Leg weights

Weights can make you feel faster. (and power out of the blocks just a litle quicker than before) - during the first phase of a weightlifitng/powerlifting cycle.

This is because your nervous system has learned to recruit more fibers. (hence more power and the ‘feeling’ of more acceleration. But that acceleration speed is only fractionaly quicker, and not quite correlating to the ‘feeling’ much better in acceleration.)

After several of those ‘New’ or upgraded sessions, your nervous system learns to recruit LESS fibers to get the same job done. In both the weight training exercises, and the sprints and any other exercise. So the nervous sytem is trying to return to its happy medium of power outputt, whilst your training is trying to trick your nervous system in to higher power outputt.

After several cycles (much less time for some experianced athletes) you’re not feeling or apreciating the power feeling in acceleration so much, because you are used to it. And…

When you run a 100m, you are learning to pace the power envelope over 9 to 12 seconds, and so you try to accelerate smoothly, so you’ve still got something in the tank between the critical 50m & 80m lines. This is top-end speed for a decent sprinter.

Heavy olympic weightlifitng does not resemble the smooth transition you need in a 100m. It only resembles the jump out of the starting blocks.

So you might leave the starting blocks with higher energy & velocity, putting you in to the next stride at a fractionally higher speed and sooner. But from there, it is all over. Your energy envelope is having to spread itself, and may even be slightly compromised later in the race.

To say weightlifting improoves acceleration speed is a generous statement. It doesn’t improove every ones acceleration speed. Weightlifter may be at 20.5 m line whilst twin brother is at 20m line, but twin brother is moving at same velocity by that point. (In which case, non-weightlifting twin brother, reached same velocity at the same 20m point as weightlifter. Weightlifter is burning up his revs, but twin brother still has more energy left and is looking forward to higher top end speed. This is because non-weightlifting twin brother has spent more time training on the track, doing running, tempo, strides, sprints, hopping and hops with med ball etc… Big open space.)
There is only going to be one winner at the 100m finish line. And 9 times out of 10, it’s the guy who recorded the highest top-end speed, even if it is only experianced for 1 to 2.5 seconds.

And that’s just a pre-season time trial. Twin brother hasn’t even began the ‘sharpners’ yet.

So now twin brother starts doing block start practice, a couple of sled pulls, may be a few cone drills (i dont think they are necesary for all sprinters).

The competition phase begins, and ‘twin’ now atleast matches weightlifter out of the blocks, gets ahead at 25m, and gets well ahead by 70m.

Question: what training can be done indoors when weather in miserable - without having to be maintained when weather is good?

The problem with squatting several times bodyweight, is that you have to maintain it, even when you dont need it (when weather is good enough to train outdoors.) You cant just go back to heavy weightlifting after dropping it for two weeks during a good weather spell. You’d blow out a hamstring, glute or quadricep.
So you have to stay in the gym, when that time would be better spent with more ideal training. You become fixated on how much weight you can lift, and start doing silly things like ‘complex weightlifting cycles’. What a distraction!

Core training exercises, skipping, or light work with kettlebells, med ball, a few callisthenics, skipping etc… can keep you fit and strong indoors. Yet you dont have to maintain those sessions so much, when weather permits you to train outdoors on the track or field. You can go back to those basic, athletic and light indoor sessions any time you like, with allmost neglible loss of form in them. They are merely there just to help maintain a consistent work capacity, and your body being used to training each day.

Pro sprinters are playing with hundreths of a second. They want to ‘feel’ strong as they run through the line. They just do what their coaches tell them to do, and lift the weights. In 1984 olympic 100m final, Carl Lewis was clocked at 29 mph (ON the finish line). He was not doing any weight training that year.
Most amateur sprinters however, are playing with a lot more than hundreths of a second. And they are not going to get the extra second from a special weightlifting program.

I hear what you’re saying but Carl ain’t runnin no 29mph unless it’s on Playstation.

This is all totally useless speculation based on nothing. Point to any scientific studies that back up anything you’re saying. I can speculate just the opposite, but it means nothing if its not based on fact.

Nothing, everything has to be maintained in some manner or it was useless to develop.

The problem with squatting several times bodyweight, is that you have to maintain it, even when you dont need it (when weather is good enough to train outdoors.)
How many sprinters do you now that half squat several times bodyweight?
You cant just go back to heavy weightlifting after dropping it for two weeks during a good weather spell. You’d blow out a hamstring, glute or quadricep.
This is a ridiculous statement. You can’t go back to anything that’s done at 95-100% intensity without working back up to it, without the risk of inuury. This includes Max V sprinting. So what?
So you have to stay in the gym, when that time would be better spent with more ideal training.
What is the ideal training if you can’t go outside and don’t have proper indoor facilities for sprinting? Core work?
You become fixated on how much weight you can lift, and start doing silly things like ‘complex weightlifting cycles’. What a distraction!
Yes, let’s not do any max strength training that might actually improve max strength.

