The Best Way to Build Speed for Track & Field This Off-Season | STACK

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The Best Way to Build Speed for Track & Field This Off-Season

July 26, 2012

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Want to get faster for your track & field events? Then you have to start strength training. A strong body will be able to produce more force and propel you forward at a faster pace. So, the first step to getting faster is to hit the weight room.

Although sprinting is largely a lower-body activity, you do yourself a disservice if you neglect your upper body. Every stride you take is initiated by the forward driving movement of your shoulder and arm. If you have strong legs but a weak upper body, your speed will lag behind your competition.

A good off-season strength program will prepare and develop your body for a successful season. One of the best ways to build muscle for track & field is to strength train three days per week—preferably on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. This will produce tremendous strength gains and provide ample recovery time between workouts.


Monday is a total lower-body day. The Squat is the featured exercise; however, no muscle is neglected. The goal is to prevent any weaknesses from sabotaging performance or causing injury.


On Wednesday, the focus is on the upper body. The chest, shoulders and arms need to be strong for the arm drive, and the back must be strong to support the body, improve posture and reduce the risk of injury.


Friday workouts combine upper body and lower body lifts. This workout is physically demanding, because it is a total body workout. Therefore, you should give yourself two days of recovery time before you begin lifting again.

  • Dumbbell Shrugs - 3x10
  • Push-Ups - 3x20
  • Leg Press - 3x10
  • Rear-Foot-Elevated Push-Ups - 3x10
  • Rear-Foot-Elevated Split-Squat - 3x8 each leg
  • Single-Leg RDL - 3x8 each leg
  • Lat Pulldown - 3x12
  • Walking Lunge - 3x8 each leg
  • TRX Row - 3x10
  • TRX Single-Leg Squat - 3x8 each leg
  • Shoulder Press - 3x10
  • Core Exercises - 150 reps of any core exercises

Photo Credit:

Brent Rogers
- Brent Rogers is the director of strength and conditioning for the College of Mount St. Joseph (Cincinnati, Ohio). He was most recently the assistant strength...
Brent Rogers
- Brent Rogers is the director of strength and conditioning for the College of Mount St. Joseph (Cincinnati, Ohio). He was most recently the assistant strength...
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