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::Laatste trainingsberichten
Eddy van Oort op 3/24/2009 @ 10:51 am

korte krachttraining
bench: 10x4 6x50 3x6x60 2x70
squatmachine: 10x80 2x10x100 (explosief uit, 3 sec terug)

Eddy van Oort op 3/18/2009 @ 10:44 am

90-80-70 versnelling rustig
60-50-40 versnelling 90% + coast
6 x 30m startspelletje
300-200-150-200-300 200m wndrust (~= 3′)
(46.9 28.6 20.9 28.1 45.2)

150m te rustig aan gelopen als ik ‘t terugzie, had een 19-er moeten zijn.

Eddy van Oort op @ 10:41 am

bank 10x40 8x50 3x6x60 1x70 0x75
squatmachine 10x70 2x8x100 6x120 , “diep”.

Eddy van Oort op 3/11/2009 @ 9:05 am

2 x 6 x 200m in estafette vorm, on flats
(30.6 30.0 30.5 30.3 32.2 31.3) (rust: 1:16 1:20 1:20 1:21 1:17)
23′ rust/medizin bal oefeningen
(33.3 32.3 32.1 31.9 31.9 31.0) (rust: 1:19 1:20 1:18 1:21 1:16)

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::Snelkracht artikelen

Hamstring problemen

Elliott Oti -- 2004.04.13

Op de australische trackstars forum ( http://pub19.ezboard.com/btrackstars) de volgende opmerkingen gezien:

Hamstring problemen

(4/27/02 9:40:10 am)
Reply Re: Weights
There is plenty of research that says Glutes and hammies act very
powerfully together. The underdeveloped part is often the hamstrings.
Without solid activation of glutes and good stability the hamstrings will
have to do too much work in propulsion and in stabilization.

Glutes are clearly much more important than hamstrings in hip
extension...look at Marion Jones, Maurice Greene and Charlie Francis book
Training for Speed shows just what sort of extended glute development there
should be.

The problem is that many athletes run with excess anterior tilt (bum out)
and in this habitual position cannot activate glutes powerfully. In fact try
to do a step up and use your glutes when yopur butt is sticking out. Then
lift your hips high using lower bas and then try to do it. What you will
find is that with high hips the glutes are much more able to fore powerfully
as a hip extender. But they have to work hand in with other core muscles
like the opposite oblique to maintain ppwer in the staright direction.

Most athletes have inhibited and underdeveloped glutes. They are not in a
position when they run to use them so they overtrain and overstrress their

If you want to develop chronic hamstring problems here is the recipe.
1. Run up on your toes. (drop toe early before impact)
2. Lean forward so you push more (this will result from being too high on
toes anyway)
3. Do lots of squats and strengthen your pushing muscles (they will help the
start heaps anyway)
4. When your hamstrings start to get sore - do lots of hamstring curls to
make them stronger and assume the problem is just from weak hamstrings.
5. When they start giving regular trouble - just rest and comne back again
to do the same thing when it recovers.
6. Also do lots of slow work for 6mths of the year and then regather speed
in the prep phase

The fix for hamstrings is
1. Dont overstride. Run with dorsiflexion on impact with active foot.
2. Develop mid torso strength in variety of ways and develop and maintaina
good hip mobility
3. Develop an early recovery but stay tall.
4. Do not train muscles - train movements.
5. Develop glutes.
6. Train on race surface.
7. Never take risks when sore.
8. Find a physio that thinks in terms of tuning biomechanics.
9. Sprint all year at or near max speed.



(6/9/02 10:59:40 pm)
Reply Choosing the right foods after a workout
Throughout history athletes have always been searching for foods with
properties that would make them stronger, faster and enhance their
performance. In Roman times Gladiators would consume the heart of a lion in
an attempt to gain more courage. Needless to say these attempts were not
always successful.
When I first became interested in weight training in the early 70's, the
trend at the time was for athletes to consume large amounts of milk, eggs,
and red meat. While this diet was fairly effective for athletes trying to
increase strength and muscle size, because it was rich in protein and
naturally occurring creatine, it had little to offer endurance athletes and
was less than ideal for people with active lifestyles who's goal was to
improve their health and vitality.

Fortunately, with the science of sports nutrition providing athletes with
more answers and conclusive evidence than ever before, dietary choices to
improve ones health and performance are becoming less hap hazard and more
based on factual information.

What to consume after exercise to improve recuperation and recovery has long
been in question. Strength and weight training athletes favour protein
shakes; runners, cyclists and people participating in endurance sports
usually rely on carbohydrate based drinks and foods. Who's right? Well, in a
sense they both are.