Core training exercises, or light work with kettlebells, med ball, a few callisthenics, skipping etc… can keep you fit and strong indoors.
Fit, maybe. Strong, no way.
Yet you dont have to maintain those sessions so much, when weather permits you to train outdoors on the track or field. You can go back to those basic, athletic and light indoor sessions any time you like, with allmost neglible loss of form in them.
Its easy to maintain when your gains and strength levels are low. Lets just tell all sprinters to stay weak so they don’t have to maintain that strength. Or better yet, maybe you can convince all spriners that they can build all the strength and hypertrophy they need by riding a bike…

But wouldn’t a weak core result in weak lifts (squats/deads) at the gym?. Maybe I read you wrong.

My biggest gains I had in lift No’s & speed where from being addicted to isometric ab core work (done anywhere, gym/home/ghetto). I wasn’t getting “fit” there, I was getting hella strong, hence my gains.

Your core gets stronger doing heavy squats and getting progressingly stronger on them.
I’ve seen a guy in the gym who’s improved his squat a lot and get under the bar with 315 to 405, doing sets with no problem in his balance/stability at all.

I’ve also seen a guy with pretty strong legs naturally, make tons of progress on leg press, and after a short time squatting, his waist seems to be shaking under the bar when he tries to squat.

Nothing, everything has to be maintained in some manner or it was useless to develop.

Completely wrong again. Not all training has to be done at 95-100% high intensity. And medium intensity training such as bodyweight exercises, do not require as much consistency to stay free of injury. If non weight training exercises were such a bad substitute, then why did Carl Lewis get by on med ball sit up throws, plyos & sprints and not a lot else?

Why is it that you actually believe heavy weight lifting makes a big differance to sprinting speed? That is so ridiculous. Have you not done any research? 9 out of every 10 studies done on squats show that they did not improove sprinting speed by any significant amount. (usually no improovement at all, unless you think the first 20m constitutes a speed imprrovement. In which case you haven’t got a clue.) Same with powercleans and bench press and deadlifts.

It’s like the American pro football player who went from 4.29 to 4.26 seconds in the 40 yard dash. He and Joe Defranco thought that was an improovement. It wasn’t. It took 12 months, he bulked up about 15 Ibs of weight, and his 40 dropped by 0.03. It was a strength improovement in the gym. It was a hypertrophy improovement (which you think is important - and it IS for football players. ) But it was not a speed improovement. The 0.03 secs faster time, might just have been a quicker drive out of the gate. And was better rested that day or something. NO WAY IN THIS UNIVERSE DOES IT CONSTITUE A SPEED IMPROOVEMENT, AND IT IS NOT EVEN TOP-END SPEED ANYWAY.

Then there’s Charles Poliquin who worked with Dwight Phillips the year Dwight won Olympic Gold in the Long Jump. (No I am not claiming he was Dwights main coach.) He was just the strength coach that year.
Dwight allways wanted to run the 100 meters, and double up with the long jump. However; although Dwight improoved his lifts by double, including a 120kg power snatch, he did not have ANY improovement in his 100 meter sprint times. In fact, he was a few hundreths slower in 2004 than in previous years, which is why he couldn’t even qualify for the U.S trial 100m semi-finals. But he went on to win the long jump.

Meanwhile, Christopher Lemaitre, who only power cleaned 50kg (about 40 % of Dwight Phillips power snatch, and therefor; 30 % as impressive as Dwight in the gym) - well Cristopher ran 100m in 10.03 secs at the European juniors. Dwight Phillips could not manage to get under 10.20 seconds in the 100m in his strongest year in the gym and in the long jump.

Dwain CHambers. 50kg improovement on his squat, but no improovement in his sprint speed.

You actually dont have a frigging clue. Also, I have never said that ‘Cycling’ would cover all hypertrophy needs for a sprinter. You deliberately took out of context what I wrote in another thread.

I would never recomend cycling for a sprinter.

But that previous thread was more about some bodies obsession with hypertrophy. I got tired of listening to people go on about BS ‘advanced’ weight lifting programs, when there are a 100 different ways of gaining hypertrophy. So I mentioned the fact that cycling sprints would develope the knee extensors more than squats (if gear ratio was high enough, and up a steep hill.) As I have done a lot of both, I should know what I am talking about. I Have at times had more quadricep hypertrophy than Ben Johnson. (But have never squatted as much as Ben Johnson.) The only time the knee extensor hypertrophy significantly increased, is when I did power cycling up steep hills, with re-inforced bike chains. FACT.

