hemann's 40 yard dash training journal

Hi everyone, Im going to start posting a training journal of mine. I’ve been reading this site for about a year and a half and Im going to start posting my workouts. Im training to improve my 40 yard dash time and improve my athleticism for (american) football.

A little about me: Im almost 21, a junior in college. I attend iowa state university and have been very determined to walk-on to the football team since I left my junior college. I believe my eligibility status would put me as a redshirt sophomore.
Im 6’5" 220 pounds. I was 6’4 200 in high school and put on 10 pounds each year since. I have always been in love with speed training and strength training, and I would love to coach someday.

I have a whole list of goals written down in various places… here are a few of them:

40 yard dash:
I don’t really have an accurate way to measure this. I have tried having my dad hand time me, but those aren’t very consistent. One day it was 4.9 twice, the next day it was 4.65 twice. I video taped myself by just setting up my phone camera, then hand timing myself later while i watched it. It was pretty consistent at around 5.2 seconds. Obviously terrible, I know, but it doesn’t really bother me. I race other people and I would estimate myself to be competitive with 4.8 sprinters. I was one of the fastest kids on my HS football team.

My goal is to simply IMPROVE. If my time today is 5.2 or 4.2, it doesn’t really matter I guess, becasue I know if I drop that time I will be getting better. I really just need a consistent way to time myself and I think video taping is the best. My ultimate goal is to run a legitimate 4.6 40 yard dash.

Vertical jump
Generally consider myself to have a 30" vertical. In high school I was tested maybe 10 times and got 30 almost every time. It hasn’t changed, I really doubt. I’d like to get it up to 35" by following Kelly Baggetts Vertical Jump Bible as close as I can.

Body weight
I weigh 220 now, I’d like to get up to 235 by january, hopefully allowing my strength levels to increase, and then dropping back down to 220 and have my speed increase.

Squat… 325–>400
Dead lift…350–>450
Those were my numbers as of mid-july. They’ve gone down some, as I took a little break, but they should rebound again without much problem. The numbers on the right are my goals for next august.

My workout template changes all too often, but here is one that I have been settling on.

4 days per week. 2 high days, 2 tempo/abs

Day 1
BFS Dot Drill
Vertical Jump Bible jumps
4xflying 20s
Bench press sets of 5
Hamstring work (2-5 sets)… Leg curl, SLDL, RDL, etc.

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4
BFS Dot Drill
Vertical Jump Bible jumps
Squats or Dead lift
Bench Press sets of 10 or dynamic (8x3)

Day 5

Day 6 and 7 Off

I have quite a few questions about this set up. I think it will work okay because the volume is pretty darn minimal. The jumps contacts will be around 30. The squatting and dead lift Im still up in the air about. I can’t decide if I want to do dead lifts on day 1 and squats on day 4 or just do squats on day 4 for 4 weeks or so and then switch to dead lifts for 4 weeks and switch back and so forth.

I would like my strength and speed levels to match the “BFS high school all-american standards” which look like this:
Dead lift:450
Power Clean:235
40: 4.6
VJ: 35"

In high school I could bench 250 and squat an abysmal 255 my SR year of football. Squat bumped up to 315x1 by track season and my clean went from 175x3 to 245x1. My bench stayed at 250 for 4 years until last summer i benched 275. I realized I was probably about as strong as I could be for such a tall thin kid. I was able to put on a little body weight and muscle and viola, my bench went up 25lbs.

Since then I gained 20 pounds body weight and my lower body strength has stayed the same. I haven’t gotten much slower, if at all since HS, I think Im still growing and maturing, so naturally I have gotten more athletic and faster.

As for the program, I really don’t think Im combining to many programs. I know its a cardinal sin to miss-match programs, but kelly baggett’s stuff all flows together really nicely. I’ve read some of charlie’s stuff and obviously been reading a lot of stuff people on here have posted, so thats how I’ve made up my program. If any one has any suggestions at all, please post them. Even if they seem obvious to you… because I know i have a lot to learn yet!

Good luck. The only not so solid part, seems to be your weigh in goals. Why on earth do you want to increase 15 lbs. of muscle mass to later lose it to get “fast”? Shouldn’t you be getting faster from the increased strength, and hence not need to get “light” again to be fast?