A clinical trial at the University of Texas set out to establish what effect
protein and/or carbohydrates, when consumed immediately after exercise,
would have on the recuperation and recovery rates of athletes. At the
conclusion of two hours of stationary bike riding the subjects received a
drink containing either protein, carbohydrates or a combination of the two.

The group that consumed protein only had no better muscle glycogen levels
than individuals who consume nothing after exercise. The carbohydrate group
responded well and muscle glycogen levels rose to above pre exercise levels
within 40 minutes. However, the athletes that consumed a
protein/carbohydrate mixture had the best response time. This group had the
most rapid replenishing of muscle glycogen (38% faster than the carbohydrate
group) and had a greater insulin response. Insulin plays a key role in the
transporting of carbohydrates and protein into your muscle cells. It is
believed that the protein/carbohydrate group had the quickest recovery in
part because the amino acids in the protein help to stimulate pancreatic
function and improve insulin production. Insulin levels in the
protein/carbohydrate group were double the carbohydrate group and four times
that of the protein only group. Even when the quantities of carbohydrates
used in the trial were increased, the protein/carbohydrate combination was
still superior.

What you consume after exercise does have a significant impact on how
thoroughly and quickly your body will recover from that activity. Ignore the
commercials on TV that show jocks chugging back gallons of sugar based
carbohydrate replacement drinks. A far more effective strategy would be to
consume a shake containing a well-formulated protein/carbohydrate
combination. Ideally, look for a supplement that derives its protein from
whey. Whey has the highest absorption rate and biological value of any
protein source. In addition, some of the "Rx" style supplements available
are also fortified with glutamine, digestive enzymes and other co-factors
that will also aid in recuperation, recovery and repair.

Having your post workout meal in the form of a shake is an excellent
strategy. Not only are liquids generally digested and absorbed at a faster
rate than solid food, but after exercising there is a window of an hour or
so when your ability to absorb nutrients is exceptionally high. After that
time your uptake of nutrients returns to normal, so don't miss the
opportunity to reload your hungry muscles.

Specificiteit van krachttraining: een discussie


Author Comment
The Vet
Fellow Forum Members,

I have been reading lots of info on specific strenght (gym)exercises for
sprinting and at times it has become somewhat confusing. Too many opinions!!

What is the ideal rep range?

How heavy do you go without making muscles grow? eg look at powerlifters.

What are the best exercises for sprinting?

Why don't you do calf exercises?

What's the best off season vs comp? reps and sets?

Anyone like to share their views and experiences?



Brad Mifsud
(6/19/02 12:07:22 pm)
Reply Not taking away from steppin....
"I have been reading lots of info on specific strenght (gym)exercises for
sprinting and at times it has become somewhat confusing. Too many

Yep, keep it simple. You are trying to run fast, so speed is the most
important component to your program. Relating to specificity....what is more
specific then sprinting down a track? You will never be able to mimick the
speeds of sprinting in the gym and there is no need to try. Weights are an
essential ingredient, but often people add things to be "specific" and
overcomplicate the whole training thing. Keep it basic, aim to increase your
general strength in key areas and make sure it does not impact negitively on
your sprints.

"What is the ideal rep range?"

depends on you and your base training etc. I would say that you should
generally move from more sets and reps to less set and reps with the
intensity increasing as you go. Its not essential to do 10 reps instead of 8
or whatever, it matters that you have a plan and are sticking to it and you
are improving your speed and strength (speed more importantly).

"How heavy do you go without making muscles grow? eg look at powerlifters."

From my understanding, making your muscles grow is related to increasing the
volume of your lifts/the amount of time your muscle is under tension. If you
assess you need more muscle then do this early in your prep. Actually making
your muscles grow is based on your training background so a brief
description of sets and reps will not help. BUT generally I have gotten
increases from my programs (written for rugby players) for 3x10 (in the
first week) with increasing the numbers of sets each week over a few weeks,
then dropping again, increasing the weight and increasig the sets
again...... (if you unerstand that). Mind you my lifters performed their
lifts on a 2:1:3 ratio ie 2 seconds concentric contraction, 1 sec hold, and
three secs eccentric to increase the time the muscle was under tension. If
you are aiming for strength then the lifts are generally heavier and the
sets and reps less, somethink like 5sets of 3 for example.

"What are the best exercises for sprinting?"

sprinting! Generally, in the gym exercises that are the most commonly done
exercises (and the best ones) are back squats, front squats, parallel and to
the ground, cleans if you can do the technique, bench and seated row/pulling
movement. There are many exercises to do in the gym, but why overcomplicate
things when all you are trying to do is run faster, and part of that is get
stronger. Oh, abs are important too, make sure you cover them with a number
of exercises, you can make up whatever you like! Make sure your sprinting is
no#1, 2 and 3 priority.

