Football 40 times

If i would sprint 40’s like 4 or 5 times a day would it help me get faster and how would it affect my weight cause im trying to gain weight

Welcome to the board…

Sprinting should be done for a maximum of three days per week, and each sprinting day should be separated by a low intensity tempo day.

The volume of sprints on each day is totally individual, for example one individual may be able to handle 10 40’s without deterioration in speed while someone else may be able to handle only three. I find that my ideal volume is around 300y, so most of my workouts look something like this:


then plyos, med ball throws, weight training

itd make your 40 times faster but the 40 is overrated for evaluation of football performance because unless you got the quickness to get into the open field you’ll rarely run 40 yds in a straight line and even then you might not

Is it really that overrated? It is important to separate the 4.5s from the 5.0s, if you get my drift. But yes, taking a 4.3 guy over a 4.5 guy just because of the number is stupid.

The reason it is overrated is because depending on postion (actually reguardless of position) how often do you have to run 40 yards in a straightline on the football field? It is not very sport specific. A 10 or 20 yard run makes much more sense.

No matter what the 40 means ON the football field if you are trying out for a team it is huge in the decision making process on making the team.


yes it is overrated, but unfortunatley it is very true that 40 yard dash times are looked at very highly as far as trying out for a team goes.

I agree 40 times are overrated, but realisticaly all testing for football is overrated I have seen plenty of guys who test like tarzan and play like jane. The bottom line is that all that matters is if you can play. On the flip side though the results of those tests are an indicator of possible on field performance, and YES universities and pro teams use the results of those tests and base many important decisions on them. If a db runs a 4.5 there is a good chance he won;t get a pro look, but if he runs a 4.3 then the chance of him getting one is greater. Even when trying out for a univ. football team I can gaurantee you that no one who runs a great 40 will get cut, they have the mind set that “we will teach this kid to play”

So yeah in response to the post originator find a capable, competent coach (strength and speed) and train your ass off. Obviously you want to improve or you wouldn;t be pondering the thought of runnign 40’s every day!! Use this site for all it is worth there is a ton of great info, and when it comes to training learn and learn becasue it will only help you in the long run.
(just my 2 cents)

Ok we all agree: it’s overrated but for those of us who do play football we have to train for it…so instead of discussing its validity let’s discuss training.

I’d think max strength and explosive power is very important because 40y is very short. Does anyone think there is a correlation between clean max or vertical jump and the 40y dash?

Also, is there a need for any type of sprinting besides straight sprints from 10y-40y? What volumes are used?

To what degree should technique be implemented? I think the only technical aspect that should be reinforced is a “smooth” start, but should we spend time working on knee lift, etc? When I watch good receivers/running backs, they run with very little knee lift/hip height, and thus they’re always in a position to make a good cut.

why would you train for a test?for all that you might as well just run track i hate the damn 40y dash and people that think they have to get a good time just play good and a 40 dont mean nuthin

well, im pretty sure that if i could clean a 1000 pounds and i could jump 100 inches then my 40 would be off the charts.


There are a number of threads on training for football. Do a search, read, and do. You’re 40 time will take care of itself.

I don’t care what a player does the 40 in but many coaches do. However, after test day and once practice starts, if you can play the game those coaches don’t care anymore either.

All subjectivity aside; following are the realities:

  • with respect to combines/pro days the difference of hundredths of a second, or an inch, may contribute to the decision making between 3rd round pick or 8th round pick, or full or partial scholarship, etc.

  • the combine is a culmination of tests which may, and should be specifically trained for as each drill possesses peculiarities unto itself

  • just because you are very fast/explosive/agile does not necessarily translate into great combine numbers

  • the training parameters which one would consider when training for the forty are as follows:

bodycomposition- if your over fat this should be your first consideration

relative strength (specifically lower body)- you must be able to manipulate your bodymass

position/bodymass- lineman and certain large skill (line backers) are likely to reach top speed before the 40 mark. In contrast, fast skill players are likely to be accelerating through the finish. these factors must be considered when devising a plan for running your best 40

  • running mechanics- proper mechanics, especially during the first 10 will greatly impact the entire 40

dynamic flexibility- failure to achieve optimal mechanics due to inflexibility will be detrimental

  • as distances become shorter; strength becomes more and more significant. Thus, you will not find to many athletes who run a great 40 who are not strong (specifically with respect to hip extension lifts)

I don’t think that you should specificaly train for the “40yrd dash” or a
“t-test” as a football player proper overall training should lead to improvments in these tests. I agree with almost all of what "james smith " says except for
“just because you are very fast/explosive/agile does not necessarily translate into great combine numbers”
-I think that if you are fast explosive and agile there is a good chance you are going to test pretty damn well. I have played with a lot of guys who looked like the wheels were gonna fall off when they ran but hey it was fast. there were others who ran times and we were all in awe going damn this is gonna be fast and it was slower than the second comming.

