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Greg Everett
10-20-2006, 04:27 PM
Article on strength training for improved sprinting performance:

http://www.dragondoor.com/cgi-bin/articles.pl?rm=mode3&articleid=269

I like the general thrust of the article, but I do find it curious that it focuses on strength development rather than power development. Pavel's Power to The People approach uses intentionally slow strength movements--definitely a great approach for strength development, but arguably problematic for power athletes such as sprinters. The idea is that the stronger the athlete, the faster the stride rate will be because the shorter the ground contact time is--but this is really a product of power, not strength. These athletes clearly saw power increases from their added strength training, but it seems to me those results could have been even further improved by focusing on power work directly, e.g. power cleans, power snatchs, push press/jerk, jumping squats, etc. Thoughts?

Russell Greene
10-21-2006, 02:39 PM
I sometimes wonder about the wisdom or necessity of olympic lifts for sprinters. Sprinting itself is so fast and powerful, and hard on the joints in excess, that olympic lifts seem almost superfluous. It seems that the one quality they need the weight room the most to develop is strength. This is not to say that olympic lifts won't improve someone's sprinting, just that for someone already handling a full load of sprinting training, perhaps slow strength training is more appropriate.

Robb Wolf
10-22-2006, 02:04 PM
I have not found much information on this. I guess hanging out on the Charlie Francis forum or Parissi Speed forum would be educational. The links below are interesting and (if accurate) offer some insight into this issue.

This is an intriguing topic and it seems to hover around the point that people need to be stronger to move faster...but moving things faster (Olifts, Plyo's) offer great benefit.

As to the additional joint loading...not sure about that. The power variants of the OL's seem a good option here. Interesting stuff and on a personal level I really like the training involved with being a sprinter. I enjoy that speed, power and feeling of acceleration.


http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/tomgreen.htm
http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/tomgreen1.htm

Steve Shafley
10-29-2006, 07:42 PM
Ben Johnson did squats, benches, pulldowns, maybe deadlifts.

I don't even think he did plyometrics, but I'd have to go back and read "Speed Trap" and "The Charlie Francis Training System" again to see for sure.

Both are very interesting reads.

Ben would also hide when it came to do distance work. Apparently he was either lazy, or intuitively knew it was going to hurt his event in the long run.

Coach Rutherford
10-30-2006, 09:19 AM
I hate to say it but the majority of the FASTEST guys I have been around in high school and college campuses did not have great work ethics. They have great gifts but did not demonstrate the best numbers on the platform or the power rack.

The next tier of kid usually had the best combination of explosive power, nice squat numbers (1.5-2.5 x bw squat) respectable power cleans..... I believe there is a point of diminishing returns in terms of what a weight room will give you on the track or field. The starting 22 at the University of Nebraska back in the 90's were not the strongest guys in the weight room BUT they did have nice strength and wonderful v.j., 20 yard dash and 5-10-5 composite scores.

I think it's a blend of DNA, good relative strength, and technique coaching.

Scott Kustes
10-30-2006, 12:33 PM
If you're talking elite sprinter such as Ben Johnson, adding 50lbs to his squat or deadlift may not make as much of a difference as adding 50lbs to that of a high school sprinter. Strength is an obvious benefit, but power if of foremost importance (after good sprint mechanics of course). In the less experienced sprinter, plyometrics are probably necessary (more so than in the elite) to condition the tendons for the stress that sprinting puts on the body.

Lots of good information on the Charlie Francis board. Charlie's "Train for Speed" is an excellent (albeit long and sometimes boring) read. I'm planning to run in the 100, 200, and possibly 400m in next July's Bluegrass State Games and am using some of Charlie's stuff to setup my SPP training. Hopefully I can bring home the gold (I think there are only about 4 entries in the 25-29 division).

Robb Wolf
10-30-2006, 01:09 PM
I think Johnson was up around a set of 5 @600lbs. That is pretty damn strong.

Steve- Thanks for the reminder on Speed Trap. I need to read that.

Scott-What type of set-up are the Blue-grass games? Is this just an open track meet? I don't know anything about T&F...I need something to compliment the Olifts to shoot for.

Scott Kustes
10-30-2006, 02:47 PM
I'm not real sure of the setup as this will be my first games. BGSG features alot of different events, not just T&F (Complete list (http://www.bgsg.org/2006_summer_games_info.php)), such as basketball, flag football, martial arts, sailing, etc. Unfortunately, Bluegrass Games are only for Kentucky residents (they don't want you folks that wear shoes coming down here and winning), but a quick google search turned up the Cal State Games (http://www.calstategames.org/).

