mass or just stength

I am a former collegiate 200/400m runner. I am 6’0 about 168lbs.
Should I try to gain more weight?
OR should I only worry about getting stronger?
I want to pursue the 200m dash!!


I tend to keep the % about the same for the entire week. I have found that I can get up in the 95% + range and as long as I keep the reps down below 3, I don’t have a problem handling 4 to 6 working sets. I think I may have trouble if I were doing more reps per set. Also I make sure that each set is not to failure. That is, I lift well within myself and try to keep one or two reps in the tank. Also I don’t limit my rest intervals. I get at least a full 3 minutes between sets. Finally, I don’t have any problem with dropping my third day of lifting in a week if I don’t feel like I am recovering sufficiently.

I have heard of people who use a heavy day/light day scheme and they apparently have success with it. Personally, I don’t like it because when I am in the gym I want to go hard and heavy. If it is a recovery day, then I do tempo or rest. I don’t do much in between the two levels.

For example, to pull this all together, if I had planned to lift on MWF and then lifted well on Monday but felt like I wasn’t ready to go hard on Wednesday, instead of going into the gym on Wednesday and doing a “light day” or changing the rep scheme, I would use Wednesday to hit a couple of recovery modalities and then get in the gym on Thursday and go heavy again. In this scenario, I would drop my Friday lift and only have two session that week.

This works for me, but as always, YMMV.


I’m with you concerning the intensities over the training block.My question is around the percentages for each day of the week.Would you use the same percentages for each day of the training week.Would’nt that be too much when you approach the 90 and 95% phase of your program.Currently I have athletes doing similar movements as yours but we only hit your percentages one day during the week.That is considered our heavy day.(monday)our speed day(wednesday) we hit65% for 6 x 4 with 45 sec. rest intervals. On friday ,we go up to 85% for 4x1 and 85% for 3x3.Your thoughts?

you sound like a pro! just wanted to say thanks again for the great advice, wish you luck on the football.
When the day comes that I actually fulfill my self prophecy (worldclass), I’ll keep you in mind.
I always remember those that have helped me on my journey.
Be cool!

What are your current numbers? What are you doing and what do you have access to?

prs are basically 21.8
and 48.2
i have access to a brand new weight room at my school with in my opinion almost everything…
mon- hang cleans 3x6 @ 135
bench press 3x5 @ 195
step-ups 3x8 @ 185
dumbbell arm swings
wed- hang cleans 3x6 @ 135
squats- 3x8 @ 250
jump lounges w/ dumbells 3x8 w/40lbs
fri - squats 3x3 @ 295
bench press- 3x5 @ 205
I am in the process of revising this again though…any suggestions are greatly welcomed.

Well, ideally, you want to be as strong as possible and as light as possible. So unless there are structural deficiencies that need to be addressed (the “looks right, flies right” concept) then I would say focus on strength.

If you played football, the answer might be different, but for the 200m I don’t think that any extra mass is going to help.


I encourage you not to do cleans above 3 reps. When you get above this they tend(not always but it does happen) to get sloppy with reduced power outputs.

Get rid of Arm Swings.

I wouldn’t do hang cleans all the time. Personally I would choose cleans (in any format) for one session and either do a olympic pull or deadlift the next.

Change Wed squat to Monday.

You need to increase strength, but if there are no physical problems a bit more size wouldn’t hurt-but this is not the main concern.

I would also possibly think about adding some form of hip extension work (ie Reverse Leg Press, Romanian Deadlift)

These are just thoughts I’ve had looking at the programme

OK worldclass, here’s what I would do. BTW, good advise from pioneer.

I’m assuming that you are in the prep period and that you are running before your weight workouts. I’m also assuming that you are using Tu/Thur for tempo work.

Therefore a typical week of gym work would look like something like this. You will obviously vary the set/rep schemes week to week and follow a 3-1-3 schedule wherein there are three weeks of increasing intensity and volume, then an unloading week, then three more weeks of increasing intensity and volume. I generally find that the it is best to keep the number of sets less than 20 (perhaps even fewer if you are doing a lot of speed work) and make sure to rest a full 3 minutes between each working set. I also like to make sure that I am working well within myself and always want to feel like I could have gotten another rep or two at the end of each set.

