Weights--not after speed work?

Some questions about whether weights can be done at times other than after speed (preferred time).

Should you not lift at times other than after speed work?

What about…

  1. Right before speed work.
  2. Hours before speed work.
  3. Day before speed work (tempo day) – maybe with heavy weight but few reps/sets.
  4. Day after speed but then followed by a day of tempo before the next speed session.
  5. Forget the lifts and substitute plyos and/or medball work in place of weights after speedwork.

Appreciate any thoughts (pros/cons) on those scenarios. If read quite a bit of conflicting information on such approaches and am trying to sort out options when weight training after speedwork is not an option.

although there are models out there in existence and use which push speed-strength/tempo/speed-strength/tempo etc, it does come down to your personal recovery ability and the intensities you are able to handle

unless strength is truly the limiting factor then probably not the best approach. what I mean by limiting factor is the amount of strength very poor and even the lifts themselves are not being performed as efficiently as they can be. However, if you have ever tried sprinting after a significant lift whether a neural(CNS) based lift or a metabolic (more hypertrophy) based lift…then you know sprint technique suffers and this is not advantageous to the sprint motion.

highly dependent on the intensity of the lift. if it is CNS intensive then that effect will be carried over for the next couple of hours, in which case it could affect the speed session in the following hours. a CNS intensive lift has the potential to tighten the muscles because of the fatigue to the nervous system as well as the fact the muscles were worked. i personally feel athletes who have a high degree of tension will have their feedback loop hindered. this hinderance will lead to slower reaction times, less elastic ability and less ability to create force within the muscle.

this is a possibility but would recommend some type of recovery method to lower tension so that the athlete doesn’t feel drained the next day when doing their speed work.

highly possible depending on the recovery ability of athlete themselves. you could set it up in the following pattern…

Day 1: speed/recovery method
Day 2: strength/recovery method
Day 3: tempo
Day 4: speed/recovery method
Day 5: strength/recovery method
Day 6: tempo
Day 7: off

the questions that would arise from this outline are…

1: can you make the type of progress you want with only two speed and strength sessions per week?
2: if you are familiar with how training causes stimulus to body and the recovery process starts after the training session then you’ll understand the next example.

imagine you are in a hotel and the lobby is the baseline before you train. after doing the speed session you are now one floor down and on your way to recovery. halfway back up to the lobby you train strength and now find yourself 1 1/2 floors down from the lobby. you then perform tempo and will that combined with the other recovery methods bring you back up to the lobby? maybe, but we’d like to be making progress so that we keep gaining and climb to higher floors.

so the question is, will the sessions effects compounded with each other do more damage then positive?

in a taper phase this certainly can be done and also if the speed work wiped out the athlete that they would get no benefit from the strength work.

hope this helps. one thing to finish with. before i geared my training specifically for sprinting i was worried that by doing speed before strength it would limit or take away from my strength levels but in reality i find it facilitates it. i am already warmed up when coming into the weight room and am riding high on the fact that because i have just finished outputting 95% or more which comes from my fast twitch fibers…it makes my lift that much better.

Thanks for the reply, which confirms what I understand. J

ust to take this another step with the options, what about doing upper body work before speed, saving lower body work until after speed or the next day?

Again, I’m looking at what would be the lesser of evils when weights cannot be done after (same day) as speed.

I know Bear has addressed this matter in the past and didn’t think weights beforehand was much of an issue.

Remember you can even split up the weights and spead them across days, especially in programmes with only 2 high intensity days a week. I’ve played with 4 days a week of weights split upper body, lower body. I’ve also played with 6 days a week weights using the same splits but with reduced volumes - in GPP. Often a good way of reducing the intensity is to stick with upper body only. Hope this is food for thought.

In considering your approach, consider first how much you’re actually lifting. If your program is relatively easy on the system, you have more options than if it is comprehensive and heavy.

adding to what Charlie said, see how each athlete reacts to training. if one athlete is considerably tight after a lifting session then i wouldn’t have them do speed after but if lifting seems to not affect them that way then all right.

another marker to look at, are just as effective in their speed workouts say after strength versus if they did speed before? if you’ve read CFTS Charlie talks about these markers. Feet hitting harder, not as smooth with arm movement,hips not able to be high after acceleration, etc.

Good points. Thanks for the input. My experience on weights before speed suggest that it might be OK in GPP when the speed work is not as intense as it is in SPP. When I have tried weights at noon and then a speed session around 5 p.m., it sometimes was OK but other times a bit sluggish. I’d rather be fresh for the sprint work and then use what’s left for weights, but with work and kids and all that, I sometimes can’t get the weight work in unless I do it at noon.

Upper lifts don’t seem to pose a problem on speed days, so during SPP I think I’ll do upper body lifts before speed and then use plyometric and explosive medball drills after speed along with some deadlifts after that. Once in a while I might try some squats and deads at noon but keeping the total volume fairly low by just doing 1 to 3 sets of 1-5 reps.