Many people do 1 legged squats, weird variations of squats, cable leg
pulls,etc etc the list is endless. In the end you are trying to run faster,
so worry about recovering from your sprint and weight sessions more then
what other exercises you can do in the gym. From a very limited knowledge of
elite sprinters I can say that from what I have seen, most only change from
the above exercises if they have a specific problem and many of the really
good ones just stick to the basics and worry about their speed work as being
the critical factor in their development. That is just my opinion from
reading and chatting to a few people, so dont flame me too much!

"Why don't you do calf exercises?"

No reason not to if they are weak, but i think generally it is believed that
they are adequately covered with running sessions and plyometric sessions.
No reason to tire them out for your sprint sessions when you are after speed
and speed alone being a sprinter.

What's the best off season vs comp? reps and sets?

Depends on your strengths and weaknesses. I am going for strength atm and I
am doing less reps and a few sets ie this week (after 9 weeks of strength) I
am on 5 sets of 2 reps..... In season you are in a maintainence phase where
you are not actively trying to lift heavier, you are trying to run faster,
therefore only in the gym 1/2 per week and lifting few reps and sets.

My greatest piece of advice to you is to get a weightlifting coach who
understands that your speed sessions are the key component and that when he
writes your program he limits the volume of it based on how you feel and
pull up, and that you aim for strength. You can address all your other needs
at the track.

Hope that helps.


Hi Brad
Thanks for input.

What about calf work (weights) in the setting of shin splints ?

Is this going to be detrimental or benificial or make no difference ?

My personal feeling is that it would be detrimental........but I have no
evidence or studies etc to back that up.

Any other opinions ?

The load of the weights would probably make a difference also.


Brad Mifsud
Reply my opinion
is that it would have little benefit. Shins splints are a stress reaction
from overuse. Therefore the way to address them I assume would be to change
the forces as it comes through the foot.

When I say change I mean the force that comes through your foot can have a
varied effect on your legs/body depending on:

1) faitgue state of the muscles
2) technique
3) shoes/orthotics
4) overload/training stimulus

To manage this force as it comes through your legs to minimise the chance of
injury you can:

1)ensure adequate rest is scheduled into training so the muscles are not
overloaded...including massage etc

2) ensure training is progressive in nature with no great jump in volume and
intersperse rest

3) monitor reactions to training with massage/physio etc as well as
performance monitors in training to see if you are fresh enough to perform a

4) ensure correct footwear and have a podiatrist look at your feet etc....

You could do some calf workto increase the muscle. An increased cross
sectional area would in theory be able to absorb more force, however, in
pratice you may be adding to the fatigue state of the muscle and a fatigued
muscle will not absorb force as well as an unfatigued one meaning more force
is transferred to the bone...leading to a stress reaction. I tried to test
this in my honours thesis....but with the small amounts of money available
my results were while significant hard to postulate to something meaningful
with a subject size of 6 people!!!

Its an interesting topic, but I think stress fractures and shin splints can
be addressed through technique, rest and recovery management ie massage.


Reply calves / quads / shin splints
Calves - there is no need to train your calves remember you want them to be
as small as possible. the smaller the calf the lighter this lever is the
quicker it moves. If you are running with a rigid ankle i.e. dorsi-flexed if
you are pointing then your calves will grow just through sprint training.

Shin splints - do TA lifts (transverse anterior lifts) as these strengthen
the muscles around the so called shins. lean against a wall on an angle,
resting on your heels lift your toes as high as possible 3 x 8-10 while
pause isometrically at the top for 5s. Start off easily with one set. they
do work!!!

quads - I know this is not directly related to your topic but if you are an
experienced lifter then I would advise to leave standard squats out unless
you can go extremely deep and lift 200kg+. Unfortunately they add
unnecessary stress on the lower back. the other problem is most people do
not go deep enough i.e. below 90 degrees and hence bairly hit the glutes.
remember the quads are used for stabilisation in sprinting. Big quads do not
make you run fast it is the glutes and hamys that need strength and size. do
single leg squats instead in a smith machine with the non-working foot near
the other. do not put the resting foot behind you on a bench as this only
futher isolates the quads. Just try these with bar and you will see what it
means to hit those glutes. And please stay away from front squats you are
not an ice skater or cyclist and you do not need hamstring problems

Brad Mifsud
Reply Re: calves / quads / shin splints
You definately should not eliminate squats front or back, its all part or
building strength that when mixed with lots of speed work improves speed
(the whole point of training).