Last year's results were 11.4 100m, 55.5 400m, and 22.93 200m.

Robb Wolf
10-31-2006, 12:30 PM
Right on Scott! Thanks!

Jason C. Brown
11-15-2006, 06:57 AM
I have Parisi's "Srength Training for Speed" DVDs and they're very strength oriented but the do have a fair share of power drills like power step-ups and cool lunge varitaions.

I'll watch it again this week and give a more detailed breakdown of their theory.

Michael elizondo
04-28-2008, 05:27 AM
I always find doing a heavy 3-5 rep max followed by a power lift or plyo excercise brings out the best in me. I think the way alot of coahces break it down is the simple physics law > strength+speed= power. If you work on strength and speed seperately for a period, then for say a 3-4 week period try more power based work it should give good results. But everyone is different and depends on whether or not you are trained at power movements like C&J or snatch.

Mike ODonnell
04-28-2008, 08:44 AM
A buddy of mine who used to just do heavy PL and is over 240lbs, can run like the wind....and he never did any Oly stuff. So each has a component...as I am sure there are plenty of Oly lifters who can also run fast. Michael I like your approach to it....heavy then explosive. All in all...a good program would have both components to strength and power cycled in somehow.

Michael elizondo
04-28-2008, 08:51 AM
A buddy of mine who used to just do heavy PL and is over 240lbs, can run like the wind....and he never did any Oly stuff. So each has a component...as I am sure there are plenty of Oly lifters who can also run fast. Michael I like your approach to it....heavy then explosive. All in all...a good program would have both components to strength and power cycled in somehow.

Yeah powerlifters and OL are beasts at the sprint, atleast over the first 30-40 yards, I think that's why alot of rugby players and american football players can keep up with elite sprinters over a 40yard dash...the only thing that hampers acceleration phase is excess bulk, but if you're graced with a reasonable physique, fast turnover rate and high amounts of strength and explosive power...you have the formula for a world champ.

Mike ODonnell
04-28-2008, 08:59 AM
Yeah powerlifters and OL are beasts at the sprint, atleast over the first 30-40 yards, I think that's why alot of rugby players and american football players can keep up with elite sprinters over a 40yard dash...the only thing that hampers acceleration phase is excess bulk, but if you're graced with a reasonable physique, fast turnover rate and high amounts of strength and explosive power...you have the formula for a world champ.

Something just scares me about a 240lb guy who can catch my ass in 40 yards! Ha. Yes, most sports are making some serious beasts. Just another reason why training for distance is not really applicable to sport performance. So the old days of the coach making the kids jog around the field are not going to lead to explosive and all state athletes (minus the naturally gifted ones of course).

Michael elizondo
04-28-2008, 09:33 AM
Something just scares me about a 240lb guy who can catch my ass in 40 yards! Ha. Yes, most sports are making some serious beasts. Just another reason why training for distance is not really applicable to sport performance. So the old days of the coach making the kids jog around the field are not going to lead to explosive and all state athletes (minus the naturally gifted ones of course).

LMAO yeah same here, especially since that's 65lbs heavier than me! Well in England coaches are still behind, getting 100m sprinters to do 300m runs which is completely the wrong energy system to develop fast, explosive sprinters. Sprinters who are abit more muscular are usually best suited over 60m and 100m whereas the slighter ones are best over 200m and 100m. I can see the carry over of 300m to 200 although I think 250 would be ideal but 300m for a 100m runner...makes no sense. Shorter, intense interval training is the adopted protocol in the states I gather?

Mike ODonnell
04-28-2008, 09:43 AM
Shorter, intense interval training is the adopted protocol in the states I gather?

Adopted? Doubt I would say that....although I think people/coaches/athletes are starting to apply them more. At least you start to see more younger athletes being exposed to good strength/Oly training programs too. Compared to when I was in HS and my workout for the hockey team off season was the rusty all in one Nautilus machine in the basement of the school. That and the only strength and conditioning coach we ever had was whatever senior was down there.

