strength level for female sprinters

Any thoughts on that subject?

Charlie, how much Angella Issajenko was able to lift for various exercises, i would be very interesting to know?


I had been thinking precisely of posting this topic since yesterday. We always talk and speculate about how much the male sprinters are lifting, how much are the chicks lifting :smiley: :smiley: :smiley: I’m sure more then one is lifting numbers that would scare male sprinters :eek: :eek: :cool: .

For starters I’ll throw some figures for the top Argentine female sprinters at the moment, and these are real figures, I see them do this at the gym, not all these “I’ve heard Linford does 600kg threads :rolleyes:”. Veronica Pronzati (11.61) has done a max deep squat of 130kg, 160kg 1/2 squat, 120kg frontal squat (all 2 reps), her body weight is around 59kg. She trains with me so I see everything she does. Vanessa Wohlgemuth (11.65) is an animal, I’ve seen her do 210kg. fast 1/4 squats (4 reps) - yeah - really moving the weight fast. She trains in the opposing club but I always see her in the gym at the National High Performance center. I don’t know her exact BW, but I’d estimate mid 70’s.

Angella did a 225lb (102kg) bench for 2 reps and 2 sets of 6 reps for 450lbs (205kg) for the squat to parallel at a body weight of 136lb (62kg).

That’s damn scary.

are you certain Charlie!..damn!

When I was at Bath there was a sprinter called Donnita Benjamin who power cleaned 105. I recently mailed her coach to suggest she has the potential to medal in weightlifting at the Commonwealths. Apparently she’d rather come 5th or 6th in the national 100m/LJ.

These are astounding gym numbers for such relatively mediocre female sprinters (no disrespect intended, I’m in no position to cast stones myself) . No female Dutch sprinter and only a couple of Dutch throwers (De Bruin, Tunks-Koeman and Goormachtigh in her prime) can match the numbers you say Pronzati and Wohlgemuth are putting up.

When I was training at the Dutch club Hellas in the mid-90s, I’d see Jacqueline Poelman (11.27) bench 50kg for reps (her max would have been around ~ 70kg) and half-squat 90kg for reps, at a bodyweight of maybe 65kg. And Poelman is one of the stronger athletes. A number of the 11.60 - 11.80 girls in the Dutch squad at the present could not bench 50kg or half-squat 90kg if their lives depended on it.

As a matter of fact I think that a couple of my male training partners would have difficulty matching these numbers, and they are 10.60 - 10.80 sprinters.

At a strenght-training symposium in Sweden in 1995 Henk Kraaijenhof said that when he first trained Merlene Ottey in 1989 she couldn’t even squat 50kg ,despite saying that while at university in Nebraska for five years she strenght-trained for one and a half hours three times a week!
He also stated that Olapade Adeniken failed to squat 80kg ,at a time when he had already run sub 10.

Ottey’s numbers in 1990, the year she was ranked no.1 and unbeaten over 100 and 200m, included sets of 10x20 kg snatch, 8x40 squat and 3x65 bench, according to Henk Kraaijenhof, her coach at that time, in an article in a dutch sportscience magazine!

It seems though that Kraaijenhof believed very much in lifting weights at high speed. (But not exlusively)

That may explain why Ottey had poor starting ability.

Poor starting ability? Ottey has held the world indoor record at 50m (6.00) and 60m (7.01). She’s not the very best starter ever, but she’s out there with the best.

Maybe he’s thinking of the actual start not the acceleration.
Speaking of which ,Kraijenhof said that Ottey improved her unweighted squat-jump from 40 to 48cm ,which in turn ought to have improved her acceleration.

Actually, Ottey ran her World indoor records at short sprints from 1992, with a best of 6.96 (the 6.00 from Moscow’94 is questionable, i have the video and it was actually 6.10!).
The numbers given by her coach Kraaijendorf were before that.
For 60m, her progression was like this:

1986 7.24
1987 7.13
1988 no race
1989 7.10
1990 7.08
1991 7.04
1992 6.96
1993 7.01
1994 6.99
1995 6.97

Biomechanical studies held in Belgium in 1989 showed that Merlene’s pressure and horizontal velocity out of the block was weaker than Sheila Echols and Nelli Cooman.

In 1997, she really had beautiful starts lately in the season, beating Marion Jones twice.

Thank you Charlie for Angella’s stats, that’s really impressive, never seen that for a female sprinter. Many male French sprinters would be happy with this!

My girl’s last max strength phase ended up at:

At a body weight of 56kg (123lbs).

Squat (final wave 2)
115kg(253lbs)x4, 120kg(264lbs)x3, 125kg(275lbs)x2.

Partial Squat (just below 1/4 and up onto toes)

Deadlift (final wave 2)
110kg(242lbs)x4, 115kg(253lbs)x3, 120kg(264lbs)x2.

I was going to video it, but as we work out in a commercial gym, there is too much attention as is it is. :eek:

As far as upper body, I no longer believe that max limit benching is worthwhile, so she stayed at around 80% of last years’ max for higher reps, this equated to 65kg(143)x6.

I believe that after 20-25m this level of strength is not of much use. Up to this distance, it seems to be very effective indeed, (recorded a 2.65 first step 20m the other day).

Also, doing this sort of work kills your ability for quality max v or any sort of speed endurance, though it is very complementary to any sort of accel dev work. That’s why it is so important to cycle the strength training. Its also very important to get regular therapy while putting up the big numbers.

This is a good thread. I’d love to hear of other coaches’ numbers and any correlations they see for their female sprinters.

These aren’t women … their men is disguise … scary weight amounts

DC, what kinds of times does your girl run? just curious.

Can’t really go on the previous two seasons so I’ll tell you when she runs them. :smiley:

Prior to that (and me) she was a 400m runner, best time 53 something or other. Not sure about those distance events. :slight_smile:

Re strength: Don’t be too surprised if you consider the percentage difference in performances and the fact that women can be 90% as strong as a man in the lower body and 65% as strong in the upper body.

If women can be 90% as strong as men in the legs and 65% in the upper body, this would mean that 9.79 for a man would equate to around 10.87 (at 90%) and since women have run this speed and faster wouldn’t thsi render upper body strength as irrelevant in the 100m sprint.

I know it’s not but I’m just going by the figures, unless my math is out … please correct me if I’m wrong.