Quads are needed to accelerate and therefore should be developed.

Strenght training is a general adaptation that with sprint training
concurrently improves speed. Therefore there os no need to try and mimick
movements or try and be specific as sprint work covers this much more fully
in EVERY way. To tryu and get specific in the gym is pointless.

Calf raises can be done early in the program but as you increase volume of
running they can be cut if the development there is seen to be adequate.
Running will then more then adequately cover calf work.

Quad development is essential as is glut and hammie work as they all work to
add force to the ground at all phases of the sprint. Also while I do deep
squats I also perform half squats, front and back squats. You do not need to
do 200kgs plus to stress an organism to adapt, that is totally dependant on
the person's capabilities.



Reply my idea
squat ass on floor squat ass on floor squat ass on floor squat as on floor
lunge lunge lunge lunge front squat ass on floor front squat ass on floor
front squat ass on floor front squat ass on floor
thats all you need to do, it probably wont make you run fast though

Reply mmm - a stimulating interlogue
The whole point of weight training is to work the required muscle groups in
your chosen activity. If you choose to do this in a more specific nature or
general will probably depend on your own training theories.

If you are using your quads to accelerate then maybe you need to videotape
your start and acceleration phase. If you are pushing (driving) correctly
then you should feel your glutes working if you run (rather than push) out
of the blocks then you may feel those quads. Further if you do squat work
that predominately (I realise that any squatting does hit the quads to some
extent) hits the quads (i.e. above 90 degrees / front squats etc) then it is
more than likely the quads that you will recruit when sprinting
(accelerating). However, if you want to maximise your acceleration potential
then then you need to train those glutes (key to hip extension). Remember
quads are used for stabilisation at ground contact it is the glutes,
hamstrings and hip flexors that will and should dominate during

To suggest that one should not try to mimic movements in the gym specific to
sprinting may be a little short sighted, the jury is still out on this one!
However, I agree that trying to perform end movements prior to establishing
a strength base (ie in beginners) is a waste of time. You can't ice that
cake if there is no cake.

Again why would you do calf raises I have worked with athletes from all
sport whose calves decrease in size as they learn to run with a more rigid
(dorsi-flexed ankle). Note due to the fibre composition of the gastrocs they
are subject to increases in cross-sectional area just through incorrect
sprinting (toes pointed) itself.

Again I would question why you would want to do front squats. Unless you are
a cyclist, a speed skater or compete in vertical jump competitions over
emphasising development of the quadriceps and quadriceps that are
proportionally larger than the glute + hamstring complex will effect
preferential recruitment and or lead to increased chances of hamstring

Try a set of single leg 'deep' squats in a smith machine and compare them to
your squats. If your glutes are not screaming then you aren't going deep
enough. If you do not feel them as you snap out of the blocks (similar to
the 2nd pull in the clean) and while you are accelerating then maybe some
specific glute med excercises to retrain your neural recruitment may be
required. One of teh main benefits of single leg squats is that one the
unilateral movement requires less weight then what you may have to lift in
the bilateral squat to get the same effect. it is safer and far more


Brad Mifsud
Reply Re: mmm - a stimulating interlogue
Getting specific is not required as this is adequately covered by sprint
work. You can never get specific enough in the gym with respect to speed,
movement or recruitment of muscles in timing and muscle length so there is
no need to try, its a waste of time. Dont believe me? Try and mimic the
hamstrings speed and length change with gym equiptment....it cant happen and
there is no need for it to happen either, you train it with your spikes on
at the correct velocity, length, movement pattern and recruitment order and
metabolically.....an impossibility in the gym. TO suggest that taking a few
of these things is somehow specific and will lead to a better transfer is
not very smart.

Dont add things just because it "seems" smart.

A squat done correctly is no danger to the person performing the movement.

Quadraceps will always be involved in accelerating as they extend the knee!
They also work at top speed but glutes and hammies prevail. A simple look at
the angles involved in a sprinter from blocks will tell you this. Mate the
technique is different from accelerating to top speed, you dont have to be a
brain surgeon (or a lawyer ) to work this out. The quads are used quite a
bit for acceleration.... so why not improve their strength? Are you
sugesting all those sprinters with big quads should have them removed as
they are just added weight not doing anything?

Actually you shouldnt feel any muscles working, it should all feel smooth.
If you are feeling or trying to feel certain muscles working then you are
more then likely analysing too much and this will lead to paralysis.