The volume is low, but I guess that is ok, considering you are not training for track, and that you’re getting plenty of CNS stimulation in the weights room. I assume football tryouts are still many weeks away and you’re doing this as some sort of GPP? (Sorry for my ignorance, I’m in South America, I don’t know much more about American football then that it’s played when it’s fall and winter in the northern hemisphere). If you’ve got a good amount of time, ie 8 weeks till the tryouts, hills would definitely be useful for 3 or 4 weeks, with maybe slight higher volume, doing some sort of mini taper as you approach the tryouts, which I’d assume are virtually your only goal right now. Between the hills and the taper, you’ll surely be flying in short sprints, if the main goal is peaking and getting a sick 30 or 40m. time, say in 8 weeks time. Again I’m no expert on American football or how most American footballers do their GPP/preseason, but this is at least what I’d find logical to do, hopefully you find some idea that helps.

Hi aln

thanks for your message. i wanted to gain strength this off season and i find it hard to continue to make gains-- after a few months or so-- if i don’t add any muscle and body weight, usually because im not eating enough. Honestly, the body weight gains are secondary at best to speed and strength gains.

The tryouts are january 13th or so and august 20th or so. I need to be at my very best for both of those days.

As for hills: Im a little unsure how to incorporate them into my training. I have some short grass hills (30m) and long sidewalk hills (100m) that i can run on no problem. Could you suggest how i implement them into my program? thanks

Sorry again for my ignorance on the time frame of your American Football season. Let me try to get this straight. So, right now you’re training aiming to first be in optimum state on January 13 (4 months from now) and on August 20 next year (12 months from now)? In between those two interims, or at least in the first one, till January you have no football/team practices of any type, you are basically off on your own to do a “preseason” program of some sort?

Yea im training for a tryout. they have one at the beginning of each semester. january and august


Dot drill
low squat hops 2x30
2x20 easy
Squat 135x5-185x5-225x5-245x5
Bench 135x5-185x5-205x3-225x6
Pull ups 10,6
beach stuff

felt ok today. been on my feet a lot lately. felt strong, but not real fast. “2 gear” was good (10-20m), but wobbly before and after.

Its much easier to gain fat than muscle when adding excess calories, even when working out, and its easier to lose muscle than fat when cutting calories. If you overshoot your goal then cut back, you may find yourself with a higher bodyfat than when you started.

I would suggest cleaning up your diet without changing calories too much, then add enough protein and good fat (MCTs) to gain muscle slowly and without overshooting your goal too much. If I understand your schedule, you have about 17 weeks to gain muscle. Realistically, a 5 pound muscle gain would be better than average results, so you only need enough extra calories to 1) counter the additional calorie burn of your workouts and 2) about 100 calories above that to gain the muscle you need. Two protein shakes a day will take care of all of that.

Don’t gain weight faster than about 1-2lbs. per month, or most of it will be fat.

good stuff star61. that sounds like a much more feasible and realistic plan.


dot drill
ankle jumps 2x15
4x flying 20s
Bench press worked up to 235x5
pull ups 2x10
Beach stuff
played some catch with my buddy for about half hour

weighed in at 220 after my workout. Hopefully i can get timed on thursday or race my friend. I feel pretty good right now and would like to get timed again soon.

played some intense pick up basketball on a concrete court on wednesday. took thursday off and was pretty sore today in my shins for my workout. I’ve also been walking a bunch around campus this past week as classes have started up again.

messed around doing some vertical jump work. felt great. i could grab the rim from a stand no problem. I felt like i could probably stand and 2 hand dunk a ball. My running vertical was not so great, though. I felt like that would mean i would be strong in the weight room but not so fast on the track-- which turned out to be pretty much the case.

Sprints- 20,40,20,40,20 not timed
shins weren’t feeling the best. felt like i was running with flat tires.
went up to the weight room and squatted 135x5, 185x5, 225x5, 265x5… up 20 pounds again from last week so i was pleased.
just did some beach work and went home. just didn’t have it mentally tonight.

Friday 9/9

Had to get a quick workout in speed wise. The track and the field were going to be used by the track team.

… all on field turf with spikes which was kind of odd. Shins have still been bothering me. I still felt that flat tire feeling.
Vertical jump stuff… 15 or so jumps grabbing onto the rim
squats 135x5, 185x5, 225x5, 275x3
split squat 2x10x10 BW
Good mornings 2x10 95lbs