Lifting question

I’ve heard many different ideas when lifting from sprinters. Some say to lift with many sets and little reps, others say just doing 5x5 is good.

What do you guys think?

Also, is it better to go with heavy or light weights?

Yeah I have a question on that too. Say I did full squats at 3x10 at 225lbs. Would this help my strength endurance? and would a 400 guy be better off doing it than a 100 mete guy?


Check this thread out:

It probably will not answer all of your questions, but I found it had some really good stuff.

I won’t try to answer for a 400m sprinter, but for the short sprinters, you want to build explosive power. Work with low reps and lots of sets. That is, generally use 6 or less reps and 3 or more sets (don’t count warmups.) If you get above 6 reps, you tend to induce hypertrophy which has its place for developing sprinters or as remedial work, but once you have the sprinter somatype, you want strength without size.


You go to the gym for strength. If you have size there keep reps below 6. More sets less intensity generally.

With sets 2 ways to do it.

  1. Keep Weight constant for all sets
  2. Change weights in sets (eg increase ever set)


Besides keeping constant weights for all sets and increasing the weights every set, I have had good luck with going right to my highest weight, then dropping down by about 5% for a couple of sets then dropping another 5% for a few more. In addition, I will often do something like 80% 3r, 95% 1r, 90% 1r, 85% 2r x 2s, 80% 3r x 3s. The possibilities are nearly endless…


Any configuration can work. Never tried heaviest weight first and reduce on sets

I guess that that most types of programmes come under either the 1st or 2nd point I made.

To get back to the question.

Generally weights should be heavier rather than lighter for reps below 6-8 (I tend to keep mine <6). Keep exercises basic.

But remember you are a sprinter not a weight lifter, so sprinting comes first

Ok, so what I have gathered from my question is that 5x5 is the most valuable with heavy weights is the best for a sprinter?


Another sequence that you might like (depending on whether or not you like ‘speed-strength’ training in the gym) is to briskly (avoid fatigue) work up to a near max single (~90%), then drop to about 50-60% and go through doubles or triples, then work for another heavy single or two. I go 1x1 heavy, 4-6x2, and then do 2x1, then I accessory work. You probably can do a lot more then me, but I am coming off a LONG layoff, and you seem to be in excellent fitness.


Why do you drop to 50 or 60% as opposed to something like 80%? That seems kind of low to me, unless you are talking about doing something like jump squats in which case I would drop it even lower to about 30%. Just recognize that while in the gym, you have no chance of replicating the limb speeds present in sprinting, so don’t even try. You can and should however, work on max force development, rate of force development and starting strength.

However I do like your overall concept. When I do extended lifting sets, I have used a decending wave-like progression. For example, 80% 3r, 90% 1r, 100% 1r (wave 1), 80% 3r, 85% 2r, 95% 1r (wave 2) 85% 2r, 90% 1r (wave 3). But this tends to be too many sets and takes too long if I do it for a number of different exercises (8 sets, 3 min rest between sets = nearly 1/2 hour per exercise!), especially if I do sprinting beforehand.


Christian T. in a recent article in T-mag depicted how the bulgarians did it.
Sets 1-3-warm-ups
Sets 4-7 - daily max
Sets 8,9-90% x3
Sets 10,11-95%x2
He called sets 8-12 the money sets.