But you carry on believing that weightlifting is the way to build speed. You sound like some sheep that is echoing the words of 1970’s sports coaches. Un-worthy guru’s such as Tudor Bompa. “Power = force x speed so you got to go and lift weights.” All that sort of F%&&ing nonsense. Give me a break.

But listen, if there is one thing I sincerely hope you do, it would be to use an advanced weightlifting method. I really hope you do that. Go and study everything you can on weightlifting and powerlifting and “adapt” it to your sprinters (he-he). If there is one thing that will garuntee you will not get the results you want, it would be that right there.

I want you to be trained personally by:
Charles Poliquin,
Tudor Bompa,
Pavel Tsatsouline,
Ed Coan
Joe Defranco, and see what happens to your 100m sprint times. Because F"^"()-0k all would happen. Except that you would deffinately feel good about the added hypertrophy, education and strength. (and if lucky, and with good weather, and a good running track, u might improove your top-end speed by 1m.p.h - which you would conveniantly atribute to the weight lifting program.)

I’ll save up and pay for you to be trained by them.

how would adding weights to your legs when sprinting differ from wearing a weight vest when sprinting or more specifically for vertical jump training?

How would leg weights differ from resisted sprints other than the specific muscles involved? (weights lifted agaisnt gravity opposed to weight being pulled)

resisted sprints create force that pulls you backwards along the horizontal plane. it acts directly against the direction you want to be moving

wearing leg wegihts or a vest would just make you heavier meaning more force straight down. though gravity is the biggest limiting factor to speed, this stuff tends to mess up form more than it does help you move horiontally faster IMO

Hey Goose, everything you say I respect.

I was wandering if you could elaborate on that point please?.

Yeah baybe… Yeah baybe…

Just got a green reputation point.

You guys are killin’ me out there.

Also, I have never said that ‘Cycling’ would cover all hypertrophy needs for a sprinter.
I would never recommended cycling for a sprinter.

By ‘cycling’, I was refering to bycicles. Not ‘cycling’ as in ‘changing the training from time to time’. But I think you allready knew what cycling I meant.

Certainly, I would not recomend bycicles for track sprinters. I have done a lot of both. Cycling does not improove sprinting speed. Well, it doesn’t improove the speed of people who allready engage in any type of running or plyometrics. Adding bycicles will not contribute further.

Bycicling is a blood pumping anmd very concentric muscle activity. There is not a great deal of eccentric activity. The ccentric activity is just so low in intensity that it doesn’t count. Rather, the concentric work in bycicle sprints is very high. (And so bycicles are a tremendous way of developing fitness. ‘Tour de’ France cyclists have the best V0 2 max of any athlete in the world. Olympic 200m sprint persuit cyclists and 1km time trialists have fantastic physiques and tremendous leg muscularity. Credit where credit is due.)

It’s just that cycling does not improove running speed.

If the Tri-athlon was changed to bi-athlon, with the cycling omited, the now bi-athletes would ALL improove their running and swim times. The less affairs you manage, the more your physioloagy and nervous system adapts to the affair.

Cycling does not have the same muscle lengths experianced in any type of running, let alone sprinting.

Cycling is ‘the grind’, blood pumping, concentric muscle burning activity, mainly quads & glutes.

Sprinting is the static spring model. Utilizing angular momentum for greater sprinting speeds, and having the strength to exploit the potential kinetic energy.
The tendons have to be elastic, and do a lot of the work.

Running require natural cat like reflexes to keep your body stable. These reflexes are natural and governed by the nervous system. Not how many sit ups some body can do, not balancing on a swiss ball, and not holding on to handle bars (as in bycicles.)

One of the important factors in creating angular momentum in running is: — the posture of the spine.
Pelvic rotation is governed partly by spinal posture. The spinal posture in cycling is the opposite of posture in sprinting.

Michael Jordan and other basketball players sometimes used cycling/ bycicles in their young collage days.
Cycling (bycicles) may improove (very slightly) the speed of your first step.

But as early as your second stride, cycling becomes less beneficial. Once you are in to your third or fourth running stride, bycicles have about 0 % influance on your speed.

There are 41 to 51 strides in a 100m sprint. Why do something that only slightly helps the first stride?

When injured, and running is out of the question, swimming, bycicles/cycling, callasthenics become great ways of maintaining cardio fitness, with low impact to joints and tendons and very little eccentric stress.

As a side note; one study done, concluded that barbell back squats done for 6 weeks improoved bycicling sprint speed, but did not improove running speed. (But there are many studies, plus my own training experiances which are vast, that lead to the same jigsaw pieces.)

