Justin Gatlin squats

Can anyone here tell how much weight Gatlin is squatting here?


i can’t tell… however as a side point, he’s doing 2 reps… so a basic answer is – pretty heavy.

Or… a weight that one can handle 2 times given where they are developmentally in the season. But it’s hard to tell exactly. I’d be curious as to how many sets at 2 and if he stays at 2 for all of them, or if he starts with 5 reps and works down 5, 4,3,2…or works up 2,3,4,5,6 etc…


Question, has anyone ever seen video of top sprinters doing really deep squats?

Nope! Bingtian Su does the deepest squats I’ve seen from a sprinter and they were just below parallel.

Here’s a video of Harry AA front squatting 190kg, he also has several other impressive videos on his youtube channel. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CXZrfVS3KK4

Flash, do you think it’s a necessity that sprinters should squat full?

I have seen in speed trap and on T nation articles that Charlie recommended squatting to parallel or below for hamstring activation.

There’s a good round table discussion on Joel Smith’s website (just-fly-sports) about squat depth and sprinting.

I’m not having my team squat this upcoming year. Not sure that we get enough benefit out of it over other things

In 2012 I spent time with coaches who worked with Harry. You’ll notice that video is from some years ago. I was told they greatly backed off the weights because his muscular development occurred so rapidly it impeded his sprint performance.

There is no direct transfer from any type of squat to sprinting. For this reason, there is too much room for debate as to which type of squat is more favorable for sprinters. Therefore, the answer must specific to each individual sprinter for reasons specific unto themselves.

Yes that’s right, but in all the videos I’ve seen of Ben squatting, he does them above parallel. Here’s one video of him squatting what looks like 495lbs:


Yes in this vid he is above parallel but I am pretty sure it is post 1988.

When I was at York University a couple weeks back (that same training facility in the video), I didn’t see a single sprinter there squat below parallel or even a couple inches above parallel. I was told by a guy who knew Ben that said Ben always squatted to a bench much like that video.

I agree with the comment that James has stated. Sure there’s a lot of strong scientific evidence out there saying that full squats are better all around than partial/parallel squats in terms of knee health, hypertrophy, strength, RFD, but the truth is that full squats aren’t for everybody. Theory also doesn’t always meet practice. There have also been too many good athletes that never squatted full or ATG. I heard Christian Thibaudeau talk about Ben’s squat in a podcast, he mentioned that the reverse hypers and reverse leg press probably made up for the lack of postreior chain recruitment from the half squats.

Like Grooster mentioned, I also remember Charlie recommending squats past parallel or deep enough to recruit the hamstrings in an old Tmag article. I’ve always wondered if he recommended this as he later gained more knowledge of the weight room later on in his coaching career.

I’ll do my best to channel Charlie. First and foremost, avoid injury. So if you are going to squat, do so in a manner than feels comfortable for you and does not strain anything. Second, all weight training is general to sprinting, and any differences between squatting styles will be marginal regarding carryover to sprinting. Don’t risk straining your lower back for a few more inches of depth when it really won’t make a huge difference to performance (risk/reward ratio). As Charlie pointed out many times, people’s leverage and style of squatting (or any lift for that matter) depends on the unique lever relationships of their body. A guy who’s 6’2" isn’t going to squat like someone who’s 5’8". Anyone who has spent any time in gyms knows taller guys have a difference balance point than shorter guys. Anthropometry doesn’t scale proportionally.

If for some reason you can’t comfortably squat low enough to sufficiently stimulate the hamstrings (assuming they aren’t getting enough on the track), then consider adding additional work like deadlifts, olympic lifts from the floor, reverse hypers, glue-ham, etc., but be cognizant of the total workload.

I do know in season Charlie occasionally had Ben use partial squats to protect the hamstrings since they were getting so much load from the speed work/racing. You should be able to find that in the forum archives.

Just found a video of German sprinter Julian Reus (10.05) doing deep squats with 170kg for 2 reps at a body weight of 75kg

Here’s another video of his compatriot, Martin Keller doing 4 x 160kg below parallel squats:

Like the way Asafa is doing his?


More Asafa weight training (squat) examples here. I’m impressed with his mechanics on all weight training exercises. Most sprinters/athletes have terrible form on these exercises. He’s been coached well. https://youtu.be/7R55e_VSOeM

Here’s a blog on this very subject by none other than the legendary Bill Starr (RIP):


James Dasaolu has claimed in an interview/infomercial that he has squatted 200kg for 5 reps to the ground. There’s a video of Dwain Chambers doing jump squats with 180kg. His hamstrings are almost parallel to the ground on these, which is what I would call a half squat. He has stated that he has squatted 225kg, but that was when he weighed 98kg and looked like a bodybuilder.

Legendary wisdom from Bill Starr, he hit a lot of good points discussing the psychosocial aspect of coaching in that article. The search for perfect technique can be a means to an end in many cases and end up causing the athlete to have a negative association strength training which I’ve seen happen many times.

It’s when elite level coaches make posts like this that drive me insane: https://twitter.com/DrBradDeWeese/status/525701206040391680.