Sprinting is what is important, the gym is a support for speed training
nothing more nothing less. Train max strngth in the gym and all the other
components like speed, speed endurance etc on the track. No need to look
smart in the gym when at the end of the day you have to run fast. ne legged
squats will contribute much less then 30m sprints to your program. Keep gym
general working on max strength (unless a bit of hypertrophy is required)
and speed on the track. Sprinting is not hard, coaches try and make it
harder and more complex then it needs to be.

all you think about is running fast in the end....


Reply Re: mmm - a stimulating interlogue
For all who are about to read my response this is a warning that it is
quite long and sometimes goes off on a tangent but eventually gets to the
point in a round about way. So basically this is a disclaimer. However, I am
enjoying this interlogue and believe more people need to challenge what is
being done in strength training! Look away from those sprinters and athletes
who profess the secrets especially those under drug clouds. It is these
coaches and athletes who while contributing have also slowed advancements in
science and strength and conditioning.
Howver, it is important to stress as I have stressed in the past. There is
no use getting to specific if you still have very low strength base. Happy
reading! I hope more people continue to share their own thoughts!

Arguably one of the biggest faults with many of our strength-power training
programs is we tend to follow what other elite sprinters and coaches are
doing without really taking into consideration that many of the athletes are
freaks thus would arguably adapt to what ever stimulus was provided and some
are known drug cheats. In regards to the response by Mr Mifsud to my last
post I thought I was reading a Charlie Francis book as I do recall him
saying this and since then many others a repeating it like a parrot with no
real thought! Now BJ may have just done squats and DL and cleans and run
extremely fast and his coach may have said why bother with specificity
because this is done on the track. But how does he really know this, did BJ
ever compare this to more specific routines. If they believed this then why
did they do a reverse leg press!!!! . The thing to remember is that when you
have an athlete running 10.5 or 10.4 at 15 with very little training, what
you do in the gym may not really matter as long as you get stronger. A short
trip overseas will show you that 10.3-10.4 runners are a dime a dozen.
Unfortunatley much of this talent I believe is wasted as they partake in
generic and mass production training methods directed by poorly informed
coaches. In australia very few sprinters have come out of the womb running
10.3-10.4 thus our attention to detail is extremely important. To suggest
that we can not mimic movements in the gym is useless because we can not
achieve similar movement speeds or movement patterns (debatable see below)
is I believe very narrow focused and just repeating the words of coaches who
are working with genetic freaks and sometimes(?) using drugs. Now we can
refer to those nice science articles done on recreational athletes that show
no difference or conflicting results between general and specific methods.
But where is the data showing that more specific movements are of no value
with elite athletes. And I am not talking about sprinters running 10.5 -
11.5 I am talking elite. Until more of the top pros start experimenting
outside the general range then one can not say if more specific movements
are, or are not of any value.

Even though I believe you could argue every lift in a good program probably
has some relationship to sprinting because if it didn't why would you do it.
For example Squats trains the quads, glutes, hamies etc why do we do it
becuase we use these muscles in sprinting. Now why can't we take this
further, for example lets compare a squat to a reverse hack squat (i.e. body
position is similar to that just after the gun has gone - with the front
foot still in contact with the blocks and the lead leg driving forward). In
this way we are now replicating a very similar movement to someone coming
out of the blocks. In fact if you have the ability you can actually do it
why pushing against your blocks. Now tell me where is the evidence to
suggets that this is not as good or even better than a traditional squat.
Can you provide data suggesting that the elite have proven the squat is
better. Sure its not replicating the speed but its faster then the squat and
its more specific. I mean why do we do a power clean - because its a faster
movement and thus can effect our speed-strength!

Some of the programs I have seen done by elite sprinters is just mind
blowing i.e. periodising from heavy down to high rep sets etc. This just
shows that some of these sprinters possess unbelievable talent! Who knows
what potential they really have. To suggest that it is not smart to try
different and more specific training options with no evidence (with elite
athletes not these nice studies done with recreational athletes) is arguably
not smart itself.

Anyone can profess the philosophies of others i.e. Mr Francis or others but
with such a tarnished reputation...and no comparison then... Furthermore, I
also recall BJ reporting after he was busted (or maybe it was his coach)
that clean he was capable of running about 10.2. Now, when he was running
10.4-10.5 as a 15 yr old just what contribution hid CF really make 0.3s. I
doubt it what percentage of this was still room for improvement.

If you read my other posts I did say that the quads will invariably be used
in any squat. You can not avoid it and yes I agree that they do contribute
to the block acceleration. However this occurs more so if you run out like
most sprinetrs rather than drive!

If used and recruited correctly the gluteus will enable much greater pushing
forces to be produced. If you take a better look at the elite guys their
quads may look big but compare them to the hamstring and glutes. Now look at
your average track guy down the track running 11s just how much bigger are
the quads when compared to the glutes and hamstrings!

