Q for Charlie:Do you need to lift weights to gain speed

My chiropractor/trainer says i dont need to lift weights anymore because everytime i lift my lower back starts hurting because it is out of alignment.

The only thing i do right now is stretch full body 1-2 times a day. and body weight exercises

cmon any one else know how to solve this problem.

well when i first started lifting OLs my lower back got really tight when i started running the next session.
It turned out to be a combination of poor technique(rounded back), no lower back strength and no hams strength.

Since then i’ve sorted my technique and done loads of light assistance work on lower back and hams and now no pain or tightness whatsoever plus my lifts have gone up a lot.
exercises like sldl, 1 leg sldl, reverse hypers on a ball, med ball work while on my tummy have really sorted me out

so i dont know about your specific problem but it could be related. have you ever actually directly worked your back? what exercises cause the pain? does it feel tight more than 1 point of pain?

my problem is nothing like yours, i think my is just a problem of being out of alignment. and everytime i lift a weight it will get my back out of line again

well i think the answer to your q is no you dont NEED weights.
plyo’s, med ball throws, hills, improvements in technique + flexibility can all improve speed.
It all depends on distance and athlete involved.

first I’ll look for a chiropratic or orthopedic solution…second, there are so many exercises witlh opposition pf resistance, graduable for your needs…whereas if you have spinal alignment problems, with plyos you would exacerbate them…

jconnor i might just do that, i will just do what im doing what i am doing.

my trainer says i already have strong legs. and that i just need to do body weight step ups and other body weight exercises.

All athletes no matter which event(s) need to be strong to compete at a higher level. But you don’t have to lift weights in the classic sense to get that strength.

Allan Wells (Moscow 100 champ) didn’t lift weights much if at all from memory. Instead he did things like “chinnies”, pushups and unloaded squats in very high volume. He occasionally did a test in which he would do 1000 continuous reps (pushups I think, but that’s from memory from talking back then to him and Margot). He was one fierce and powerful beast.

HERE IS A QUOTE from Allan Wells cut and pasted out of the thread ‘Sky1 the fastest man in the world’

[Alan Wells had no easy way to gain strength and power and his rise to the top came from sheer hard work and commitment. Wells had a unique training regime more akin to a boxer than to a sprinter. His punishing schedule didn’t include weights but consisted of a speed ball and mat work.

A.W: “The way you’re hitting the ball, you’re actually pushing off your foot. Everything’s coordinated. It’s similar to running. It was as hard as you wanted it to be (repetitions-wise). We did free-standing squats, bounds, hops and jumps. No weights. It was all focused on speed on the track.” ]

The thing about lifting weights is that, for most folks, they are a time-energy expedient way of getting strong.

But if you have an orthopaedic issue - particularly in the spine - then obviously you have to address that problem if you can through physical therapies and adjustments, firstly.

And in the meanwhile stay away from excessive loading that will injure and sideline you.

The best male sprinter I’ve worked with had a bad back, very unstable around L3-5. Our chiropractor banned us from letting him do power-cleans or squats or snatches. And plyos (except easy alternate high-skips and some vertical jumps) were also on the banned list.

But we got around that by doing more conservative stuff on machines (leg-press with back braced against the padded seat; hip-flexor pulleys; hammy curls on the Keiser pneumatic machines favoured by many physiotherapists; and of course hill runs; plus benchpress, dips, stomach crunches and some other abdominals work). Despite all of his limitations, he still ran 400 in sub-45sec on numerous occasions and enjoyed what by almost any standards could be regarded as a successful track career.

By staying away from the things that blew his back up, he was able to remain on the track injury-free and he trained strong to progressively develop other performance threads which enabled him to be quite competitive overall.

alright and i will note yall that i am currently
15 years old

Does doing ANY exercise hurt your back, or is it just certain few, like squats, deadlifts, etc. ? Could it be a postural/form issue? Have you made sure your form is top notch? What about ab/low back strength? Hip mobility/hamstring flexibility? All of these could be contributing to your back pain; hopefully you do not have a disc problem.

well, the chiropractor saw that i had one narrow disc, but he is so good he fixed it right away.

My abs were too tight is what he said. he used the EMP just to get them loose again.

and as far as flexibility, i stretch a lot at least once a day full body

I think its all lifts that hurt my back. when i did squats in the summer, the alignment in my back came apart. and a week ago i just started lifting(but only upperbody) and now my back is hurtin again.

so it has to be the weights

Could be a form issue… Have you checked it with someone who knows what they’re doing?

k, this chiropractor/trainer was an NFL trainer.
my out of line back and supertight abs were wat was causing my form to be bad.

This guy knows speeed. this guy worked and helped the fastest nfl players.

and just as a side note, he worked on deion sanders, and he runs a 4.2 forwards and 4.3 backpeddling

I didn’t say he didn’t know what he was doing. Just was asking how your form was and it could’ve been the issue. So now you know that your abs are super tight and your back is out of line; I would say to work on your hip/ab/psoas flexibility as a top priority. Sounds like that is holding you back most. And for your back, maybe regularly scheduled adjustments with a chiro would help out. I think you could still get away with doing lower body things that don’t put loads on your back; dumbell lunges, dumbbell step ups, dumbbell reverse lunges, dumbbell bulgarian split squats, etc… the list goes on. You can find ways that don’t affect the back if it is bothering you so much. I had a disc herniation at L4/L5 in April of 2004; Had surgery on it (tried everything under the sun with no avail) and I am still able to do squats, RDL’s, etc. I just really have to focus on my form and abdominal/low back strength. Work on the weaknesses first!

Sure athletes don’t NEED weights to be fast, more importantly they need weights to stay healthy. An athlete with with a better strength base can recover faster due to the relative stresses of spriting.

If hypothetically you have two identical athletes and one develops a strength base and the other one does not. The athlete with the strength base will have less total stress if they both do the same running workout, because muscles not only apply forces they obviously also absorb forces as well.

IMO opinion in the long run developing a strength base will most likely keep you healthier longer which sounds like it might already be a problem if you need alignments and a chiropractor at 15 years old. I’m sure your Chro is excellent but if he or someone qualified doesn’t see your strength training, how do you know if you are doing it correctly?

ive never had anybody say anything about my form, only before i went to the chiropractor/trainer.

WRCortese5, i still dont think even working with dumbells would be good for me, i might try them sometine but i really have to break the habit with weights.

but can is still keep a good strength base with bodyweight exersices

ive never had anybody say anything about my form, only before i went to the chiropractor/trainer.

WRCortese5, i still dont think even working with dumbells would be good for me, i might try them sometine but i really have to break the habit with weights.

but can is still keep a good strength base with bodyweight exersices

This is an individual matter that depends on your specific circumstances, but sufficient strength can be gained by means such as explosive med ball and plyos etc, it just means that you are limited by one training option.
That said, there are therapeutic lifting exercises that might stabilize certain back issues.

Wouldn’t these methods have the same potential to cause irratation. IMO general strength training is less stressful than sprinting and explosive exercise, depending on the intensity which is easily regulated.

Obviously I don’t know enough about the specific problem, but I hate when athletes/trainers are so quick to blame a lifting session or a particular lift for causing a problem that most likely hapened more from the cumulative affect of training/practice/competition than from a single lifting session. If an athlete is healthy enough to do maximal sprinting/practice, how can they not be healthy enough to do strength training of some form, keeping in mind all the modifications that can be made for injuries?

Charlie, I think your point on lifting to stabalize the spine is the real solution. But don’t spritners need to work the max force side of the curve as well?

How did your abs become “super tight” at the age of 15? I’m not familiar with how that could happen.