Barry Ross
01-21-2009, 12:43 AM
Article on strength training for improved sprinting performance:

http://www.dragondoor.com/cgi-bin/articles.pl?rm=mode3&articleid=269

I like the general thrust of the article, but I do find it curious that it focuses on strength development rather than power development. Pavel's Power to The People approach uses intentionally slow strength movements--definitely a great approach for strength development, but arguably problematic for power athletes such as sprinters. The idea is that the stronger the athlete, the faster the stride rate will be because the shorter the ground contact time is--but this is really a product of power, not strength. These athletes clearly saw power increases from their added strength training, but it seems to me those results could have been even further improved by focusing on power work directly, e.g. power cleans, power snatchs, push press/jerk, jumping squats, etc. Thoughts?


Greg,
Thanks for letting me update what we've done since my article was posted on dragondoor.com
Pavels PTP book led to the article.
In fact, he strongly suggested I write the article as a test of the viability of writing a book. I had asked him if he would co-author and he said no. The reason for the negative was because he did not feel he had sufficient knowledge in strength training for sprinting. He was, however, intrigued by the concept of mass-specific force as the determinant of speed.
His advice was to write the article and see how much feedback I received before writing a book.
It worked-I wrote a book- people in 85 countries have purchased it.

Dr. Peter Weyand and his associates have provided a significant body of work regarding high speed running. One particular paper puplished in 2000, "Faster top running speed are achieved with greater ground forces not more rapid leg movement," caught my attention while I was training Felix.
The paper revealed several interesting concepts, but the most noteworthy was the dominance of mass-specific support force as the major factor in running.
"Support force" is the force applied to the running surface to oppose gravity. It is not "push-off" force. In fact, there is no force applied to the running surface by the runner after the first half of the stance phase. While most coaches are bothered by this fact, no locomotion researcher would claim otherwise.
The amount of support force applied by elite sprinters can exceed 4x bodyweight.

In your reponse to my article you asked for thoughts about why we did not suggest more "power" lifts. Prior to publishing my book, I removed all power lifts. In fact, we now do only DL's and bench ( or just push-ups for pure sprinters). No other exercises at all.

Ok, before you give me the stink-eye, hear me out!

An elite male sprinter at, 150 lbs bodyweight, will apply 600 lbs of support force prior to the end of the first half of the stance phase. That's on one leg and in approximately 0.05 seconds. What power exercise would come remotely close to that? The SAID princple ain't going to work here!
The majority of the 600lbs of force is delivered isometrically, which is the only way that much force could be delivered that fast but this doesn't mean that doing only iso work would be of benefit (most likely it would not).

Other posters to this thread mentioned the high initial speed of power and Oly lifters. While this is true, it is only true for the early acceleration phase where muscle mechanical work is done. After that they fade out because they do not have sufficient m-sf. They are to heavy! The result of the added mass causes them to have longer ground contact time to offset ground reaction force effectively. The nature of their sport relys on longer ground contact times.

So what kind of a workout would help those who need to run faster in their sport? That would depend on each individual athlete's rate of speed decrement.
What causes speed decrement? The over-abundance of the anaerobic fuel supply. This also nullifies the need for explosive lifts.
Keep in mind that everything I've mentioned is from research. Most of the info floating around the net has no research basis at all. It's based primarily on kinematics, which, by definition, ignores the effects of gravity.

I'll leave it at that for the moment because this is the point where people start throwing rocks or other stuff at me.

Thanks again Greg!

Chris Forbis
01-21-2009, 04:41 AM
Sweet post. Certainly got your book on my radar.

Donald Lee
01-21-2009, 01:24 PM
http://www.bearpowered.com/blog/PermaLink,guid,ddef058e-617f-4ae3-bd1a-b3aa53f1b440.aspx :

Power lifts are slow. In fact they are incredibly SLOW compared to competition speeds. As soon as I see professional baseball pitchers practice by throwing a 10 or 20 lb baseball as fast as they can or a champion powerlifter limit ground contact to less than 0.07s when lifting in a competition, I'll stick by my minimalism.

Barry Ross' argument against the use of Olympic lifts does not seem valid to me. Is not intent more important than the actual speed in terms of building explosiveness or in terms of rate of force development?

The only rationale I can see for forgoing Olympic lifts and/or plyometrics is that the strength gained from the "minimalist" approach in the gym translates into explosiveness through the specific sprint training, which eliminates the need for adding Olympic lifts and/or plyometrics.

Barry Ross
01-21-2009, 03:33 PM
http://www.bearpowered.com/blog/PermaLink,guid,ddef058e-617f-4ae3-bd1a-b3aa53f1b440.aspx :



Barry Ross' argument against the use of Olympic lifts does not seem valid to me. Is not intent more important than the actual speed in terms of building explosiveness or in terms of rate of force development?