If it is pissing down with rain outdoors, and u are not injured, but still won’t run, then skipping with your imaginary skipping rope, is a better substitute than cycling.


Post showed twice, deleted the second.

Good answer, Mortac. I should have been more spacific. The 27 and 28m.p.h speeds we hear of are concluded only by the mathmatical velocity during a 10m segemnt. E;g; from the 70m line to the 80m line.
However, Charlie Francis pointed out many years ago, that a sprinter is NEVER moving at a constant speed. Not even for several hundreths of a second. He said the idea that the speed could ever be constant is an affront to Isaac Newton physics. When running, you are only ever accelerating or de-accelerating.

For example, the speed at toe off, or the very last part of late stance / triple extension, is the highest speed. Deffinately higher than the 27 to 28m.p.h ‘peak velocity’ maths of a 10m split.

So the likes of Asafa Powell, Tyson Gay, Bolt etc…, probably get around 30 m.p.h from time to time, during toe-off.

Carl lewis was suposedly clocked at 29 m.p.h ON the finish line, but not for the entirety of the final 10m segment.
Now, whether he was or was not hitting 29m.p.h above the finish line, I think we can agree, that he had one heck of a final 20m in that race. His relaxation and velocity were better than anyone else in that race.

Therefor; I’m not sure I can agree with John Smith (H.S.I) who said weights can help you run fast thru the finish. He was also refering to the supposed benefit or more bodyweight.

But look at the super fast finish of Carl Lewis. He wasn’t lifting weights in 84. (And yes, Carl did have some of his fastest ever 10m splits between the 80 and 90m lines.)

Some people have “all or nothing” attitudes to strength training for the sprints.
You’ve got camp A who thinks weight training is the spawn of satan and will turn your legs into lead, and camp B who thinks that getting strong is everything.
Just look at Charlies programs and implement your weights that way, its as simple as that.

Agreed. It took a while for it to sink in fully with me. Some of it is…subconsciously, people think you if you hit xyz pro-sprinters weight numbers you will run close to that speed.

People are using Carl as an example, which is fine, but Tellez’s other athletes lifted and the program was general and similar to CF.

John Smith’s weights are general. Franno’s weights are general.

You telling me lewis ran 47kmph at the END of the race? lol wut.

and our 3 amigos now are almost running 50kmph?


I hear what your saying Goose.

I have supplemented road cycling with my football (soccer) for years (intervals on the road bike (stomps) did more for my endurance than running tempo’s ever did).

Cycling hits the hip flexors in a big way, especially using clipless pedals & ‘pulling back’ on the pedal stroke, hence what you said, ‘Cycling (bicycles) may improve (very slightly) the speed of your first step’.


But if your first step is quicker, second step is quicker then why can’t the extra leg speed in the first 2 steps pour over into steps 13 14 etc???.. You have generated the speed in the first 2 steps, surely if extra speed has been enhanced there, it carries over into steps 13 & 14 also?. Its there in the hip flexors, you’ve developed it, the CNS has remembered it.

If you have influenced the speed in the first 2 steps, surely that would influence power/speed throughout the race. Your banging out the same “greater” leg speed you produced in steps 1 & 2.

I have to disagree. The block clearance is to do more with the concentric power of the muscles.

After just a few strides, the eccentric tension in muscles (governed mainly by velocity x lever length) and the SSC efficiency of the tendons (hip hieght especially), the posture of the spine (spinal awareness more so than back strength), the ability for the muscles to relax quickly and save energy, and other things, are are important than how much concentric tension you can generate to overcome inertia.

Your allmost saying that if some one can record a high vertical jump or broad jump, then they would also be a fast sprinter.

A shot putter holds the record for the longest standing long jump (broad jump.) Same shot putter could hang with sprinters in the first 10m of a race. Middleweight weightlifters of medal standard, would beat the short Tyson Gay out of the blocks (with block practice.)

Allen Iverson’s first step on basketball court was probably every bit as fast as an olympic sprinters first step from a standing position.

Many Running Backs in the N.F.L could hang with sprinters of same leg length for the first 30meters.

Marcus Adam also told me that he and John Regis (bob sled & 200m), could not beat the N.F.L players to the 30m line on the training track in Florida. The football players were not shorter in hieght or leg length.

Anyway… where are all these fast starters, come the finish line in a 100m race?

Yes, many people have tried the ol’ clippers on bike pedals to involve hamstrings (pull-up) and hip flexors (pull-up) on the pedal revolution.

Don’t tell me you brought one of those special training bikes where each pedal turns independantly of the other, so that you have involve hamstrings and hip flexors more to get full revolution.

It’s still no where near the muscle lengths and tendon elasticity (and other things) that are needed AFTER block clearance in a sprint.