Help Convincing Coach

No. I’ve tried implementing an in season weight program and besides the logistical nightmare what I found in most of our kids couldn’t even control their body weight very well (this is a group of 50 or sprinters, jumpers, hurdlers, vaulters). It was pointless trying to teach a loaded squat or bench when most kids couldn’t do a good body weight squat or pushup.

We develop body control, coordination, strength and power through general strength type activities. This includes: partner medicine ball passes, bodyweight exercises (pushups, dips, lunges, squats, etc.), explosive med ball throws and jumps, various skips and jumps and hops, ab exercises, planks ,etc.

That said, there are some athletes I have/had that were much further along so in addition to the general strength stuff listed above they’ve done weight training in the off season. Even that though was very basic in nature.

question/comment by bullet again:

-this trend with the times does happen (except for me this and last year bc i trained the fall on my own and sat team workouts) as the times towards the middle of the season are certainly slower than the beginning, but if the end of the year time is .1 faster than at the beginning, my coach believes thats how its suppose to work because hes never seen anyone really see bigger improvements. sadly i think he has that mentality (ironic for a coach to have) that speed is incredibly difficult to develop so a .1 improvement is great

-i like your benching analogy. i may bring that up if he questions my sitting of a workout, though even in the weight room almost all the lifts we get assigned are in the 15 rep range, and we share a weight program with the distance kids, hmm… i forgot to mention this in my other post, but also the other reason he sites running repeat long runs is because “by the third heat of the 55m at championship meets you’ll be tired and this will help you get your knees up in that final heat”. though it seems to me that this isnt taking into account the difference between handling larger volumes, speed endurance, and the special endurances. what do you think?

-during this year i have felt heavy on my feet sometimes, though ive always tended to being a “heavy” stepper. i think i’m really the only one who gets overtrained though because i actually do high intensity training outside of meets :confused: i do believe that my vertical has slightly deteriorated in this season, maybe i can sight this, though he might say that if id been running the team workouts it wouldnt have (though i fail to see how ladder drills or repeat 4’s would help a vertical)

-and yeah, most of the stuff we do is like football training thats more like conditioning. if its not repeat 400s (which the football team wouldnt do, but track does) then its like repeat 50 yd dashes from a standing position with the rest being the time it takes for the other athletes to do the run and clear the track. and with the way our football players have been mentally conditioned, at leats the better track ones actually do run as hard as they can on each one, so since we dont do pure speed training we don’t run into that problem you brought up

thanks a ton for your time!

i see where you are coming from. but this leads me to a few more q’s, if you wouldnt mind enlightening me:

-i assume your use of bodyweight exercises isnt too much because a high volume of them (if not performed explosively) would develop slow twitch muscle which is essentially useless for any of these power/speed events?

-i bet you have football players who participate on your track team, and i know at least the football players at my school love lifting. do they see significant strength loses if they dont really lift for the 13 weeks of season, or is the running, bw and plyo stuff enough to maintain what they have (generally speaking)?

thanks again!

What happens to his athletes times as the season progresses? Does a guy in the 100m open with say 11.2 then run 11.5 the next week, 11.5, 11.4 etc and spend most of the season working back to the opening time? Or do the times open with 11.2 then get stale and stuck on the same time the rest of the year? Look at big picture, male/female across multiple events to look for trends. The goal would be a progression with times peaking when it matters most, hopefully the last few weeks of the season.

the trend i remember is no one improves. except for people that run the 300 and come into the season out of shape, therefore anything will help. with the 55, improvements for people always came between season never in season, and its not like those people trained they just came to the next season running faster times. for ex, the current coach that won the 300m, he ran 6.8s his jr year, consistently never running anyfaster, from the first meet until the last, and then senoir year he ran 6.6s consistently, with the same trend.

i hardly notice anyone ever improving from what they give us to do inseason

Either do what the coach says or find an alternative, why buy a Hyundai and try and turn it into a Mazda. :confused:

i know what your saying, but its not like i have any other options. i need to have a team to run for, and the hs team is my only doable option, but im positive that the program is not right for me (honestly, repeat 4’s to improve a 55??)

so really “changing a hyundai into a mazda” is really my only option

and while in college (after four years of the supposedly advanced college training he got and is bringing back to us) still never ran faster than 6.74…

and yeh, your point is more accurate, i was just tracing what happened to my times during freshman and soph years when i just did what they said(7.2 to 7.4 then 7.0, 7.1 to 7.3 to 6.8)

If you work on improving your speed then the qualifying rounds become easier because you’re running sub max. If a 22.6 guy needs a 22.8 to qualify for finals he’s running all out and will be much more tired for the final than a 22.1 guy who cruised through prelims.

