Leg weights

Can someone please explain to me why 1-2 pound leg weights somehow placed on the thigh, hamstring, calf and foot-- to be used when speed training-- would not be effective for developing speed?

Have the athlete wear the weights and run 40’s or 100s etc. Then after a few weeks or so will the athlete be faster? My father thinks this is revolutionary, but I can’t come up with any counter argument.

He says the athlete should get the feeling of lighter legs- therefore they would be quicker… thus running faster.

There are many better ways of training someone to go faster, and weighing down people’s legs would be at or near the bottom of the list.

Sometimes weighted vests are used for specific drills, but in order to get faster, you need to run fast, and you can’t do this by weighing down certain parts of your leg. For one thing, you’d mess up your mechanics…I’m sure other people can go on and on about how this is a really bad idea.

Who told you this foolishness? How can having light uncontrollable legs make u faster?

It’s a perception thing.

Placing 1-2 pound leg weights on the thighs would do something to strengthen the hip flexors.

But how many world class sprinters ever loaded the thighs?. Probably none.

The only world class sprinter I can recall hearing about using the leg weights was the 1960 silver medalist Dave Sime.

He later regretted using them-felt as if they slowed him down. I can’t recall the quote but it was in the Track and Field News book- How they train: Running events. I feel sure the book is long out of print.

I never said I agreed with him. And I don’t. I have always squatted and my coach always wants my teammates to squat, but my dad always points out all the fast guys he knew that were not strong- but very fast.

His HS classmate holds our school record in the 100m dash (like 10.6 or something) and he never did one single squat or leg workout in his life.

He can go on and on about weak guys that are fast, and I have trouble convincing him of the stuff I’ve read on here.

Just out of curiosity, can anyone on here tell me some “before and after” results from an increase in their squat? I mean, has anyone on here dramatically improved their speed by increasing their squat max significantly…? Or is it just a theory.

*The increase in max squatting strength must be the only variable.

The fastest guy in my HS didn’t lift neither, never in the gym. But he did ghetto workouts everyday in the hood.

the guy from my dad’s HS was white. If that makes a difference.

I don’t think leg weights are the worst thing in the world to use early in the season in GPP, especially with younger runners. That said there is a potential for them to hurt your mechanics and depending on how heavy of a weight you are using they can also break you down physically, whether it is at the joints, plantar fascia, etc.

However a person who only uses leg weights is not going to be any worse off than someone who only squats. (open for interpretation of course)


The guy at my HS would have had highly developed hip flexors/core strength over squats (Glutes/Quads).

That told me his blazing legs came from his core strength & hip flexors. Guys with big squats/deads in the gym couldn’t re-produce his core strength or speed. Funny when people say you get sufficient core development from big lifts.

Do 10-20 planche push ups (Hand placement at the hips), see where you at.

So, favor overall relative body strength (“core” generally speaking) over maximum power?

Seems that those guys who can do backflips or planche push ups or walk around doing a hand stand etc. have tremendous core strength. Having great coordination/control of your body sounds like it should be the focus of your training.

If the fast runners have strong hip flexors and glutes, how important are squats? Or how strong were their glutes? How important is “squat strength”? Especially for the non-eliete athletes.

Would an 11-12 second 100m dash runner benifit from strength training if the training period was only a few months?? Or should strength training be generally avoided to spend most (all) CNS energy on speed

A good focus point when starting training

Leg weights when sprinting= NO NO NO!

stay away from this BS. firstly with any kind of weight you cannot rebound as normal thus leading to the opposite result. in sprinting you use the ground but rebound at the same time,not trying to increase contact which is what happens with weights.

why o why do people even consider this is beyond me and this overspeed training ona threadmill which seems to be a craze in the usa ATM is pure BS…you cannot transfer this to the track and the risks’ are too much.

just stick to the CFTS as charlie has proof that his system works!!!

What if you strengthen or increase the elasticity of the rebound?

I don’t know how people on here define maximum power?. I thought it too be limb speed?. If you want incredible limb speed, you need incredible core strength.

If I could have my time again back in HS, with the knowledge I have gained, personally I would spend 8 months-year developing great core strength, doing sprints & become good at jump rope, before even touching a weight & see where my speed was at first.

Ben Johnson, Maurice Greene, Linford Christie I hear all had big squats. I want too know what Bolts doing in the squat?, which I want too see with my own eyes not some web article. His leg development doesn’t suggest he even squats. Some world class sprinters don’t even squat I read?.

Adding 50lbs to a non-elite athletes squat would be beneficial, but as you progress, I have found 50lbs does nothing. So I went back to concentrating on power (core) & not so much strength & got faster.

Check these guys out… I know I’m running quick when I can eventually do this…



Also, if you ever wanted an alternative to leg weights, you could try weighted flutter kicks maybe?. I think there better, probably mess with mechanics, but better than leg weights IMO.

those are some crazy videos. So, from what you’ve decided- do everything you can to develop a freak core while keeping up with your speed training.

This should be done regardless of strength? Or should the squat max be built up prior?

Do bolt, gay, powell all have big squats? hell no. though im sure they can put up some fairly decent weight, they definitely cannot approach some of the 1RMs that some people on these online forums can do. They do however, run 9.5-9.7.

Now we’re talking about freak core strength? lol… do you honestly think bolt does those things? i’d be more inclined to believe bolt spends his time doing squats vs. heavy weighted ab work. Honestly… it’s all the same sh*t in the end.

what’s the job of the core? to stabilize you. I’ve done my high amount of core work vs. low amounts of core work, and made huge progress on squats vs. my squat going down. I’ve also seen others go through the same process/es.

In the end, getting stronger in general will help you in the LONG term, however in a single season, I highly doubt a higher 1RM or super freak core strength will do you much.

As for which is more valuable, you can all have your own opinions, but there’s more guys squatting 400-500 and running fast vs. guys hanging off poles sideways and running fast, so I think i’ll stick with the former being better and that is squats.

to be fast you must run fast, and then run some more.

I guess a summary of what Im gathering here would go something like this:

It would be foolish to spend large amounts of time strongly focusing on one just training tool. Spend the majority of your time training on the track running high quality sprints of various distances. And use things like squats, sit-ups, core, stability, mobility, coordination, conditioning as supplements toward your speed training.

Thus, have your entire program revolve around speed. The squats can help me get faster, as can the core exercises… but really, the vast majority of my time and energy should be spent running.

With or without the use of leg weights

on the topic of this, i dont see how ankle weights would have any benefit, aside from perhaps doing some walking A’s for the hip flexors?

I see what your dad said about “feeling lighter” but that will not = faster running speeds.
Instead, you can do some resisted sprints (sleds), 2-4x 20-40m with about 10-15% weight of your body weight. This would cause the same effect, however you will need to follow that with a regular speed (with tailwind) which will allow higher intensities, thus higher benefits from the speed work.