In a theoretical world and in quite possibly a select minority (MJ, Greene,
BJ) they probably then only under race specific training and racing
conditions were so mechanically efficient that it just 'felt smooth'.
However, to get to this point you must have at some stage had to develop
this naturally occurring smooth feeling through understanding what "Felt
Right". That means feeling the muscles you use! All the talk in the world
means nothing if you can not feel the difference between a movement
performed efficiently and one performed incorrectly. The key then lays in
trying to make this more of a natural -'hind brain' action. Very few though
develop such an awareness of their body to do this correctly. In fact you
are probably right most people do not feel anything because in a race
situation that are worried about what is going on next to them.

If your running 11.0-11.5s 100m 1-leg squats may contribute less than just
adding 30m sprints to your program. You may need to assess your own force
time curve to see if it was power or strength that was your weakness. On the
other hand a 10s sprinter may just have exhausted those 30m sprints and a
10kg improvement in that one-leg squat may be the 100th of a second
improvement they get for a greater block push that sees them duck under 10s.

Finally I must comment on the last last quote by Mr Mifsud... 'sprinting is
not hard, coaches try and make it harder and more complex then it needs to

With sub-elite this may be the case but with the elite sprinters it is
complex, thats why so few run so fast!!

Thanks Again

Brad Mifsud
Reply Re: mmm - a stimulating interlogue
Mate, good post but I disagree completely on specificity in the gym. I have
written over 400 weights programs have done all the courses and degrees and
have trained many different sportspeople at all levels. I have tried
different things with different people in a quest of obtaining my own
thoughts on different recommended protocols. Furthermore, I have also spoken
at length with many Austrailan as well as O/S strength and speed experts
including Charlie Francis so when I speak on weights especially you can be
sure its from my own thoughts developed by a mad scientist wannabe over
quite a few years that was handed many unsuspecting subjects I dont have
all the answers by a long shot, but I have tried a few of these theories out
personally and on willing subjects over a few years.......

I have not seen any evidence through programing or through speaking to
coaches or my or other people's athletes that shows that specific exercises
in the gym are of any benefit. I am largely in support of CF as is obvious.
However I did not make my choice on his protocol lightly and its in theory
that I agree with him. My program structures are different in a number of
ways but theoretically are the same. I come from a gym-specificity
background but after seeing a lack of results I re-evalutated my programs.

You use specificity to show that a squat done slightly differently in about
the same position on the force/velocity curve will some how translate
differently to a squat done another way. Mate, its all crap!!!

Yes you train the muscles you are working in the gym but gym work is so
different that that is about all you can train. IN the gym you aim for
increased strength and the idea that an increase in concentric strength
improves SSC, motor unit recruitment and fingers crossed speed and power.

Let me say this simply. Specificity refers to more things then "the muscles
used" in an exercise. You have no need for fancy video cameras etc to see
that this is so.

I agree that certain things in addition to a 30m sprint may help an elite
sprinter. I disagree that some specific exercises in the gym are what they
need (though an increase in strength may help). Some elite sprinters dont
even perform gym, so to say that a few specific exercises may help is not
really using your brain...speed is what they need!!!

There is way too much thought going into mimicking exercises in the gym
which are not required and are of limited benefit. Why do I say this? Well
because you go to the gym for a certain purpose. You build muscle streength
and size in a gym. You build speed and the rest on the track.

Specificity in the gym is pushed head over heels by strength trainers all
looking to keep their jobs and come up with the "next big thing" to help
athletes, this is a highly american approach for all those personal
traininers looking to get paid by NFL wannabies. It is filtering to
Australia and I was at uni when it was all coming in. We used it heaps
thinking it would be the new thing and could not believe others had not used
it in the past......

Guess what? We came up with and did tests on all sorts of exercises we
thought would be more specific and functional etc etc... and got away from
the point...trying to run faster. It is seriously overstated and dont expect
much to come from it. Safe to say that elite sprinters and coaches worked
this out long ago and save their energy for things that will benefit

Funny that Carl Lewis and many many athletes in the past have performed
without weights at all ie Peter Norman...so why now do people think that not
only is gym essential but a whole range of made up "specific" exercises that
will somehow help people already at the edge of human performance?