And to be honest butting your head with the coach isn’t going to help anyone. If your coach is open to suggestions that’s great and by all means bring up some things for him to think about. A coach needs to believe in what he’s doing and the athletes need to also believe in it. If either party doesn’t believe in what they’re doing it’s a no win situation.

We’ll do the bodyweight/general strength stuff 2-3 times per week. It’s low intensity so we’ll go high for overall reps, but reps per exercise aren’t too high (<15). Remember that Charlie had his athletes doing low intensity med ball and abs well into the 100’s for total volume, if I remember correctly there were days over 1,000.

Regarding football players, the kids who are in love with the weight room never seem to turn out for track anyway. Our football/track kids understand we actually want to help improve their power and speed and help them get better at football. Some of those guys may continue to lift on the side, mostly the linemen/thrower types, and even there our throws coach was a big lifter so it works well together. The skill guys generally take a break from lifting but do notice when they go to spring ball camp after track they feel good and are fast.

yeah, i agree with you. because im actually the top sprinter this year and not a captain, hes actually let me do pretty much what ive wanted, just i need good reasoning so that he doesnt think im being lazy which is really the only thing that would make him mad (or having other kids try to do what im doing, but i just tell them to do the team program)

ok, cool, thanks for the info

i do see the value of a good volume of low int corework and maybe upperbody (for work capacity purposes and the fact that the devel. of slow twicth wouldn’t interfere with the leg muscles) but essentially the program you run is plyos and running only for the legs?

sorry if im being intrusive at all, but i added a lot of strength and have bulked up to where i look the same size as the other 55 sprinters (i used to be very small and thin) and while my vertical and weights have siginificantly improved for me, my sprinting hasnt yet. so maybe the heavy lower lifting isnt for me (ran a 6.98 FAT before ever lifting or speed training, 6.93 now after two years :/)

In season, yes. It’s hills, sleds, med ball throws and jumps, simple plyos and jumps, and a few bodyweight exercises.

Off/pre season they do a simple (3-5 exercises, 3x5-10) lower/upper split four days a week (Well, maybe some of them, I’m not there off season so I don’t know who’s doing the work). That’s in addition to hills, sleds, stairs, and acceleration work. Don’t forget this is the Seattle area where if you don’t mind the wet you can be outside most of the winter. If it was really cold or snowy here we’d have to do more inside stuff i.e. weights but the way it stands right now the athletes get most of their leg development from hills/sleds/stairs.

Stikki - hahaha, where do you find a hill in Seattle winter that isn’t too muddy and slippery to be useful?

We just do them on pavement, there’s a couple of good ones on and near campus. I figure if Asafa and MVP can do them on pavement so can we. Only the strongest guys (usually with worn out shoes) will slip on on paved wet hills, if you give them something to push off for the first step that usually solves it.

ok, cool. if i end up doing outdoor track im thinking about really taking the emphasis off weights because they havent seemed to help me a huge amount (though the winters in NE kind of limit me to needing to use what i have available indoors)

Is there a track club you could join near by? Maybe if you were a member of the club, your HS coach would let you train with them and still compete for HS.

you don’t think your weights helped you in the 55m? you sure?

i moved my squat max from about 300lbs to 400lbs, added much more core strength and increased my bench by 30 lbs to 225 (all at a weight of 150) yet i still havent run any faster than i did last year

i do weigh 5 lbs heavier than i did last year when i started running 6.7h’s but i think the 100 lbs added to my squat probably outweighs that

i think i overtrained and need to unload more, but again, my coach thinks i lazy and looks at me poorly if im not actually injured and im taking it easy

there are probably some in boston, but thats an hour away so between school work and having to use my parents car thats not really an option (though i would definitely consider that if it were possible)

i do have a gym membership with a small ~20yd space i can do 3 pt starts and starting drills, but no where to train top speed during the winter except my school’s track

where do you think the in between season improvements came from? just physical maturity?

i know pineda went from 7.0h as a jr to 6.8h as a sr, tk 7.0h to 6.8h to 6.6h, etc., but neither would big lifters, pineda ran only repeat 200s and tk played football which only does conditioning

if i saw .2 drops in between seasons from my sohp year on i wouldve been in the 6.5x’s camera and i was even a late maturer but didnt see anything close to that drop…