Weights following speed work

just personally i did 5x5 squats and it would leave me sore for days, i could only do 5x5 once a week

How much accessory work do you guys do? During GPP I’ve done 2x per week heavy squats and once per week deadlifts. Anything else has been some easy hamstring work + lunges here and there…

Can you elaborate more on what you did regarding the weights?
“you emphasize weights specifically”, do you mean actual specific weights e.g simulating a sprint stride with added resistance or are you referring to a period where you just emphasize the weights in a general fashion?
What do you know of the Glen Mills camp with regards to this?

This is how it would play out:

Over the months of october-april:

speed + strength = squat max of 335

strength only = squat max of 400

which would help my acceleration the most? (Assuming bodyweight remains steady.)
-Getting as strong as possible or
-Balance of strength work and speed work

Hemann, I think you can get the best of both worlds. I would eliminate neither strength or speed. You just have to find the balance. If your speed is for football, the way I have my athletes do it a little different. Because football is neither all strength or all speed, you need to train accordingly. Training strictly like a track guy will mess you up. Because I have very short off seasons with my players. I tend toward to a conjugate method of periodization. I would likely use block if I had more time, but that isn’t the case. When the season is over, I let my kids have a few weeks of “ME” time. When we start to work, its kind of a recuperative period. When we get the kinks worked out, I do a bastardization of Wendlers 5/3/1. We do short accel work 2 days per week. Maybe 200 yds of 10’s and 20’s. With weights, its the same format as 5/3/1 with more balanced work as opposed to triceps specialization work. We do Upper 2 days and Lower 1 day in mid week. Lots of rest and chilling out on off days. Kid’s have made tremendous gains. I have seen kid put on 20 lbs lean and improve their 40 times. They routinely go to school and test out at the very top. When we have occasional blips in schedule, I will stack weights and accel. I back the volume off, but not intensity. No recovery issues whatsoever. Hope it helps.

(1) I know that in the year that Bolt broke the 100m WR the first time, he said that he lifted weights in the offseason.

(2) I know that Bolt has talked about the 10+12 rep thing that some here have wanted to laugh at. But what hasn’t been mentioned is that Bolt talked about the weights helping strength endurance. There hasn’t been talk from Bolt or Mills about big weight numbers or explosive bursts from blocks. Bolt, in fact, talks about him not being like smaller, more muscular sprinters almost derisively. The weights being used in the Mills camp seem to serve different purposes, and John Smith is somewhat like that with the higher rep work than the lifters here seem to favor.

(3) Remember that the big category here is strength training, not just weight training. We know that Mills and Francis use sleds; We also know that Francis goes up to 50 pounds on sleds and also uses steep hills, as well as accels out of blocks on grass. If you don’t do some of the non-weight strength work, then you probably need more emphais in the gym.

In “you emphasize weights specifically” I’m really talking about a concentrated period in Verkhoshansky terminology, where you are empasizing strength gains in the gym, and remember that Charlie has this in the early phase of his GPP. Mike Young has made the point that you have to be “strong enough,” but just strong enough as emphasis on high strength numbers that diverts resources from track training can be detrimental. But if you are NOT “strong enough”, you might need to emphasize strength (and less sprinting) for a while, because combination makes it difficult to make major strength gains.

Mills and Bolt may not talk about being explosive from the blocks but he is most certainly explosive as hell from the blocks.


I also believe that he lifts mainly in the 8-12 range on machine type lifts as much as he does barbells. Like hack squat machine and hammer strength bench and stuff. There are some photos of him in a hack squat setup, videos of him doing curls and machine bench. I posted a video of him doing close grip barbell bench in Paris with about 155 repping pretty fast. From discussing and asking questions to Jamaicans and coaches who have had athletes train with Mills the weights are geared toward general strengthening and injury prevention.

thanks for the response. i think we would both agree that there is no magic formula for every sprinter, but some major guidelines can be followed. Right now im of the belief that the best way i can improve is by improving my weak points. One of the weak points is definitely strength. i have had great success with improving my squat by doing them every 5 days… working up to a five rep max. Im not too strong; usually working with around 225-250 pounds, so i don’t think my CNS is stressed from it… thats what i have observed. I haven’t put on much mass either. (yet at least)

You say your guys are doing the 5-3-1 workout, obviously more stressful on the CNS: requiring longer rest periods (7 days). Now, i won’t be able to do 5 reps forever without my body adjusting, do i think the 5-3-1 would be a good change of pace. I’d knock it down to 1 workout per week.

This is where im at. weak. In a sport thats all about acceleration… it would behoove me to improve my acceleration. Thus: squats and deadlifts every 5 days … …and accels 1x every 15 days

So - you’re going to learn to run fast by hardly running at all??

Football - requires pretty much only Acc work, little to no top speed work and No Speed Endurance.
But you also have to be on your feet for a long time, doing stop start tempo type running.

