special speed/strength training

When I train track and gym on the same day, I always schedule speed training on the track in the morning and weights in the afternoon…as in keeping with most of the thoughts on this forum i.e. speed training with fresh legs first. I know myself that if I hammer my legs in the Gym first I’ll perform like a wet noodle on the track. However, my VHJ is always greater after I have primed my legs with a few squats/cleans first…not if i’ve knackered myself, but after 2/3 low rep heavy explosive sets.

Victor Lopez (track and field coaches review Spring 1995) and Fred Hatfield (power: a scientific approach 1989) theorise that the best way to develop explosive power, acceleration, elastic response and speed is to schedule weights (half pyramid 50% to 90%) then multi-jumps(low hurdles frog jumps bounding), followed by speed/acceleration(starts to 20/30 up to 50/60m) and top speed flying 20’s.
Lopez states ‘when we do weight training, most of the time the contraction we use is concentric…therefore, if one of the objectives in the training of sprinters is to improve the stretch shortening cycle, it is important that strength work with weights is followed by eccentric work…It is for this reason that we prescribe multi-jumps. sometimes we do these exercises with resistance on the track and sometimes in the weights room. All strength work where the execution is slow, should be followed by strength work where the execution is fast’. Speed work is then scheduled because…‘the neuro-muscular system will respond much better because it will have been maximally recruited/stimulated by the heavy weights and multi-jumps’.

As I said earler if one does too much work in the gym I would think there would be a decrement in performance on the track. But where sets/reps are low in the gym (but % max high) with complete recovery and a well conditioned athlete is this a good system to use for 4/6 weeks special speed block? Obviously loads would have to be carefully assessed to prevent injury/burnout.
Any comments? Anybody tried this system?

Sounds like this is comparable to doing strength endurance or light plyos before a speed session. I don’t see this as a problem as it is common practice for some teams. I think it also prepares you for loads of trials and finals over 2 days, ie, state meets, regionals, ncaa championships. Have you ever timed workouts post weight lifting and timed them pre weight lifting, i wonder how close they actually are and which is really faster. Just because you feel like you ran faster doesn’t mean you actually did? On the contrary, I have run in meets where I had 4 race trials one day and 4 finals the next and was still able to run faster in the 200 and 100 after feeling I had exhausted everything the day before. I’d really do some tests, monitor your time carefully and let us know what you find.

Thanks for your reply Dazs
Good points…I have’nt run immediately after weight training but being timed pre and post weights would be a good idea, although I can feel when i’ve run well, can’t you?
I do know that after a few squats (not too many!) my vert. is definately higher. The thing is, there are so many variables interacting to make a good 100/200 (including psychology), that identifying cause and effect for one factor isn’t that easy.

Although I can feel when I have run well, on occasion I have been fooled and the times didn’t show what I had initially thought was a good race or practice session. I think you are absolutely correct, as much as we try to break down these complex races, there are so many immeasurable variables that make each race very different from the next.