The only rationale I can see for forgoing Olympic lifts and/or plyometrics is that the strength gained from the "minimalist" approach in the gym translates into explosiveness through the specific sprint training, which eliminates the need for adding Olympic lifts and/or plyometrics.

You're comment about intent has validity from both Behm and Sale's JAP study of 1993 (where they concluded that the intent to increase velocity rather than actuall increase determined velocity-specific training response) and Mel Siff (in many of his Supertraining posts).

I would not dispute that fact, but rather I would point out that we never lift less than 85% of a 1rm and we do plyometric training during the strength workout.
Our run training is based upon a patented algorithm that allows us to predict running times from a few meters up to 5 minutes of running (distance covered) with >97% accuracy. This allows us to improve rate of force delivery in our athletes through running as close to maximal speeds as possible.

In other words, we're doing exactly what you've said in your second paragraph!

As a long time throws coach, I've been on both sides of the "power" issue.
I've spent many hours in discussions with researchers regarding the ability of elite athletes to deliver support force significantly faster than non-elites. As of now, there is no consensus as to the how or why they are able to (it does kinda knock out the idea of nurture over nature).

From an opposite perspective, speed decrements are not reduced by doing explosive training. Decrements are reduced by maximal or near maximal strength training.

Donald Lee
01-21-2009, 11:55 PM
Mr. Ross,

I have purchased your book and am nearly half way through reading it. Some of my misgivings on your method have been cleared up. I will finish the book before I comment further. Thank you for the good read.

Joe Birch
01-23-2009, 04:52 AM
Would be interested to see what actual sprint work was done along side the minimalistic strength work, I'm guessing if the sprint training is along the same lines then not hundreds of isolated technique drills but more focus on just sprinting?

Barry Ross
01-23-2009, 03:26 PM
Sprint work consists entirely of our algorithm-based runs. The runs range from a low of 10m (with a 20-25 m fly-in) to a maximum of ~60m (plus the fly-in) for 400m runners and down.
Each one is given a specific time for the distance chosen, based on parameters set by initial trial runs of 10m and 300m. We reduce the run time to 95% of the max suggested by the algorithm. Since the algorithm is >97% accurate in predicting times, we know that the runner will be running between ~92% to ~98% of top speed.
This is where the rate of force delivery is enhanced, as well as intramuscular coordination and the rapid storage and release of elastic energy (elastic recoil).
It is also where running "form" develops.

We do no "form" drills at all--ever.

If the runner completes 10 training runs, we stop for that day and re-test the trial runs (they should be faster). If the runner cannot make the goal time in the first 2 runs, we stop them. This could happen because of bad timing of the original trial runs, fatigue, illness, laziness, or they just don't have it that day.
Over the course of the season they will average about 5 runs per day, 2-3 days per week.

That's all they do for 400m and down. No intervals, no long runs, no threshold runs, no speed endurance work (which is ludicrous anyway :) ), no off season mileage.

Donald Lee
01-24-2009, 12:48 AM
Sprint work consists entirely of our algorithm-based runs. The runs range from a low of 10m (with a 20-25 m fly-in) to a maximum of ~60m (plus the fly-in) for 400m runners and down.
Each one is given a specific time for the distance chosen, based on parameters set by initial trial runs of 10m and 300m. We reduce the run time to 95% of the max suggested by the algorithm. Since the algorithm is >97% accurate in predicting times, we know that the runner will be running between ~92% to ~98% of top speed.
This is where the rate of force delivery is enhanced, as well as intramuscular coordination and the rapid storage and release of elastic energy (elastic recoil).
It is also where running "form" develops.

We do no "form" drills at all--ever.

If the runner completes 10 training runs, we stop for that day and re-test the trial runs (they should be faster). If the runner cannot make the goal time in the first 2 runs, we stop them. This could happen because of bad timing of the original trial runs, fatigue, illness, laziness, or they just don't have it that day.
Over the course of the season they will average about 5 runs per day, 2-3 days per week.

That's all they do for 400m and down. No intervals, no long runs, no threshold runs, no speed endurance work (which is ludicrous anyway :) ), no off season mileage.