By all means get specific, but lets actually use our brain when we are
deciding what is "specific". A one legged squat is not more specific to say
it is demonstrates a lack of understanding into how something is classed as

On the same point, where do you draw the line as somethig being specific?
Uses same muscles, sort of same movement, one leg, same muscle lengths,
velocity, ATP utilisation/recovery, motor pattern, agonists/antagonists,
metabolic energy production, motor units, time span, contraction
speed....stop me when you think its "specific". Where is the research to say
these things will help? Where is the real world results to say these things

I will give you a "get out of jail free" card here:
A 30m sprint with a sled is specific. It mimicks very closely its intended
movement in all the important ways: muscle length, motor recruitment, power
production metabolically, coordination, use of agonits and antagonist,

In the real world I was told on a very practical example of a javelin
thrower. He did many power cleans and traditional weights etc... and was
elite. He changed and did specific exercises and improved another few
metres. Ahhh!!!! Before you jump in and say told you so, the specific
exercises were exactly that....specific as he was throwing slightly heavier
implements and mixing that in as his strength work.

SO in the elite case specificity can help, but please lets be smart and
think about what specificity is and how it relates to our athlete, not just
take existing gym equiptment and try and mimick the demands of our sports.
USE SOME INTELLIGENCE!!!! You do have the opportunity to get specific but
learn the definition of the word first and then look at the demands of the
sport and then apply it correctly and watch your athletes fly!

Leave the gym training to the personal trainers and fitness leaders god
bless their souls! Point in note- Carl Lewis in his last few years took up
specific gym exercises and he improved heaps in his one legged squat with
his personal trainer but improved absolutely zip in his sprint...real world
example for you right there.....

If we are going to talk specific then lets not beat around the bush, the gym
is not the answer to our problems. The sooner you work out what the elite
sprinters and coaches already know the better. Please dont take a brief read
of some magazine article or such as being the gospel on Charlie Francis or
other coaches. Go and ask him yourself, challenge his theories with the man
who I think is the greatest coach of all time (not just because of BJ
either). I am sure he would be happy to give you some advice on why you are
wasting your athletes time and barking up the wrong tree to try and make
someone faster.

Excellent debate and I applaud the time and effort put into your reply.

Nice try but no cigar


Reply mmm - in conclusion
mmm a interesting reply!

I will just clarify my final position!

1. I agree that to often people get carried away replicating stuff in the
gym. Wasting time on end exercises is just that especially if you are as
weak as Mr Burns. In fact we are quite similar in our thoughts just that I
am not willing to rule out based on very little research that being more
specific (regardless of the definition you may or may not have on
specificity) is not beneficial to on field performances.

2. I am a big believer that the most important thing for most is just to
increase maximal strength. To often people try to be extremely fancy and can
barely squat, bench, row, DL or clean their bwt while weighing 60kg.

3. However, I am not convinced nor will I be convinced just because the
yankee (not CF who is obviously canadian) sprint coaches have said this or
that. They have the best sprint pool of all countries but really what is
their true conversion rate. A coach who takes an athlete from 10.3 to 10.1
is he really worthy of the acclaim of being a great coach. What about the
coach who takes the athlete from 11.1 - 10.2 without drugs.

4. I like CF I think he was probably a coach ahead of his time but he also
had the greatest sprint talent the world has seen and it doesn't take much
thought to realise that BJ was naturally explosive a man bursting with FT
muscle fibres and incredible RFD. So all he needed was to increase the
potential of this force output. Just like the russians and germans did lots
of bounding because they had an incredible strength base but needed the

4. It is intruiging that many elite sprinters in the past have not used or
carried out weights in the gym.

- My belief that is for males the elite sprinters possess an extremely high
percentage of fast twitch muscle fibres and thus probably benefit very
little from weights. When we analyse the african sprinters from america,
england, canada and the caribean we realise that many of these guys are
already naturally muscular and quite strong and powerful.
- On the other hand the females do not possess as a high percentage of FT
fibres even in the elite females (with exception of MJ, FGJ, JJK etc), hence
increasing their strength can have great effects on their speed. Thus as a
consequnce we see quite a few caucasian women competing at the top level
(pintusevich, thanou etc).

6. How many elite athletes have really fully explored using more specific
movements. In sprinting probably very few why because many have base
strength levels that are ordinary. So why would they mess around with more
specific actions when you simply need to increase raw strength and power!

7. A single leg squat is more specific that a bilateral squat, a power clean
does mimic if performed with the right second pull a movement simular to the
snap out of the blocks, underhand shot throws also do this. Sled runs like
hill runs are good strength transferers! To suggest this demonstrates a lack
of understanding would have me believe that you would prescribe leg presses
for sprinters.

8. Where is the specificity line drawn - well it is probably blurred!

9. There will always be the freak who defy belief!

10. Where is the research to show it works, where is the research on
athletes (not recreational uni studnets used in many studies) to show it
does not work!

