Gym workout for sprinting?

As some of you may have seen I compete in short sprints (1000/200m) at fairly high level, I do very little in the way of gym work so I’m looking for advice on what exercises I should be doing, how many reps, what weights etc.

I went to the gym today (first time in nearly a year) and just did whatever I could think of on the spot to get the muscles working and get my body used to it again before I get into it properly.

I posted up what todays session was in my training log HERE so you can get an idea of what weights I was doing for each machine/exercise.

But I really need to make my sessions more specific to sprinting as there’s no point wasting energy working the wrong muscles or doing too many reps with too little weight when I should just be banging out 5 reps with twice the weight.

So fire away guys, what would you suggest?

I’ve gotta recommend CF’s ‘weights for speed’.

Weights for.speed.dvd tells you far more than any forum post can.

Completely agree with the gentlemen above me.

I also agree weights for speed will help you a lot esp weights 2.
You could start with Bench press, squats, Lat pulldown, FOR 3-5 sets x 6 reps WORKING DOWN TO 2 REPS for bench and lat but keeping squat at 5 reps over the strength phase, and do a posterior chain exercise like RDL FOR 2-3 SETS X 6-10 REPS.

Are in season or out of season?

If you are improving from your current program. I wouldn’t look to introduce new stimuli.

Well at the moment I’m off season, indoors are finished and I’ve got about a month until my first outdoor competition. So it probably is a bit late for going too nuts on the weights now, but it’s still something I need to work on.

Are the CF Weights videos actual discs or are they downloads?


Good stuff, I’ll certainly have a look at those at some point then.

For now I’m just going to stick to a general strength routine during the season, which won’t run the risk of injury or adding too much bulk before the season starts.

3-4 circuits of:
Leg Press x 10-12
Push-ups (weighted if possible): 15-20
Abdominal exercise of your choice: 20 reps
Lat Pull-down x 10-12
Straight legged deadlifts x 10-12
Hyper/Back Extensions x 10-15
Abdominal exercise of your choice: 20 reps

Ask yourself,
In what realworld movement, do you Sit down and push with your legs?
I can only think of a clutch in a car.

Leave the leg press for the bodybuilders

The sitting down part seems pretty irrelevant really, compressing my legs towards my chest and then pushing them away is basically a sprint start?

Without travelling further, the gym I have access to only has smith machines and dumbells. And I’m sure I read somewhere that squatting in smith machines was bad for your knees?

Or could I just swap the leg press for smith squats?

Goblet Squats?

I could do those, but I’d be the first person to admit my upper body probably isn’t capable of holding a heavy enough weight to get anywhere near a weight that would challenge my legs sufficiently.

It’s like night n day.
As an athlete, the leg press is useless.
A small analagy for you, mechanically, a Car moves, on it’s wheels, the wheels turn, the car moves.
However, making the wheels stronger, bigger and more capable won’t make the car Faster.
What will, is the engine.
Doing Leg press, is like working on the wheels of the car, and ignoring the motor/suspension/gear box etc.

Doing exercises that enable everything to get strong, esp the engine and suspension. Suspension = posture.

Look at race horses - skinny legs, HUGE hips/core/torso

Just a thought.

See Carmelita Jeter on the 45 degree squat press (starting at about 8 minutes):

See Jet doing nothing but a bunch of general strengthening exercises with John Smith standing right there. The first time I saw this, with a whopping 2 plates on each side of the 45 degree, I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. But the real point is it doesn’t matter. She is still the fastest woman alive, and I think its fair to say that she didn’t get there due to the specificity of her weight program.

Now repeat after me Charlie’s mantra:

Weights are General
Weights are Secondary
Weights follow track

As Charlie pointed out on this forum multiple times, all you really need is a push, a pull, and a squat.

As lkh noted I just don’t think weights are so important that you must squat or clean, etc.

James has had numerous athletes perform leg press, lunge or step up, and some continued doing a squat.

Michael Johnson did some kind of leg press/squat machine. Bolt does leg press, one of his training partners squats.

I wonder how many NFL receivers and dbs actually perform a free barbell squat with any regularity during their careers.

All successful.

Jetter isnt doing leg presses for a strength workout, thats pretty obvious.
Just general pumping, flushing after the other work she did.

I think their gym work is before their track work in most cases.
I don’t think gym work will directly make you faster anyway. I would keep it general at the moment with circuits etc and when the season ends, you may assess things again.

Having done very little in the way of weights during pretty much my entire athletic career I’m not going to rush to add them in now, I just want to make sure that on the occasions I do find myself in a gym I’m doing the right stuff. Especially with my warm weather training trip coming up soon I’ll have access to proper Olympic weights so I also wanted to know what exercises and what weight I should be doing for those sessions.

But I won’t be losing any sleep if I can’t get in the gym on a regular basis this season :slight_smile:

Perhaps do explosive mediball throws instead?