A Weekly Plan for Sprinters

lifting for sprinter workouts and training

A Weekly Plan for Sprinters

Tags: sprinters, methods, strength and conditioning, conjugate method

By: Louie Simmons

One must not use Block Style Periodization as it leads to detraining. It does not advance your sprint training. As you leave one block and move to the next after three weeks, you will have lost at least 10 percent of the previous block. All training can be done in a weekly plan that lasts three weeks and is constantly repeated, but with immediate attention to the athlete’s needs. The sprinter's workout plan should include each of the segments that are explained below.


M-E Day

One workout is for Maximal Effort (M-E) to build your absolute strength. M-E Day workouts have the strongest effect on the central nervous system (CNS) and force the most muscle units (MUs).
The M-E workout calls for new records in the weight room to be broken by a small amount while keeping the volume small, but the intensity should be at 100 and one percent, meaning you should set a new record each week.

Sprinter Exercises for M-E Day

M-E Day is typically on Thursday along with small special exercises like inverse curls, calf-ham-glute machine work, reverse hypers, and leg lifts where you are hanging and touching your feet to the bar you are hanging from. M-E work can consist of rack pulls, box pulls (use Sumo style), power cleans or power snatches. Also use heavy powerwalking with a weight sled.

Simply switch M-E work each week to avoid accommodation.


Dynamic Day

On Dynamic Day, pick what special strength you want to increase. For explosive strength, which is trained at high velocity, use 30 percent to 40 percent weights in a three-week wave adding five percent each week. In the fourth week, roll back to 30 percent and start the wave over with a different bar for any lift—pulling, pressing, squatting, or jumping.

You should do 24 jumps onto a box two times a week for a novice. For the advanced, do 40 jumps two times a week onto an optimal box. Use Kettlebells, a weight vest, or ankle weights.

Explosive Strength Bar Lifts
The range for explosive strength bar lifts is maximal 64 lifts, optimal 48 lifts, and minimal 32 lifts. The bar must move at least one m/s or faster.

Note: a power clean does not build explosive strength if trained above 40 percent.

For speed strength, the weights now range from 75 percent to 85 percent. The bar speed should be roughly 0.8 m/s. The reps range is five by five reps for a total of 25 lifts. When squatting also do five by five reps. Then do a clean-snatch or sumo deadlift. Then pick no more than four small special exercises. Some examples of what you may choose include inverse curl, calf-ham-glute raises, reverse hypers, reverse hypers with a hold at top, or isometric holds for the glutes.

Morning vs. Evening Sprint Workouts
The weight workouts are in the evening, while short sprints or block work is done in the morning. Keep the total volume to 300 meters at a maximum for sprint workouts.

The weights will produce maximum ground force, which is one-half of the equation. Top male sprinters produce 1000 pounds of force per step, and most take 43 to 45 steps per 100 meters. The other half of the equation—and a must—is to have minimal ground contact. Westside has found that a high-speed treadmill with speeds above 30 mph is useful because if the sprinter does not use minimal ground contact, he or she will be thrown off the treadmill during the sprint workout.


Things to Know to Build a Sprinter

While a 60-meter race is above all efficient acceleration—as most top male sprinters can accelerate 65 meters—primarily train acceleration. I would say train only acceleration, but you also must train reaction time, which is one percent, and block clearance, which is five percent. This six percent is important and why you must spend time on your reaction time and block work.


Reaction Time, Block Clearance & Acceleration Sprint Training

Now, a 100-meter male sprinter will train their reaction time and block clearance work the same as a 60-meter sprinter, but the majority of the training must be on efficient acceleration because acceleration is 64 percent of the overall race. (The other parts are reaction time, block clearance, top speed maintenance, and overcoming deceleration.) The longer you can accelerate, the less time you have to decelerate, which you should never do during training. Let me repeat: you should not train deceleration. This means you should not run longer distances in your training than your planned race distance.


Top Speed Maintenance and Strength Endurance

Train for top speed maintenance as it is 18 percent of the 100-meter race. This calls for a high amount of strength endurance. Strength endurance can be raised by pulling a weight sled in the heel-to-heel style. So to improve your top speed maintenance, pick a time limit—say 10 seconds. Now pull the weight sled for 10 seconds and set a marker at that point.

On the next set, try to increase the distance you cover in 10 seconds.

That difference is your increase in top speed maintenance. Even one meter can be the difference between first place and third place, and that’s the importance of power walking with a sled.

For sprinting with a sled, women should use 10 pounds, and men should use 25 pounds. Not only does Westside have access to a high-speed treadmill, but we also have a resistance treadmill that can measure the distance you cover in a set time limit.


Sprint Workout Things to Remember:

1) Work primarily on acceleration and top speed velocity training.

2) Cut your running distance down at least 35 percent or no more than 20 percent of your sprint training.

3) Use restoration, which means once or twice a week, take active rest like short rides on a bike.

4) Coaches do not always read a lot. Because of this, the author does the reading and experiments for you.

5) If you do decide to read, let me recommend the following:

  1. Underground Secrets to Faster Running by Barry Ross

  2. The Rocket Sprint Start by Bud Winter and Jimson Lee

  3. So You Want to be a Sprinter by Bud Winter

  4. What We Need Is Speed by Henk Hranijenhof

  5. The Charlie Francis Training System by Charlie Francis

  6. Strength Manual for Running: Raising Strength to Reduce Injuries by Louie Simmons

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