Sprinter Weight Training Program for Powerful Starts

STACK Expert Jim Carpentier offers two weight training workouts to develop essential power for sprinting.

When sprinting, quickly and explosively getting off the starting block gets you to the finish line faster.

The two weight training workouts below develop essential power for sprinting. They work by training the lower-body muscles to exert more force, propelling you forward faster, and they include upper-body work, which is important because a strong and powerful upper body helps generate momentum for your stride—which is why elite sprinters are typically very strong.

Try this workout once per week for best results.

RELATED: 3 Tips to Increase Sprint Speed

Equipment

  • Moderately heavy barbell, 2 dumbbells and a med ball (80% RM)
  • 12- to 18-inch box
  • Bench
  • Water bottle

Guidelines

  • Perform an upper- and lower-body dynamic warm-up (e.g., Arm Circles and Forward Lunges).
  • Finish with upper- and lower-body cooldown static stretches to enhance flexibility.

Sets/Reps: 3x5

Rep Tempo: To optimize power, emphasize the explosive speed of the concentric movement (1 second) and decelerating on the eccentric part (2 seconds) of each exercise. Pause one second between reps, then rapidly drive through the concentric movement. The goal for sprinters is to develop a split-second powerful burst—going from zero to full acceleration—to gain a competitive edge.

RELATED: How to Sprint Faster With 3 Speed Drills 

Rest: 60 seconds between sets; 90 seconds between exercises. The intensity of the weightlifting and plyometric exercises necessitates longer rest periods between sets/exercises for recovery.

  • Hydrate before, during and after workouts.
  • Alternate workouts on non-consecutive days, allowing for adequate recovery.

Workout 1

Power Clean

  • Barbell Power Cleans
  • Box Jumps (holding med ball at shoulder level)
  • Explosive Push-Ups
  • Bulgarian Split Squats (holding dumbbells at your sides with rear foot on a bench or box)

Workout 2

Deadlift

  • Barbell Deadlifts
  • Squat Thrusts
  • Med Ball Side Lunges with Press-Outs (holding med ball at chest level and explosively pressing ball away from your chest while simultaneously laterally lunging right, then left—5 reps each side)
  • Dumbbell Upright Rows


Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock

Topics: CHEST | DEADLIFT | WORKOUTS | WATER | POWER | EXERCISE | BENCH | PRESS | RECOVERY | DUMBBELLS | INTENSITY | EQUIPMENT | WATER BOTTLE | WEIGHT TRAINING