Weight Training the Day before a meet?

Do any coaches here have their High School sprinters in the 100m and 200m lift the day before a meet? If so, what specific suggestions would you recommend?

i wouldnt. i dont see what you would get out of it beside fatigue and possibly DOMS. i believe the reason that an athlete may do this would be to fire up their Central Nervous system by doing heavy weight 1-3 reps but since we are dealing with a high school athlete firing up the CNS may be a whole other topic. however id like to hear what others have to say reguarding this.

Dan Pfaff’s athletes lifted before races (didn’t Don Bailey Clean between rounds in Atlanta?). The exact protocols of which I am not sure. A search in the old archive may yield resuults on the topic.

It depends. I have had my athletes do some very low volume plyos or med ball throws the day before a meet. It can assist in increasing their level of excitation the next day. I know of some coaches/ strength coaches (and have experimented myself) with doing some 1Rep @ 90% partial squat, 1 Rep Cleans, etc.
You have to find what works for the athlete.

I think this topic might get a little misleading unless it’s clear what the WHOLE tapering phase consists of.

i.e. Would it not be fair to say that the DAYS leading up to the meet (as a whole) are probably as, (if not more important) than the last day before the actual meet?

Dive, while I appreciate it is specific to the athlete, maybe you’d elaborate on the workouts you reccomend on days leading up to the meet?

Some great suggestions and ideas from all of you. However, in this particular case this athlete has a HS Meet on Tue. and then again on Friday. So I was thinking about possibly lifting on Thursday but keep the volume extremely low.

Upper body PNF exercises are good. Even a few hours prior to lane reporting. One of the benefits is arm and shoulder stimulation.

However, given the opinions provided on this subject, I have a notion to try. Particularly with athletes whose strength levels have improved from last season.

Could you give the details of exactly what you’d like to try?

I might just want to try this max lift thing before a competition…any help CHARLIE :smiley:


What would you think of doing power cleans and/or SL deadlifts 24 hrs. prior to a girls championship competition? The event would be 100 (PB=12.2) or 200 and strength improvements in both have been realized since a year ago.


I am a former thrower, from my own experience, which may not work for all. Lifting before meets was something I was coached to do. You must be introduced to it gradulaly. Don’t think that your athlete can lift before a meet and then go out there and bust out good times, or distances. The key is to plan and periodize your training sessions. Early in competitive season, introduce lifting before a meet, ex. 3 sets, 2 reps, of one exercise,heavy quarter squat, clean or snatch, etc. See how the athlete adapts to it, don’t make a big deal if the athlete does not improve, next meet try two exercises of the same reps. You will have to see what works for your athlete, and how it adapts to your training program. I have been around some olympians, field events in particular, I have seen some big weight pushed, hard and fast the day before a meet, some athletes lift two days before, some morning of the meet, some lift in between heats, or flights. Take this as some food for thought. Let me know if I can be of any help.

I used to find a couple of sets of cleans for doubles worked well both the day before a meet and occasionally the day of a meet as part of the warmup. Nothing too heavy but very explosive. This was especially true in shorter races like the 50-60meters. I think doing cleans helped me in my 30 meter PB (3.93 seconds) Unfortunately I didnt do them all the time and can’t say I have any quantative evidence that doing cleans really helped. BUT it sure made exploding out of the blocks feel effortless :slight_smile:


Kweli: You seem to be going ok now- think carefully before adding a “max- lift thing” the day before a meet. The concept is so dependant on all other factors in training and the level of the athlete that a blanket yes or no is impossible. we need the circumstances.
If you do want to lift Thurs, what about Mon? Wouldn’t the same principle apply? With meets on Tues and Fri, why wouldn’t you consider the lifts for Wed and Sat)?
Chris30 what percentage of max were you using and what did you do 2 days out from the meet?


I honestly can’t remember exactly what I did leading up to that particular meet. (It was back in 1995) I “think” I did tapered short speed/ low volume plyos about 3-4 days before, light tempo the day after that and then I am not sure. I was only doing 155 for the cleans about 60% of my max at that time but very explosive. Only 2 sets of doubles not including warmup.

Hope this helps