Weightlifting To Get Legs Stronger

Wassup everyone,

I was wondering if anybody could guide me in the rite direction to workouts/weightlifting to get my legs stronger. I’m a track and field athlete, my event is the High Jump. Right now I have a personal best of 7’1 no weight room training just natural hops. However many coaches have told me in order to clear higher heights like 7’4 7’5 I have to have strong legs. I’m basically a noob in the weight room. I heard squats really strengthen tha legs and Plyo’s help a lot also. Never maxed at squatting but 225 is a struggle (SMH) I really dont know any other good workouts. Also, how do you progress in weight each week?

If anybody could help, I’d appreciate it.

I would keep it simple:

Phase 1: 4-8 weeks
squat 4x8
bp 4x8
row 4x8
glute ham 4x8

deadlift 4x5
pullups 4x8
db ip 4x8

Phase 2: 4-8 weeks
squat 4x3/5x2/5x1 (not to failure, est 90-95%)
bp 4x5/4x4/5x5
pullups 4x5/4x4/5x5
glute ham 3x5

snatch dl 3x3/4x2/5x1
spilt squat 2x5
db bp 3x5
db row 3x5

I agree, keep it simple. Weights can help but I know many an example of good high jumpers starting to lift weights, overdoing it, and end up jumping lower heights.

what is the glute ham exercise.I’m looking for something to strengthen the hamstrings .cheers.

Manual gh - aka Russian Leans


Gh machine:


Appreciate the help man!


The type of weightlifting being presented in the thread is absurd, i really don’t get this!! Training 4x8 will result in muscle growth. And then flexing it to 4x4 will result in more muscle strength but not enough to account for the weight gain. As a coach, one must always consider pros and cons. For every pound gained, be it muscle or not, it has to give more than it takes. What i am saying is, if a pound cost more to move 100m than it gives (which it will if muscular hypertrophy is being trained) it will be a bad training.
Why do you not take more from the Olympic style of weight lifting? 90% of the best weightlifters would crush any world class sprinter in the start since they have a extremely superior explosiveness(power generated/pounds of body weight).
Extensive research shows that power training comes from low reps, high sets and max weights. Why do the athletic coaches of the world continue to ignore this fact? Why do the coaches choose mass over power? A small dude can easily beat the bigger fellow by being more efficient per pound!
I do however love the fact that i see the eccentric training presented in the movies!! That is again and again proven in studies to be an extremely underestimated training method!

Can you point me to some of these studies?


While it is true that olympic weightlifters can generate large amounts of forces i think it is too far to say they would crush any sprinter. Maybe the first step out of the blocks but after that it is doubtful. And it is also true that higher reps tend to cause more muscle hypertrophy and low reps MaxS/power IMO it is not best to stick too such rigid planning. As there are multiple factors other than musclular power involved in the sprint events. Also, because of the speed work going on it may not be advisable to use “low rep/high set” in training. One of the biggest things i have learned here is that weightlifting is “general in nature” and the weights should be planned around the sprints, whereas many get into trouble by emphasizing the weights as the primary means of training. Some individuals need to increase muscle cross section prior to training other qualities.
IT really comes downt to the athlete’s needs and what training period he/she is in.

He says he is a beginner in the weight room, thus he will see gains through higher reps (8-10). Eventually they will need to come down, but not right away.

Hypertrophy based training results in an increase in the size of the sarcoplasmic portion of the muscle more than training for maximum strength which is better for increasing the size of the contractile portion of the muscle. Increasing the sarcoplasmic portion allows for more strength endurance and is better for developing speed endurance. I don’t remember exactly why but it has something to do with more mitochondria or something. I feel that a medium rep range can develop the combination of maximum strength as well as sarcoplasm size better than purely maximum strength training.

Tell you what Nandreas,

Former WC in high jump and athlete with one of the greatest HJ differentials ever (from standing height to height jumped) has a vertical jump of <30 inches. He does general weights with sets up to and over 8 reps (and below at times). You find me an olympic lifter who can high jump within a foot of his PR and what you said will be useful.

You can still gain mass using low repetitions, just like you can with higher ones Not everyone responds the same. It’s really the overall volume, number of exercises, etc. You honestly think he’s going to gain large amounts of weight from doing one lb exercise, ub push, ub pull, and pc exercise?

Also, the first 4 weeks are generally higher in repetitions with submax weights, often used in a general physical preparedness phase (GPP). In case you didn’t see he’s an absolute beginner.

Just my opinion. :cool:

Sure…90% of best wlifter…c’mon…remember the 1964 sudies and so on…NEVER HAPPENED!!
I think that also for the first step they would be nothing special, except if they do perform bounds and short sprints in training.
If you are so sure, contact some great lifter(off course , no track background please) put him on a 30m from blocks, film and youtube is waiting for this great feat of explosiveness…
When considering weights for athletes, one have to consider also snc considerations, and the fact that 8 reps could also be fast reaps…60% and so on…

I think that having greater maximum strength definitely helps. There was a guy who joined our track team that had no track experience but he was really strong and powercleaned something like 300 or 400 pounds. He was always in front for the first 20 or 30 meters in the 100. He joined outdoor season so he couldn’t run the 60 but he probably would have done pretty well in it.

Ok…depends on the level…if you are at 11 10,9 level ok…could be…show me someone just at 10,2-10,3 level…( more than half a second over world champ caliber…)…eager to see it…

nobody said MaxS wasnt importnat, but you cant just jump into MaxS work without a progression, or some type of planning otherwise it will most likely disrupt his training.

I know, I agree that you have to have a progression. I thought that Eroszag said that he didn’t think a pure lifter wouldn’t have a good start unless he/she practiced bounds and other plyometric type drills. I was just saying that people with very high olympic lifts will have good starts since concentric strength plays a larger role in the very early part of the race when pushing off from the blocks and taking the initial strides. However, I don’t know if pure powerlifters who don’t do running or olympic lifting would still be able to be explosive at the start.

Look, this whole thread got stupid fast.

The OP said

“I’m basically a noob in the weight room.”

Nothing else is relevant. He should start with a beginner program to learn form, start strengthening connective tissues and adapt to teh training. The end.

Arguing whether OL’s or max strength or whatever is better for a high level sprinter is meaningless because it’s irrelevant to the question that was originally asked.


One thing’s for sure… telling a high jumper to do rows and chins is a complete waste of time.

A lot of the best high jumpers don’t even do squats, because they don’t want to add mass.

To be a good high jumper, you need to be a skinny person, with a lot of power.

Why skinny? To explode upwards? not just that, but so that you can wrap over the bar and feel light as a feather whilst doing it.

Why start with high reps. if at a later date, he moves the reps down to lower numbers, there would never have been any point doing high repetitions in the first place (even in the first 2 months of training.)

All he needs to do in the first two months (and for the rest of his career) is just not go too close to his one rep max, whilst doing low rep sets. It is just purely neural for the high jumper and allways will be. What is all this ‘adaptation’ rubbish. The more reps you do, the more chance you have of getting injured. (that’s fine if you are experianced - because you know how far you can push it.) he is better of learning how to be simultainiously focuses and agressive - which is exactyl what the high jump is. 1 to 4 rep sets is all that is needed in those particualr exercises.

Power gains and power expressions have been shown to peak at below 1 rep max. The %'s vary from exercize to exercize, but think of bar speed.