As a football player doing a variety of trainign will help your overall athleticism, obviously some form of sprint training, combined with cognitive agility and strength training will help for sure.
“schnig” I have never seen any correlation between a clean and 40 time or a squat and a 40time. I played ball with a guy who was about 180 and I was 165 he squated 345 and I put up about 275 he cleaned over 100kgs, I could barely get 80kgs (i was weak at the time) but on the track i blew him out of the water in the 40 he would run a 4.7 or 4.8 I would run low 4.5’s (maybe i should have ran home and thanked mom and dad he should have cursed at his parents who knows!!) My one experience doesn’t account for all of the possibilities in the world but I have played decent amount of football and never seen any corelation.
The bottom line is that there is no magic answer to “how to train for the 40” I don’t belive that you can say o.k. you only need to run 10’s 20’s 40’s and nothing else what about fitness and agility?? A program for a sport like football needs to be well rounded, you can’t leave out compenents so that you can focus all your efforts on one aspect of the sport if you do so your training will be incomplete and then there is a chance you will be an incomplete player. I would think and as cheesy as this sounds that “balance is the key”.

You can’t use personal experience as a replacement for scientific evidence. There are several important factors in improving combine numbers and if you don’t pay attention to them, you’re sh#t out of luck my friend!! Any professional in this industry worth a damn will tell you that if you screw your client’s combine you’re screwing big-time opportunity. Direct football improvement is the sport coaches responsibility but when your client has a combine or a 40 test that means lots of money or lots of free time dreaming about what might have been, you had better have him show up prepared. As an example, B.J. Johnson (from UT) last year pulled his hamstring on the 40 at UT’s Pro Timing Day, and it cost him dearly (I was in attendance to witness this travesty). His teammate Roy Williams did specific combine preparation at Athletes Performance w/Mark Verstegen and his staff, and solidified himself as a top-5 pick with a 4.37-4.38 40. Yes, Roy should’ve been a top-10 pick anyway, but B.J. should have gone a lot higher than he did and I’m not even sure if he’s in the league anymore. The title of this thread is, in fact, Football 40 times, so if everyone wants to argue the benefits of the test, do it where it matters and stop preaching to the choir. Most of us know the real value of the 40 anyway. When your client says, “I have to improve my 40” and you say, “well, we have so much else to work on”, you’re signing your clients life away. Remember when your clients have a problem you find the solution, you can’t change the problem!!

So you guys in here are saying that if you’re going to take the SAT that you’re not going to prepare for it!! You’re crazy if you don’t!!

And for those of you intellectuals who say, I didn’t have to prepare for the SAT and I scored a jazillion on the test, what about your poor friend who grew up in the projects and needs to do well on the SAT to secure an academic scholarship to be able to provide for his family. Are you going to argue with the college presidents that the test is “culturally biased” and “doesn’t really matter”. Of course you have to prepare for tests!!! What you guys have never studied your entire lives?!! This thread’s thinking is jacked up!!!

The kid who asked the question would like to know how to improve his 40 so if you can’t help his 40 what in the world are you all talking about? Madjiik, if you need more help, try PM’ing footballcoach, or clemson and get some specifics.

I agree with the “getting your foot in the door” statements about the 40 test. An aquaintance of mine was told that to get a shot at LB at OU, he’d have to prove he can run sub-4.7 consistently. They all want the freaks these days.

What have you done before? Have you done a specific type of training before this juncture? Maximal force and proper mechanics are the name of the game. Do this to the best of your knowledge and you’re set.

Speed Kills has put it correctly; the premise of this thread is not to debate the correlation between the 40, or any other combine score, and football playing ability.

The premise is to discuss an approach to perform as optimally as possible on the drill.

Jov Jov, it is true that a great athlete possesses the skills which will provides for high probability of (as you stated) ‘pretty damn well’ combine scores. However, let’s not settle for pretty damn well when ‘optimal’ is possible.

Again, the difference between pretty damn well (e.g., 4.5) and maximizing the athlete’s potential (e.g., 4.39-4.42) may prove to be highly significant in the view of the NCAA or NFL.

I agree…there is also a psychological aspect to performing well in tests…an athlete/student who tests well will have more confidence in their athletic ability/intellectual ability versus the athlete/student who tests poorly. I have experienced this with myself.