Is max strength important

Lot’s of talk about max strength, how important is max strength for short sprinters? Seems like the fastest guys (Gay, Bolt, Powell) these days do very little max strength work.

More so is it necssary to lift tons of loads over 85% when training max strength?

Been snooping around other sites?:cool:

Before the cascade of responses start, how about defining what it means to improve max strength. Is it increasing an athlete’s 1RM in a lift (squat, deadlift, clean) or is it increasing an athlete’s Fm in the muscles being used to sprint?

100% sports related (Short sprinter), Non powerlifting/weightlifting related.

I would like to look at two different cases:

1: Athlete A already possesses adequate strength for there sport. For example 180lbs with a back squat of 455.

2: Athlete B needs to increase strength levels for there sport. For example 180lbs with a back squat of 255lbs.

Is it more efficient to build this strength with sub max loads reps in 5-8 zone with 70-80% or reps in 1-3 zone with 85-95%+?

Is it more efficient to build this strength with sub max loads reps in 5-8 zone with 70-80% or reps in 1-3 zone with 85-95%+?

Athlete A: Maintain strength with low volume, low frequency, high intensity (>85%) reps, as competition schedules allow. Most strength worked focused on RFD. Light to moderate weights (40%-70%) lifted explosively, plyos, and sprinting.

Athlete B: Improve strength by including high intensity reps (>85%) at reasonable volumes and frequency (as training allows), but not ignoring RFD. Also include Light to moderate weights (40%-70%) lifted explosively, plyos, and sprinting.

I think high intensity (>85%) loads are more effecient and more effective at building max strength, and should be included unless doing so can be demonstrated to interfere with primary training goals.

Edit: typo

Ouch, I couldn’t think about doing a lot of work in that range right now esp with the amount of speed, throw, jump work I am doing.

In my MS phase I’m planning on,

Monday 3x5 - bench + squat,
Wednesday 5x5- Incline press, Jump Squats,
Friday 5x5- bench + squat.

I’m hoping this will spread the CNS impact of the wieghts enough so as not to hurt speed… Wednesday weights is RFD and Incline making it slightly submax.

I think the main problem with 85%+ is the CNS drain, if you can manage it properly I don’t see the problem. For animals like Bolt and Powell stimulus away from the track isn’t needed… I’m not sure thats the case for us mere mortals.

Are there times of the training year (off season, GPP) where you don’t have so much speed, throw and jump work?

I just came over here right now to get away from a discussion of pretty much the exact same thing on a rowing board.

The general consensus over there was that crews that do more mileage pull away at the end. Of course, you can tell they did more mileage because they pulled away at the end. And big people are only a little faster than little people, so strength doesn’t matter. And world class athletes are genetic freaks, so you have to leave them out of the discussion. This board is so much more logical and scientific than that one that it’s ridiculous.

Sorry. I had to vent a little.

Carry on.

Not really, I compete from Jan-Aug and from sept to dec speed is still number 1. This year I decided to use a buffer setup for example 3x5x90% of 5rm or 5x5x80% of 5rm etc. I use 89% for 5 rep max and 99 for 3 rep max, I think the 3 rep is was heavy and probably should be in the 93% range.

Powerlifters for many decades have loved 5x5 (increasing the weight once you can get all sets and reps) and I do not know of anybody that can do 5x5 with >80% unless they are taking very long rests between sets. I don’t see the need for a sprinter to really lift more intense than that, which is already on the upper end of what I would do for the majority of the year.

If you look at the 5x5 % chart weeks 3 and 4 are very heavy over 85%.

Maybe over 85% of their old 1RM, not of their current status. I don’t know many people who can even do a 5RM @ 85% of their REAL 1RM, let alone 5 sets of it.

Not sure if they gonna see a huge increase in 2-3 weeks.

Athlete A: squat max 455.
wk 1: 300
wk 2: 335
wk 3: 375
wk 4: 395

Weeks 3 and 4 look too tough and this is problem I have with the 5x5 workouts.

It depends. Like I said, I’ve never seen someone able to do 5x5 @ 85% of their real 1RM. If they put in something that is a bit easier than their true 1RM (perhaps what their max that they could do on any given day or a gym max or something like that), then it is possible. The other thing is that a lot of people might simply get better at the lift. A lot of people just switch their lifts and add “5%” (or more) of strength onto the lift, mostly just because they haven’t done the lift much before and become more skilled with it.

I think there is more carry over to track when you train the muscles, not movements.

I have always been strong in the weightroom with singles and triples, but anything but the right muscles for speed lifted those weights (with me anyway)
Feel much better with MUSCLE training at higher reps, 6-10.

Since it’s going OK, why not stick to general 6-8 rep stuff in SPP and push the speed ? Do I have to go heavy ?
I can save the heavy stuff for peaking periods … ?

If you’re continuously getting better, why change anything? That might be the better question IMO. Plus, you don’t have to necessarily go heavy with lighter weights. 80% isn’t light by any means (5 reps @ 80% of true 1RM will be work for anyone, even if there are a couple left in the tank) so you could do that for sets of 2-4 if you wanted to change things slightly.

On my charts 80% is an 8RM. Most of the lifters I know could do 5 x 5 at 80% with 3-5 minutes rest.

Not after a track workout.

  • Remember the original topic???