That sounds incredibly short. Do they average about 5 runs/day because they cannot complete all 10 runs in the alloted goal time? Also, you keep the 400 m runners to a maximum of 60 m sprints? I'm guessing you allow for maximal recovery between sprints because you don't do intervals.

I have quite a few questions pertaining to your book.

1. You stated that the horizontal force forward and the braking force generally even out, and that what propells the runner forward is the vertical force against gravity. Obviously the vertical force is not the only force in play, or else the runner wouldn't go anywhere. How does angeled force play into this?

2. Also, POSE running attempts to use gravitational force to its advantage by leaning forward. It minimizes the use of the quads and high knees. Instead, it goes more for the butt kick motion and utilizes the hamstrings. According to your thoughts on running technique ala your book and blog, it would seem that POSE would be only beneficial for correcting overstriding. Michael Johnson seems to naturally run in this manner. I am interested in hearing your thoughts on this if you are familiar with POSE running, because you put so much important on MSF and fighting against gravity.

3. I am also wondering about your disdain for training past 10 seconds in order to train mostly the ATP-PC energy system. Even in a 100 m race, there are significant glycolitic and aerobic components. And you claim that inability to sustain maximum speed is due to insufficient strength. You training, both in the gym and on the track, seems EXTREMELY strength biased. To put it in rudimentary terms, you seem to want to out-muscle through everything. While this might be optimal for a distance as short as 40 m, I don't see how it could be optimal for events that have significant components beyond the ATP-PC energy system.

4. Is there a point in which you feel that increasing the deadlift no longer increases the speed of the runner, while maintaing the same mass of course? I ask this because Olympic lifters, after building up sufficient strength, focus primarily on the lifts themselves. There comes a point when moving up the squat or the deadlift doesn't help them in the C&J and Snatch.

5. I don't understand what you were saying about supercompensation in the plyometrics section of your book. I understand that immediately following maximal contraction or isometric contraction, plyometrics can have a supercompensatory effect. But, it caught me by surprise that you stated that. You seem to focus on keeping exercises within 10 sec to avoid lactic acid buildup, yet you say to superset the deadlift with the plyometric exercise. Is the lactic acid buildup not a concern in this case?

These are a lot of questions, so I understand if you pick and choose which to answer. Thank you.

Joe Birch
01-24-2009, 08:46 AM
Thankyou for the quick reply Mr Ross. Just out of interest do ever train any team sports athlete's? (soccer, hockey etc). I'd imagine if significant gains can be seen with such short track time (compared to other sprint programs) it would appeal massively to these kind of athlete's.

Barry Ross
01-25-2009, 12:35 AM
That sounds incredibly short. Do they average about 5 runs/day because they cannot complete all 10 runs in the alloted goal time? Also, you keep the 400 m runners to a maximum of 60 m sprints? I'm guessing you allow for maximal recovery between sprints because you don't do intervals.


The majority of the reason for averaging 5 is because they reach 10, but there are times they cannot make the first 2 runs within the goal time.
Recovery time between runs is 4 minutes.


1. You stated that the horizontal force forward and the braking force generally even out, and that what propells the runner forward is the vertical force against gravity. Obviously the vertical force is not the only force in play, or else the runner wouldn't go anywhere. How does angeled force play into this?


Out of the blocks, step one's horizontal impulse is equal to 60% OF vertical impulse. By step 3, horizontal impulse is 32% OF vertical impulse. Horizontal impulse eventually drops to ~10% of vertical impulse.
From the above, as the runner increases speed, the force vector changes. There is also the factor of inertia that keeps the runner moving horizontally. The braking action at ground contact causes the center of mass to continue in a forward direction--because of inertia (this is why those who want to minimise braking force at landing are being silly--not a nice way to put it but that's what it is :D ).

From "Running Springs: Speed and animal size"Farley, et. al.
JEB 1993:

"Running, hopping, trotting and galloping animals bounce along the ground using
springs to store and return elastic energy (Cavagna et al. 1964, 1977; Heglund et al.1982b). These springs include muscles, tendons and ligaments which alternately stretch and recoil, storing and releasing elastic energy, while the feet are on the ground (Alexander, 1988).

Cavangna's study, I believe, was the first to recognize the fact that humans bounce along the ground. Bouncing as in a bouncing ball. The amount we bounce is based upon muscle stiffness and hip, knee and ankle joint angles at ground contact. Too much joint angle change creates longer ground contact time. Too little angle causes reduction of the "spring."Muscle stiffness dictates spring actions as well as the amount of elastic energy created.