-hang cleans 3r x 4s (don’t count your warmup sets)
-squats 3r x 4s
-bench 3r x 4s
-mil press 3r x 4s

-snatch 3r x 4s
-deadlift 3r x 3s
-db bench (or incline bench) 3r x 4s
-low rows 3r x 4s

-clean 3r x 4s
-squat 3r x 4s
-bench 3r x 4s

There is quite a bit a latitude for variation, but the idea is to make sure you hit the big exercises hard and heavy. You may also find that 3x a week quickly becomes too much to handle and need to drop down to 2x/week.


Not Bad X

I would probably drop DB Bench and move the shoulder work to Wednesday.

I find that my shoulders get a pounding from shoulder press.

The snatch is highly technical so having that first before deads is good.

Thanks xlr8, that looks like a solid workout. I agree about the rest between sets(worksets). I see too many people in the gym training in almost circuit style-all of the time. I don’t know why they don’t realize they are truly compromising their ultimate output by using such short recoveries. Such short 30-90 second recoveries limits the intensity one can train at. Distance runners and other endurance athletes are especially bad about this from what I’ve seen. They believe that the weight room is about endurance almost exclusively.

ok cool, i haven’t gotten the book yet but since everyone seems so enthusiastic about it i will have to pick it up!!
thanks again

Thanks for the advice. And you make a good point about the recovery. Just last week one of my friends informed me about this as well.
I will definitely give your program a shot.

Excuse my ignorance but what do u mean by a 3-1-3 schedule?
Also how do you guys feel about doing negatives for the bench press? Would you bother with them or not?
Thanks again

A 3-1-3 schedule is used during a max strength phase in your planning. It means increase your lifting intensity and volume for three weeks, then take a week to drop it down a level (for regeneration) then finish up with three more weeks of increasing intensity.

There is a nice drawing in CFTS that shows this graphically. It looks kind of like a crazy staircase.


worldclass sent me a u2u and I thought you all might be interested in joining the discussion. Hope you don’t mind, wc!

any reason you took off the step ups from my work out schedule and do you know of a good substitute for the snatches?
I dont really know how to do them so I figure it might be pointless to do them with very little weight right now.

I got rid of the step ups because I don’t think that you, or anyone, can generate enough intensity (that is go heavy enough) with them - safely - to get the desired training effect. Remember, weight training for sprinters is general in nature. Hit the muscles you need, but there is no requirement to duplicate movement patterns. As a matter of fact, some have argued that if you get the movements too close inthe weight room, it will mess up your coordination on the track.

As far as snatches, I really like them, but if you can’t do them correctly, drop them until you can find someone to teach you. You can substitute power cleans if you know how to do those. Or you can simply leave out the olympic lifts and do more sprinting. That is what I have done recently. I use the OL in the winter when I can’t get in my track work. They help with rate of force development and power. But once I start sprinting more, I find that I can’t keep the OL going at the same weights, so I drop them and concentrate on running fast.

Don’t feel bad about not doing them, the goal is to run fast and remember that Ben never did any of the olympic lifts. I seem to recall that he was a pretty good sprinter :slight_smile:



Question 1: Yes, you can add an assistance exercise based on how much energy you have left and your ability to recover. I did this during my last max strength cycle. I like your exercise choices. You could also consider good mornings if you don’t have a glute-hamstring machine.

Question 2: The intensities should start at around 80% and work up to 90%/95% over the first three weeks, drop a bit for the fourth and then work up to 100%+ over the last 3 weeks. Note that the percentages are of the initial maxes at the sart of the 7 week training block.

You can look at:
To see precisely what I have been actually doing as part of my football training program. No guarantees that it is optimal, but it should give you an idea of how I’m actually putting it into practice.


Great program!One question,would you consider adding one asistance movement for each day.For example,
Monday-reverse hypers
Wednesday-stiff leg deadlifts
Friday-glute hams
Make that two questions.What intensities do you train at with your proposed program?Do they remain consistent through out the week?

great article pete, thanks

If you decide to start doing snatches this article might help you out: