Sprint Specific Strength & Power Training | ATHLETE.X


what’s up YouTube this is Cody Bidlow
with ATHLETE.X coming at you with another video today we’re gonna be
talking about strength training for sprinters and how you can make your
sprint training pair up with your weight lifting in a much more effective and
support specific manner most of the time when people think of lifting for sprint
training or other explosive and speed power based sports and think of things
like squats deadlifts power cleans power snatches and things like that but if you
think about the movement characteristics of sprinting versus the movement
characteristics of a lift such as a squat or power clean or even a box jump
there’s a very stark difference that I think we don’t always consider when we
sprint what are we doing picking up the leg it’s swinging forward and then we
strike the ground maybe squat if our feet are in contact with the ground a
little time pushing we do a power clean push off the ground pull it up into the
air there may be a little bit of time where you’re off the ground but really
the movement is produced by just pushing through the ground for that whole pier
same thing for a deadlift even in a box jump what do you do your feet are
planted on the ground you squat down and jump up and then you jump onto a box the
lack of a strike the lack of that ground strike is one of the things that really
limits how much something in the weight room can transfer into something like
sprinting it’s no surprise that most people who enter into a strength and
conditioning program may see some initial improvements when there are just
general power and strength capabilities increase for a period of time but then
they start to see wait a second I’m not seeing any more improvement from the
work that I’m doing working just as hard or harder but I’m not seeing any
improvement the reason is because these programs are neglecting the whole idea
of the ground strike or the leg strike into the ground which is something that
really needs to be targeted when you’re doing any type of strength training or
power training related to sprinting briefly before we go further there’s
some things you need to think about when it comes to specificity for sprinting or
whatever that are the sort of nuance things that you need to keep in mind
when you’re writing a program so when we’re sprinting we’re on the foot or
recontact contacting on the front of the foot so that’s going to stress the rest
of the foot and the ankle and everything else up the chain in a specific way so
if what we’re doing in the gym is all flat-footed but we
on the track is all front-foot then there’s probably gonna be a disconnect
so when we do exercise that we’re gonna talk about like the low box step up
should you strike heel first probably not
should you strike ball of the foot probably so that way you’re getting a
more specific loading on the foot than ankle and everything up the chain
another thing to think of how many feet are we contacting the ground with around
one foot or two feet in our competitive exercise are we on one foot or two feet
in the exercise we’re doing in the gym that’s gonna be one thing that will
determine the specificity of any exercise another thing to consider how
long are you contacting the ground for you’re on the ground in sprinting for
0.08 seconds 80 milliseconds to 100 milliseconds and then you go do
something in the gym and everything you do there is 500 milliseconds 1,500
milliseconds per rep none of that’s ever going to transfer into what you can do
in 80 milliseconds or 100 milliseconds so you need to think of exercises that
can at least get into the 200 250 maybe 300 millisecond range and then below
you’ve got to think of jumps that you can do that are gonna take 150
milliseconds 125 milliseconds it’s that way what you’re doing in the gym is
relevant to what you’re doing on the track you also need to think of the
postures so upright sprinting is different than acceleration sprinting so
the acceleration work that you do on the track you go into the gym and then now
it’s in different postures that may not be as relevant so what you do on the
track needs to be reflected in the gym in the postures the timing the point of
contact all these things need to be considered when selecting exercises and
implementing them into your training program
a couple other things to consider when we sprint not only do we strike the
ground but we initiate that with a very aggressive pop of the thigh forward so
if we’re sprinting say I’ve pushed through this leg on the backside what do
I have to do my hip flexor has to pop forward boom drive that thigh forward
and then as the leg gets to the front side the hamstring now has to slow down
this forward movement of the leg before it includes pull the leg back to the
ground if we neglect that initial part of that movement that drive of the thigh
forward if we neglect training that we’re really sacrificing our ability to
improve our stride rate or astride frequency because when you’re on the
ground and your foots on the ground and you’re you know pushing into it or
whatever you don’t really have any opportunity to speed up that movement
you also don’t really have a lot of opportunity to speed up how long it
takes from when your legs on the front side to when it hits the ground but what
can we speed up well we can speed up when the leg comes off the ground if I
just pushed into a stride and now I’m flying through the air that way
I don’t quickly reverse that leg through I’m sacrificing time and losing time
that I could have used better by increasing my stride frequency by
popping that thought forward right off the ground the other thing is there’s a
since the the leg is not loaded while it’s in the air it’s only loaded by air
resistance and the weight of the leg that’s an opportunity for you if you
strengthen the hip flexors and you make me powerful to increase your stride
frequency because if they get stronger and more forcefully in that thigh popped
forward or in hip flexion then you’re able to get that leg to the front side
sooner set up that ground strike strike they’re out more effectively and then
ultimately have a better opportunity to propel yourself off the ground and down
the track so we’ve considered the hip flexor what
comes next well what do you have to do if the hip flexor is driving the leg
forward and through onto the front side then one has to happen well as the leg
gets to about here the hamstrings start working very hard in an eccentric manner
meaning that as they lengthen because as the foot swings forward that’s pulling
the hamstrings they’re lengthening they have to decelerate that movement and
then reverse the leg back to the ground so what do we have to do well we have to
develop the ability for the hamstrings to load in that eccentric manner so that
they can then reverse the leg back into the ground
last what do we have to do next well as the leg swings to the ground the flute
is gonna have to work really hard to send us that way and our vastus
lateralis the rest of the quads are going to have to support us vertically
so we don’t just fall into the print last but not least my ankle if the ankle
cannot handle that ground strike that very aggressive pop into the ground and
it can’t stabilize during a very brief period of high amounts of force being
applied to the ground in a by velocity manner then it doesn’t matter how strong
your glutes are how strong your hamstrings up are it’s never going to
transfer into the ground so if you think about all of this
relative to what we talked about the beginning of the video if you neglect
training the ground strike then you’re neglecting the ankle if you neglect
train in the ground strike you’re neglecting a hamstring that deceleration
of leg fork strikes the ground and you’re really going to be losing a lot
if all you focus on is squats deadlifts cleans and things like that so what can
we do to make sure that the training you’re doing in the gym is relevant to
what we’re doing on the track well for the sake of say maximum speed day well
what are we doing when we sprint at maximal velocity over upright right our
posture is upright our leg is not getting very high but it
is striking down and back and you’re sprinting at maximal velocity from about
here to here that’s where you’re really creating all of that energy which is
going to send you down the track that way so we need to find exercises that
emulate that movement in various ways because we’re trying to develop strength
we need to do something that is strength based so that’s where something like a
low box step up comes into play you get a low box or a couple of bumper plates
you stack them up got a bar on your back swing you like forward point strike onto
the box swing forward and strike so we’re getting that that reversal at the
leg we’re getting that strike and then we’re getting force production into the
ground which sends you up onto the box okay so that’s a good strength based
exercise you can load that up pretty well but if you look at something like
the ground contact time or the time it takes to produce the force that is used
in that exercise while being shorter than pretty much any other lift it’s
still going to be a lot longer and a lot slower than sprinting so we need to then
add things like different jumping exercises or different ways to load that
strike so that we’re doing things that are including the concept of ground
contact times rate of force development things like that so we got the low box
step up that’s great but then what can be paired with that well you can pair
something like a single leg depth strip or you can pair something like a single
leg a box strike jump that’s where you’re going to stand up next to the box
preferably about 12 inches high you can put your foot on the box swing
your leg come strike into the box and jump up or jump up and out you can add
weight to that you can do it unweighted or you can do it
folding a band which is going to accelerate that movement when you do a
movement like that where swinging the leg and just write them onto a box and
you’re accelerating that movement with a band what are you doing well you’re
going to get ground contact times or or strike the strike until the ground is
going to take an amount of time which is very similar to sprinting when you do
something like that and accelerated a box strike jump what you can achieve is
a ground contact time in the low 100 millisecond range and we sprint between
eighty and a hundred milliseconds so if we can be somewhere in the 125 to 150
millisecond range in the gym now we’re getting a lot more specific to what we
need to accomplish on the track and then if you also consider that the movement
characteristic of swinging the leg forward and then striking into the
ground or into the box is also included now we’re checking off multiple boxes of
specificity which is really important if we want to have any chance of the things
we do in the weight room the effort and time we spend in there to have an effect
on the track what else can you do well say you don’t want to do the accelerated
movement what else can you do well same thing except instead of having your foot
on the ground or put on a 12-inch box how about you put
this foot down here on it on a 6-inch box and then this foot on a 12 inch box
so your two feet are only six inches apart from each other right because that
bottom foot that support foot is raised off the ground now when you swing the
leg forward and strike you’re going to see the same thing that we saw in an
accelerated a band accelerated strike jump you’re going to see that the ground
contact times come down to somewhere in the 150 to 175 range so for a non
accelerated movement that’s about as fast of a ground contact time you could
ever possibly ask for in the gym if you take something like the low box step up
and then you pair it with a movement like an a box strike jump maybe you go
from the low box step up with 300 pounds and then you go into a strike jump where
you’re holding a 35 comp plate jump up and then you go into something like that
reduced height strike jump so now you’re doing it faster unloaded the leg is
unloaded you don’t have any load on your body and you’re just working on whipping
the leg into a ground strike and you’re doing that with short ground contact
times what you’re gonna see is that the ability to produce force which force can
only be produced and slower velocities the faster you move the less force
you’re producing so if we do something where we’re able to produce force
because the velocity is slower like the low box step up which is still much
faster than exercise to fight if we do something like that and then we
follow it up with something that’s a little bit faster a little bit less
forceful but much more explosive like the a box strike jump holding a weight
plate and then we follow that up with the highest velocity movement with the
shortest ground contact times like that reduced height a box strike gym now
we’re getting into bringing in all these capabilities that are related to
sprinting we got the movement characteristic we got all levels on the
force velocity spectrum we got high force low speed low force high speed
we’re working all that in the same time we’re doing it in a sport specific way
honestly point-of-contact striking on the front of the foot which is all gonna
train the body it’s gonna train the foot the ankle calf the hip flexors the
hamstrings or all that stuff to be able to handle striking the ground while
upright on one support doing it fast and doing it you know as explosively as
possible with regards to acceleration we can use these same concepts but modify
them to the postures the ground contact times the positions that we see in
acceleration so that we can make this as specific as possible to whatever it is
that is being demanded of the body on that given day we know that maximal
velocity sprinting is happening upright that’s why we’re using things like the
low box step up in the a box strike jump which are upright single leg exercises
so we’re simulating the movement patterns trying to simulate the timing
aspects that we see in sprinting when we think of acceleration what are the
Fritz’s well upright sprinting or maximum velocity sprinting we’re here
acceleration sprinting we’re here right you’re gonna see more time on the ground
because throughout the range of motion you’re spending a little bit more time
there you’re gonna be producing more force it’s going to be more horizontally
oriented the force that you’re producing so now that we got maximum velocity
covered we got to think about acceleration the differences here are
going to be that the postures are different timing aspects are different
and the range of motion that you’re going through is different so Wow we
still need to consider the hip flexors doing with hamstrings are doing glutes
ankles all that we have to modify it specifically for acceleration so instead
of doing a low box step up for the main lift maybe we go and we do a split squat
with safety squat bar or we do something like a rear leg elevated squat with
safety squat bar as our main lift so it is going to be slower than low box step
up you’re going to go through a probably a larger range of motion but that is
more specific to acceleration so if you do something like a rear leg elevated
safety squat you’re going to be getting that single point of contact you’re
going to be getting that split position you’re going to be getting a lot of
loading on the glutes hamstrings and your inner core and that’s going to give
you the stimulus for strength in an acceleration specific position now we
can take that into a plyometric just like we did with the top speed type work
where we went from the low box step up to the depth jump or to the strike gym
well we can go from that rear leg elevated squat
a split drop joke something like this where you drop into a split position and
then jump up onto a box or you could do something like that but from dropping
off of a box so that’s more of a split depth jump where drop off the Box hit in
a split position and then jump back up onto a box if you want to do a weighted
jump because of the fact that you’re spending more time on the ground and
acceleration you can do something that’s a little bit slower like a single leg
counter movement jump so maybe you hold a plate in your hands you’re here swing
boom jump up onto a box lastly to get that
faster movement the higher velocity movement and that shorter ground contact
time that we want to sort of finish all these exercises with so we’re still
keeping things relevant to sprinting from a temporal aspect or the timing
aspect then you could do something like a band accelerated split strike jump so
you’re down here in the split position holding a band and then boom you pick
the leg up strike and jump these are exercises that are going to be more
effective for acceleration so I think it’s worth combining all of these into
your program it’s just a matter of when you use them how often you use them and
how you progress them over time for someone who is not very experienced you
might start with a slightly higher box in the low box step up or you might
start in a split squat instead of the rear leg elevated squat and then you
could progress lower the box height on the low box step up so it’s faster and
you could use more load or you switch to the rear leg elevated
squat for the acceleration day so that it’s more complex a little bit harder
and you’re gonna get much more loading on the tissues themselves because now
it’s truly a single leg movement other things you can do you could go from like
how we said you could do a split drop jump you can progress that into a split
depth jump or you could progress on a way to jump to heavier loads you can
progress from some assistance to more assistance on an accelerated jump these
are all ways that you can progress the training but all in all they still need
to keep in mind these concepts of how fast are we moving how long are we on
the ground are we striking the ground or are we just pushing off the ground
are we on one base of support versus two is that force being distributed through
the whole foot is it being distributed through the front part of the foot these
are all things you need to consider if you look at your training in a way that
incorporates the movements the timing aspect the base of support and all the
specific movements that are seen within say the stride cycle sprinting or if you
play basketball what are you doing as you go up the dunk if you consider all
those little nuance things you can then write a program that is much more
effective for your specific goals that simply go into the gym getting under
squat bar and squatting doing power cleans or a regular box jump those are
great for earlier in the year or earlier in someone’s career when you get to a
certain point of development they’re not gonna make you any faster you’re not
gonna run any faster because you went for 455 to 500 under squat but you may
get faster if you go from 300 to 325 on a low block step up or even better you
go from jumping 12 inches off of a box in a strike jump to 15 inches that’s
gonna transfer a lot better than something like just your typical squat
deadlift or whatever if you’re looking for a program that incorporates this
type of work feel free to check out the latest program I put up on my website
I’ll link it below and probably above right now I’ve got an 8 week program
that is set to prepare you for outdoor competition and soon I’m gonna drop a
competition stop program in there as well so you can use that once you are
competing but since right now it’s still kind of that you know late winter period
this is where people are starting to either finish their indoor season or
maybe they are you know getting ready for preparing for outdoor this is a good
time to consider what can I do now that’s going to set me up best for when
I am competing in outdoor and how can I make sure that all the work I’m doing is
actually relevant to the goals it’s relevant to the movement patterns it’s
relevant to just what is sport specific or sprinting as fast as you possibly can
thank you guys for tuning in I really appreciate you watching this video while
you’re here please subscribe and hit a like so that YouTube knows to show it to
other people share it with a friend if you think they could benefit and feel
free to check the links below I got some cool training gear that you can check
out I got shirts like this I got training programs all that stuff
so feel free to check that out if you have a chance if you have any questions
leave them in the comments I’ll catch you guys next time this is Cody Bidlow
with ATHLETE.X signing off you

38 Replies to “Sprint Specific Strength & Power Training | ATHLETE.X”

  1. These videos are so information-dense, I have to keep pausing and rewinding just to take it all in multiple times, which is great. Also this popped up in my feed right before I was going to the gym to train for sprinting haha. Needless to say I wont be doing what I thought I would be tonight. Thanks Cody

  2. Hey man, great training tips here. Apologize if I missed this in the vid, but, on the weighted low box step ups, what kind of reps and approx number of sets are you finding most effective? And do you like to hit these pre sprint training, post, or on a completely separate, no track day? Thanks!

  3. Great video man! I'm currently working on increasing my speed and you're helping alot. Writing down lots of information while trying to understand so i can maximize my strength, keep up the good work.

  4. Hey Cody, great channel and great info,
    Quick question, I have to have 6 weeks off the track due to tibial stress fracture,
    What would you do to keep “running fit” during this time as a sprinter?
    Would there be something specific to do in the pool? Or maybe n a stationary bike?

  5. Thanks for the video, Cody. Very good! If you could go back in time, would you do less in the way of squats, deadlifts and cleans and focus more on exercises that are more specific to sprinting?

  6. Hey Cody! Quick question, what are your thoughts on overspeed training for max velocity (e.g. downhill sprinting, or putting on an exer-genie and running towards it instead of away). You mentioned in your video that assisted work helps to bring gym work closer to track work in terms of contact times, but is there any benefit to making contact times on the track slightly lower than usual (say, 75ms instead of 80ms)?

  7. One more question, when you're doing those strike box jumps, do you think it would be better to have the leg that's on the ground in line or parallel to the leg that's striking the box, rather than behind it? I think this stance position is what Cal Dietz recommends for his athletes when they do step ups.

  8. Very informative and unique video Cody! Would it be beneficial for weaker, younger athletes to do these strength exercises? Or should they focus more on building up there general strength first?

  9. Nice video Coach Cody amazing content as always. Regarding strength and power training, I’m 14 years old and ive been pretty unsure whether or not i can do true strength training so Ive just stuck with explosive power training and plyometrics. Should i get rid of power training until I’m older and just do jumps or can i do strength training as well as power work?

  10. what is your current one rep max on your bench squat and dead lift? it looks like your extremely strong!

  11. Best video ever, this is what i need, I am strong and powerful in the gym but I need to transfer it to the track

  12. what do you think of lunges with a long distance between the feet in order to work hip hyperextension for top speed (mobility * strength) with the back foot?

  13. Finnaly found a page that tells you how to sprint faster with strenght. By myself, I do 7.17s at the 60m and 11.21s at the 100m dash. I really want to break the 11 seconds barrier this year.

    Greetings from Holland

  14. Would be good to hear about purely pre-hab gym routines. Some folks are better off expending their gym energy just shoring up weaknesses, saving energy for sprinting & reducing injury risk

  15. what would you say are good strength levels relative to body weight in the standard strength exercise like the power clean, squat etc before you should consider moving on to these more specific exercises?

  16. Every video on this page is amazingly interesting and informative but can you please shorten the videos length onwards please.

  17. Bro I have a big question. My flying 30m is usually under 3 seconds on a good day. I was sore as hell but still decided to go and sprint. And my time was like 3.4. I was gettin a heart attack. Can you please explain me how soreness can make you (0.4-0.5), so much slower. Like how is this even possible

  18. My coach says that all power come from abs (core i think) and now he’s been torturing us with 2 mins plank, 2 mins side plank, 10×3 crawl, 10×3 jack-knife and 100×10 skipping… are those too much or is my coach right?

  19. Incredible video, is so good, I run 1500mts what kind of jump exercise you recommend to me?

    I have 4'02" in 1500mts

  20. My main concern is the amount of stress your pushing through your knees and ankles, particularly as you're jumping with weights.

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