2. Also, POSE running attempts to use gravitational force to its advantage by leaning forward. It minimizes the use of the quads and high knees. Instead, it goes more for the butt kick motion and utilizes the hamstrings. According to your thoughts on running technique ala your book and blog, it would seem that POSE would be only beneficial for correcting overstriding. Michael Johnson seems to naturally run in this manner. I am interested in hearing your thoughts on this if you are familiar with POSE running, because you put so much important on MSF and fighting against gravity.

Leaning forward is most often a function of existant weather condition and/or increase in drag force created by the runners speed. Without any wind at all, an elite runner at top speed will exceed 11m/s at top speed ~around 24 mph. If we simply walked into that headwind speed we would automatically lean forward into it to effectively "reduce" the drag by creating a smaller surface.
I'll bet no one told you to do that as a kid...you just did it!

High knees, are the result of the elastic energy stored during ground contact time. As the COM passes over the grounded foot, there is a powerful eccentric contraction along the posterior muscles and tendons. At toe off, the elastic recoil drives the leg up and in front of the runner, just like a stretched rubber band when one side is released. More recoil=higher knees.

The Pose method is guilty of the same thing that the majority of speed coaches do. They ignore research, they ignore gravity, and they ignore the fact that form follows function.
I know that's harsh but what the heck, you asked!


3. I am also wondering about your disdain for training past 10 seconds in order to train mostly the ATP-PC energy system. Even in a 100 m race, there are significant glycolitic and aerobic components. And you claim that inability to sustain maximum speed is due to insufficient strength. You training, both in the gym and on the track, seems EXTREMELY strength biased. To put it in rudimentary terms, you seem to want to out-muscle through everything. While this might be optimal for a distance as short as 40 m, I don't see how it could be optimal for events that have significant components beyond the ATP-PC energy system.

I can see your point that there seems to be more work necessary than just looking at the strength component.
However, Weyand, et al's research paper on hypoxic (reduced oxygin intake) verses normoxic running states, "decreasing their rates of oxygen uptake during sprinting, we found they could run just as fast for sprints of up to 60 s and nearly as fast for sprints of up to 120 s."

Clearly, 60s sprints would cover up to 400m for a decent runner, yet with a reduction of nearly 35% they ran the same. They also ran nearly as fast for what would be equvalent to a mediocre high school female 800m runner.
What type of run training would be required if the oxygen-fueled muscles don't need more oxygen (let alone they were severly deprived)?

The same study mentioned above also provided the ground work for the algorithm we use. Several more research papers were published, culminating with "A metabolic basis for impaired muscle force production and neuromuscular compensation during sprint cycling" Matthew W. Bundle, et al

Their conclusion:
"We conclude that impaired muscular force production and compensatory neuromuscular activity during sprint locomotion are triggered by a reliance on anaerobic metabolism for force production."

What this means is that there is a significant anaerobic fuel reserve. So much so that fast twitch fiber will simply stop creating the necessary tension to continue.
All fiber types create tension with in the muslces: Aerobic fibers run out of fuel supply to "feed" the fibers, causing the runner to slow down or even stop; anaerobic fibers have an over abundance fuel, which causes the motor units to stop firing. It's like having a lot of fuel in the tank but the spark plugs won't fire.

So what can we do?
Increase the number of faster firing motor units...through heavy strength training.
One cannot maximally increase these units by doing "explosive" type workouts because those workous are, at best, 70% 1rm.

How do we know that runners improvement are based on the strength training?
We only do heavy strength training and speed work.

We can see the aerobic/anaerobic/anaerobic reserve changes relative to each other through the algorithm.



4. Is there a point in which you feel that increasing the deadlift no longer increases the speed of the runner, while maintaing the same mass of course? I ask this because Olympic lifters, after building up sufficient strength, focus primarily on the lifts themselves. There comes a point when moving up the squat or the deadlift doesn't help them in the C&J and Snatch.


I'm sure that at some point the DL will not increase the runners speed, but I've not seen it yet. That being said, your following statement about Oly lifter's focus on the lift itself is what we are doing with the runs.


5. I don't understand what you were saying about supercompensation in the plyometrics section of your book. I understand that immediately following maximal contraction or isometric contraction, plyometrics can have a supercompensatory effect. But, it caught me by surprise that you stated that. You seem to focus on keeping exercises within 10 sec to avoid lactic acid buildup, yet you say to superset the deadlift with the plyometric exercise. Is the lactic acid buildup not a concern in this case?