If you’re spending all this time doing weights just to get Strong - you’ll do well for the first say Quarter of the game - then the “weaker” guys who follow a much more Concurrent training plan will run rings around you in the last 3/4 of the game.

You’re not training for say Shot Put - 1-3 blasts as hard as you can, game over.

Do you guys really think that would be the best bet for him…weak in acceleration yet don’t do accel but once every 15 days?

I don’t see Charlie, Pfaff, Glen Mills, Tellez, etc. advising this. I see them maybe advising less accel volume maybe a little more weight volume and upping the resisted accel volume.

You should hire an experienced coach, perhaps one versed in short to long or simply follow Charlie’s program adapted for your volume tolerance.

Great answer, much appreciated!
“strong enough” is hard to put a finger on, I’m guessing this varies a ton. Any opinions on what some good indicators are?

well. im 10 months from the start of the season. would you still recommend i do endurance work this time of year? I do plan on doing speed/endurance/agility work in the summer and reducing the amount of strength work to 1x per week.

If one could cover the 100m in 10 steps using low reps with high weights would work, but seeing as we take closer to 40 steps to cover the distance strength endurance makes more sense.

By that logic wouldnt 10s lifting intervals and 40rep lifting be what you’d move towards?

I think most agree that strength training is used to raise the functional limits of muscular output and compliment the CNS stress of sprinting.

Anyone every use the Delayed effects of strength training to enhance speed work in the proceeding cycle. According to Verkoshansky speed-strength is greatly enhanced following heavy strength training periods. I thought this was the basis of the alternating strength and speed blocks within the vertical integration system to a lesser degree.

A note in reference to the debate as to whether one may benefit from a weights dominant vs. sprint dominant vs. balanced approach:

Keeping in mind that speed is the ultimate goal the solution must obviously not lose site of this fact.

As it stands, particularly regarding speed as it exists in the zone that precedes maximum velocity (ergo starts and acceleration) there are those whose speed is more rooted in higher force/lower velocity training (ergo higher intensity strength training) those whose speed is more rooted in speed-power work itself and others whose speed is rooted in a balance of the two.

So as others here have eluded to, it is only logical that each individual find, through trial and error, what is optimal for them.

As I discuss in my most recent lecture DVD, one of my fastest and most powerful players (Jonathon Baldwin) does virtually zero strength training for his legs short of a version of pilates with the cables on a shuttle device. His output potential is so high that the stimulus from the speed-power work, and practice of sport itself, is enough for him to further increase his speed-power.

Thus, I only have him strength train his upper body and he continues to sprint faster, jump higher/farther, and throw med balls farther.

Another one of my fastest and most explosive players (Buddy Jackson) performs leg press with moderate loads, never very heavy, along with the speed-power work and he has continued to develop.

Lastly, another one of my most explosive players (Dion Lewis) derives his speed very much from his strength as he very routinely squatted 530 on a safety squat bar this summer at a bodyweight of 188 or so.

So here’s three examples of players who all perform speed-power work who are all comparable in their speed in the range of <30-40yds yet one does no weight training for his legs, another performs moderate weight training, and the other squats the house.

It’s not what many like to hear; however, in order to maximize an athlete’s potential the training must be individualized to that athlete.

If one was inclined to do speed work over 100m them maybe. not my cup of tea.

Using the Pluto theory 3 x 10/12,10s @ bodyweight in preference over 3 x 3 @ 1.25% bodyweight. why not?

If you train both upper and lower body do so on a different day, don’t train both together. What is your opinion on a max 20min weight session. If you are a believer Bompa wrote heavy sweat on upper body is the ultimate training level.

I just read the post by James, I won’t argue with his logic.

Personally, I would never advise not doing any accel work. I think it need be trained year round. I work to make sure my athletes strength isn’t an issue, but never at the expense of some movement. In cold weather places it is tough to find places to run, but even if it is just a gym doing repeat 10’s is better than doing zero accel. It is my experience that waiting for April is too late. My guys are just starting to take distances out to 30-40 yds by May. We do very little distance over that. We do a lot of tempo to get fitness levels very high. Remember, Charlie said he thought Ben’s tremendous squat strength was a result of his speed work, not the other way around. My football players are always at the top in speed, strength and conditioning on their respective teams. It is the end result of simple basics. 5/3/1 is not very taxing on CNS when done properly. Only a few sets per week are being done in the 90% max range and that every 3rd week.That’s why there is a back off on week 4. Only squats and bench are neural, the rest is 8-10 reps, sometimes higher depending. Trust me, the pace gets kids fit for football. The bench part takes 15 mins, the rest of the remaining 15 sets and core get done in 45 mins.

Agreed with speed coach.
The guy needs strength for other reasons not being acc since he is playing football.
So he does need strength work for sure.
General fitness from mediball n tempo is needed early in the picture too.
Even just 10m belly starts 2x wk for half a dozen or so reps is better than no acc work.

Better to fix technically bad issues early on than 1x mnth beforehand

Double posting yet again?