deep squat, next day clean, snatch 1/2 squat, jump squats). I trained like this till the end of last year, so a little over an year. Heh, any questions why I got injured towards the end of last year?

Too much weight volume for a sprinter bro. What exactly are you training for? Was your goal at this time to just put on muscle? I believe that the muscle you put on is not making you slower or keeping you from making progress. HOWEVER! I do believe that this large volume of olympic and various other lifting components:

  1. Took away from your ability to recover and train intensely for the sprints biochemically.

  2. Took away from your ability to recover and train intensely for the sprints neurologically.

Simply put, sprinters are not weightlifters. I know many on this board would disagree with me as they are very ambitious in the weightroom, as I am too. BUT, there becomes a point when lifting heavier weights will not benefit your sprint, and when you become stagnant or decrease in abilities, it’s time to re-evaluate your position and your goals. Especially now you are seeing many fast sprinters that are not dedicating as much time to weightroom type lifting. Jeremy Wariner, Brenden Christian, Kim Collins, Casey Combest, Jason Gardener…the list goes on. These are individuals with what I call concealed athletic ability. They don’t look as if they are nasty…but watch out!

Have you seen jason gardners legs…he lifts very heavy in the power clean, and kim collins, he lost to heavy weight lifting mo greene, shawn crawford, justin gatlin, and asafa powell…and as for jeremy wariner 400 is a more of a speed endurance than power sport…

None of them lift olympic weights 6 days per week. Even in the off season I believe it would be foolish. There is a difference between lifting heavy (intensity) and having a high volume of lifting. Many sprinters do lift heavy, but the major reason to lift is to stimulate CNS capacity. After 2-3 days of heavy lifting it would be hard to match previous intensities, and therefore in my opinion it would be worthless unless your training was specifically in olympic weightlifting. Besides if the weightlifting program he was doing was making him faster he wouldn’t necessarily need our advice…no?

If you look at Wariner’s times in the 200m (20.41 FAT in high school!) I would say he is doing something correctly in the area of power, not to mention specific areas of maintaining speed. Brenden Christian and Casey Combest were better for their age than any of the sprinters that you mention above without a serious lifting program. If Combest can run a 6.57 FAT at 18 years of age with NO weightlifting at all, it becomes very apparent that strength was not the limiting factor in their performances! :slight_smile: The purpose of the thead is not to debate what works for other poeple, there are many routes to Beijing. But, If someone gets injured from lifting…and they are training for sprinting, what gain has been made by the injury? NONE. Therefore my suggestion is to have less volume (or frequency or both) than what was described.