11. Throwing is one good example where specific movements can be replicated
quite easily while overloading the movement and researchers with baseballers
and throwers has shown this! Maybe we have not found the right exercises for
the lower body!

12. Using Carl Lewis is a poor example. Someone who introduces it late in
his career that has had a career lasting 20 years will probably get very
little benefit (injury prevention). His body has very little to offer, the
desire is gone and so has the speed.

13. I personally use very few specific exercises just pure raw strength
building favourites why because why would you want to start playing with
specificity when the pure strength and power bases aren't there. Very few
elite athletes in australian athletes even come close to having an excellent
strength and power base (outside weight lifters and powerlifters)

14. Thanks for the discussion. We will agree to agree on some points and
disagree on others.

Final say: Kevin Sheedy from the Bomber said when asked who he thought was
the best coach in rubgy league by a QLD reporter replied... 'I wouldn't know
how can you say when you have a sport with no draft and no equalisation of
teams and teams stacked with talent vs poor no talent teams'.

Just what would he say about the guys we call so called elite track coaches
and SC specialists!

PS< In the end the goal is to get from point A to B as fast as possible.
Sometimes the easiest training method is just to remind the sprinter to do

Brad Mifsud
Reply Re: mmm - in conclusion
Excellent reply and great thread!!!

Ok even though we disagree on a few things I would love to see your program
and how you add/what you add to your program over a year or period of time.

Furthermore, I am interested in how you define "adequate" strength levels.
In my eyes strength levels should never been seen to be adequate (unless the
times are on the board I guess...) and should always be improving, so I
would be hesitant to judge an athlete as having adequate strength.

I am also hesitant to add more strength exercises or exercises that an
athlete isnt use to when the best conditioning will come from more 95-100%
running. By adding these exercises you run the risk of making an athlete
sore and detracting from speed training which I think misses the point!

If their speed was slowly improving and they were running well why would you
add something? I think speed training is a slow progression of things coming
together over many years. From what I have gleaned as athletes improve you
try and make things simpler not more complex.

Anyway FWIW we use conventional strenght training methods and while our
program is set we change the volume depending on how we feel at the track
and how our performances on the track have gone.

We perform medicine ball exercises (many and varied) which add to our
conditioning and we will also include some sled when we get to that part of
our program (not 100% sure when to add it....suggestions are welcome!).

Would love to hear you ideas on the different exercises you do. Apologies
for the the Carl Lewis example, I was just being a shite

I agree on your thoughts on American coaches.

Ok, here is a real world example.....me!!!

I weigh about 73kgs, can full sqaut 145kg, half 190, power clean and jerk
105 and bench 115..... are my strength levels adequate? When should I add
specific exercises to my program? Do you need to also know 100m times to
judge adequate strength......?

I would argue that "adequate" is defined by 100m time and therefore,
absolute strength levels in the gym on any one exercies are superfulous and
on their own impossible to judge whether adequate......of course you could
think this too

I guess my point is if you are improving in the gym on normal exercises and
on the track, why bother adding these exercises? Would you add if they hit a
plateau? Or if they were running x time over a certain distance?

Thanks for the discussion! If you are in Oz would love to discuss in depth
training theories over a beer or five sometime.


Brad Mifsud

Reply Re: What if......
Good points Anton,

as a general rule we never let weights affect our sprinting and we adjust
the program accordingly.

If we have pb on the track or in the gym and are feeling a little sore then
we may perform our speed session at 95%.

Our weights are always after our speed and we schedule them on the same day
and perform tempos the next to aid recovery. We find this allows an increase
in the intensity of each session over when we were doing high intensity
sessions back to back on different days.

We generally allow 48hrs to recover from high intenity stuff, sometimes it
takes longer so you have to be smart.

Our sessions are split to a medium and heavy type sessions but the main
difference between them is volume, as intensity is reasonably the same, with
medium slightly lower though still around 85% generally. Obviously it
changes as we move over weeks as all max strength programs (and good
programs for that matter) do.

You dont have to fail to improve strength but if you are feeling good you
can increase the weight/feel bad decrease. Strength is like speed, as long
as you are doing it intensly with lots of rest you will usually get a
benefit. In our heavy sessions we increase the weight to fatigue.

If you are struggling to recover from weights what is your eating and
regenerations sessions like after weights and the next day? we only do tempo
so if we are sore its not a problem. Also we get massages on tempo days or
after weights so generally we recover ok.

We are far from perfect though and in a perfect world you would have a
massuese and a physio walking around with you adjusting you as go We all
know wiht limited funds that this donest happen and unfortiunately massage
for me atm is a luxury and not a neccessity.....due to lack of funds....


::contents © Elliott Oti 2002-2004 where applicable