WestSide for Sprinter program?

It seems that in recent months my lifting plan has shifted closer to a Westside-esque system and have made some real progress. This makes me wonder how does everyone who uses westside methods sets up a Westside-esque program for sprinters?

This is something that I myself am currently manipulating.

Here are the general considerations:

CFTS is programmed by way of sequencing CNS intensive days in rotation with recovery days and the training blocks consist of maximal strength phases and maintenance phases all in an effort to yield the effects of supercompensation during important competition periods.

WSB is very very similiar in its programming and the imortance of recovery/regeneration and supercompensation, as the waving/alternation of CNS stresses is of paramount importance in relation to gains in muscular strength (limit, explosive, etc)

The challenge lies here:

According to CFTS, In a 7 day calendar week you will have 2-3 high CNS stress track days depending on physical preparedness, time of year, etc. According to CFTS we must place our most stressful strength work on the same days as the max speed days so as to economize CNS stress and recovery. Herein, lies the challenge, as the traditional WSB method calls for 4 workouts per calendar week, and each workout is a high CNS stress unto itself, whether it be ME or DE work, both are CNS intensive.

Accordingly, what must be done, in order to preserve the effectiveness of the high/low concept, is to stretch the WSB training week. In my view, this is the most judicious scenario.

I feel that one effective approach is as follows:

CFTS short to long sample weeks

Mon High CNS stress track work/ ME sq/dl
Tues Tempo
Wed High CNS stress track/ME bp
Thurs Tempo
Fri High CNS stress track/DE sq/dl
Sat Tempo
Sun rest

Mon High CNS track/DE bp
Tues Tempo
Wed High CNS track/ME sq/dl
Thurs tempo
Fri High CNS track/ME bp
Sat Tempo
Sun rest

Mon High CNS track/DE sq/dl
Tues Tempo
Wed High CNS track/DE bp
Thurs Tempo
Fri High CNS track/ME sq/dl
Sat Tempo
Sun rest

Deload week

And so on. So here we maintain the CFTS template by stretching the WSB template into a 10day training week, thereby, preserving the concept of high/low CNS stress.

In this example I would recommend limiting the strength training workouts to 1 primary, 1 supplemental, and 1 assistance lift. You could possibly train heavy abdominal work on these days also.

The 3-1 split is the same, each time the weight training days will be different due to the 10day training week.

With 2 sq/dl days on one week and one on the next there is a wavelike stress imposed. I say this because the sq/dl days impose more of a direct stress for a sprinter than the bp days, both on a central and peripheral/local level.

It is argueable whether a DE sq/dl day is needed, in light of the sprinting. Thus, this day may be used as a lighter intensity day.

The flipside to this would be to stretch/manipulate the CFTS week to accomodate the original 7day WSB training week. This, in my view, may be more optimal for an athlete who has determined that muscular strength or hypertrophy is the priority. What must be noted, however, is that this would be sub-optimal for a sprinter. I do feel that we may take more liberties with manipulating the CFTS for athletes OTHER than sprinters.

James, do you think sprinters or athletes that do a fair amount of sprint work need a DE leg day? :confused:

Not necessarily, that is why I stated that a DE sq/dl day is debateable, hence, may be replaced by lower intensity leg/posterior chain work.

To elaborate…

We must really be specific in identifying what type of athlete we are talking about. Utlimately, I feel that the answer will depend on the peculiarities of each individual athlete. But let’s remember that OL lifts are DE lifts, and are surely performed by many athletes whom incorporate sprint/speed work into their training/sport practice.

When people hear Dynamic effort I think that Westside immediately comes to mind, however, in reality any athlete who performs any type of speed strength lift is performing Dynamic effort work.

In my view, one of the absolutes against performing DE work, would be a young athlete who surely is getting enough reactive work simply by engaging in various sports (PASM). Again, going back 40 some odd years, the Russians showed the world that, when considering multi year competition and competitive career, an athlete need not begin to specialize until the mid teenage years.

James, agree and aware of all your points above. With that in mind what about (obviously in general terms)

Mon High CNS stress track work/ Clean variation, ME upper
Tues Tempo
Wed High CNS stress track/ ME lower
Thurs Tempo
Fri High CNS stress track/ Snatch variation, DE upper
Sat Tempo
Sun rest

Still keep the accessory work a relatively low volume as you suggested.

John, depending on what load you would use on cleans and snatches I would recommend that you either 1. perform both of them with DE percentages on DE sq/dl day or 2. perform heavy/ME cleans on ME sq/dl day and DE snatches on DE sq/dl day.

Note, that I use DE sq/dl day to signify DE work performed for hip extension/legs/posterior chain, etc.

The outline that you have illustrated above is very CNS intensive on all three weight training workouts. I say this assuming that you would be performing cleans and snatches either with max weights or max power. In my view, you would be better off by having at least one weight workout which is slightly less CNS intensive, such as upper body only.

I think that if anyone is interested in applying a conjugate program to the CFTS model, the tier system by joe kenn would be perfect. 3 whole body workouts that include ME, DE, REP. IMO it is a perfect companion. Anyone who is interested in periodization, conjugate training, athletic performance should BUY Joe’s book, it’s only $15

James -

Do you not think that CNS stress is relative to the weights used in training? For example, a guy performing a 700 pound max squat would need more recovery than a guy performing a 400 pound max squat. To go further, a guy running a 5.0 40y max sprint will need longer to recover than someone running a 4.4 40 max sprint.

This is why I have had success with a template that most Westsiders would deem too stressful:

MOn: sprints, ME upper, ME lower
Tue: tempo, acessory circuits
Wed: sprints, lower plyos, rep upper
Thur: tempo, accessory circuits
Fri: sprints, ME upper, ME lower
Sat: tempo, circuits
Sun: rest

Although a competitive powerlifter or sprinter would cringe at this template, I am making great progress with it because I am relatively weak and slow (squat 400 bench 235 40y 4.8).

A novice athlete should be doing more CNS intensive work than an advanced athlete. Charlie has even stated a novice athlete can do some type of high intensity work 6 days a week. After all, it is supposed to be harder for an advanced athlete to make gains than a novice. Your thoughts?

Schnig, CNS stress is relative to each athletes level of intramuscualr coordination/MU recruitment and 1RM relative to that athlete.

For example a 700lb squat is a lower percentage of 1RM to a 900lb squatter than a 315lb squat is to a 350lb squatter.

It is true that a young/novice level athlete does not possess a high enough level of intramuscular coordination/MU recruitment to significantly tax their CNS, specifically when compared to an advanced level athlete.

However, I would not advice that a young/novice athlete even perform true ME work, as their levels of muscular coordination would not allow them to safely perform 1RM’s.

The program that you have outlined is not that extreme. The way that I see it you are not necessarily performing two ME workouts in one, you are simply hitting a ME lower movement and a ME upper movement and hitting most of your assistance lifts the next day.

You are experiencing gains, this is the bottom line. What you must identify, however, is , with respect to mulit-year development, this the optimal programming of training parameters.

Remember, just because a specific sequence of training parameters is working ‘now’ does not necessarily indicate that it will be safe or logical to perform over time. I only state this in an effort to encourage you to think ahead.

The bottom line…bleed the well till it’s almost dry, then switch to another one. If you wait till it’s completely dry than you will most likely find yourself injured or overtrained.

“The bottom line…bleed the well till it’s almost dry, then switch to another one. If you wait till it’s completely dry than you will most likely find yourself injured or overtrained.”

If only i heard this quote earlier in my athletic career. :slight_smile:

Great discussion!

I think that recently the problem of muscular fatigue and soreness after weight sessions has been a little underestimated . While is fundamental, especially for high-level athletes, to manage CNS stress, I think that sprint practices performed by intermediate athletes could be seriously impaired by muscular soreness and lack of looseness. So, performing too many weight sessions, especially the day before sprint practices, could be detrimental for developing optimal sport-specific abilities. Everyone knows it, but it is important to properly manage and don’t underestimate the issue.