Few of our lifters would ever hold a lift for anywhere near 10 seconds, so the lactic issue is moot for us. However, not reaching that threshold also allows us to do up to 5 workouts per week with minimal fatigue. It was more of a warning to NOT attempt to redo missed lifts.
The duration of plyo's, as far as loading is concerned, is minimal.
Since writing the book, I'm convinced that supercompensation does NOT occur by adding plyos.
I addressed this issue with Dr. Weyand who advised that the plyos were still of value in training the force "delivery" system (at landing) and intramuscular coordination under duress.
So, I'm in the process of writing book 2 to address that issue and new research.

Thanks for those great questions!

Barry Ross
01-25-2009, 12:47 AM
Thankyou for the quick reply Mr Ross. Just out of interest do ever train any team sports athlete's? (soccer, hockey etc). I'd imagine if significant gains can be seen with such short track time (compared to other sprint programs) it would appeal massively to these kind of athlete's.

Yes, I've personally trained athletes in volleyball, soccer, tennis, basketball, baseball, football, rugby, sprints, throws, jumpers and distance runners.
Others have used the system in speed skating (the Chinese female speed skating team went from no gold medals to winning 10 gold and 10 silver/bronze medals and one World record--in one season--using our DL protocol).
It is also being used by short track bike racers.
I've had discussions with an NHL team regarding the implementation of the protocol.

Implementing the protocol in professional sports is problematical because of the minimalism of the program ;)

I'm currently providing the strength training for an athlete at a major D1 school with permission of the coaching staff there.

Garrett Smith
01-25-2009, 06:38 AM
Nice work, Mr. Ross.

Donald Lee
01-25-2009, 09:47 AM
Thank you for spending the time replying to my questions, Mr. Ross.

I am not sure if I am fully understanding this portion of your comments:

What this means is that there is a significant anaerobic fuel reserve. So much so that fast twitch fiber will simply stop creating the necessary tension to continue.
All fiber types create tension with in the muslces: Aerobic fibers run out of fuel supply to "feed" the fibers, causing the runner to slow down or even stop; anaerobic fibers have an over abundance fuel, which causes the motor units to stop firing. It's like having a lot of fuel in the tank but the spark plugs won't fire.

The abstract from this (http://www.springerlink.com/content/c66j73m6jt6n741v/) study states:

Thus, the present results show that the degree of hypoxia affects the magnitude of the hypoxia-induced increase in anaerobic energy release in the late phase of the WT and suggest that certain degrees of hypoxia induce significant increases in the amount of anaerobic energy released, compared to normoxia.

Am I correct in assuming that your training is designed to minimize the body's reliance on the aerobic system?

Also, what are your thoughts on lactic acid buildup during the 400 m? Do you not have to be trained to efficiently utilize and shuttle out lactic acid?

Thanks again. I am looking forward to your next book. Is there any expected release date?

Barry Ross
01-25-2009, 02:48 PM
Thank you for spending the time replying to my questions, Mr. Ross.

I am not sure if I am fully understanding this portion of your comments:



The abstract from this (http://www.springerlink.com/content/c66j73m6jt6n741v/) study states:



Am I correct in assuming that your training is designed to minimize the body's reliance on the aerobic system?

Also, what are your thoughts on lactic acid buildup during the 400 m? Do you not have to be trained to efficiently utilize and shuttle out lactic acid?

Thanks again. I am looking forward to your next book. Is there any expected release date?

Our training is not designed to minimize the body's reliance on the aerobic system. In fact, we believe, based upon the algorithm, that the runner needs a baseline of aerobic capacity. That baseline equates to ~4.5 m/s.

The following is from the algorithm for a female runner:
9.804 7.895 4.802 5.069 9.871

The first number is the m/s of a 10m fly-in trial
The second is the m/s of a 300m fly-in trial
The third is m/s aerobic capacity
The fourth is the m/s anaerobic speed reserve
The last number is the combination of the of third and fourth numbers.

From these numbers and the repeat run distance we can see the rate of speed decrement. That decrement represents the rate at which anaerobic fibers fatigue (reduction of active motor units).
As the runner increases strength, in the form of maximising motor unit recruitment, the 10m fly-in m/s drops. What we've found is that drops in the short trial run will cause drops in the long trial without any other work. In other words, the short dictates the long in an anaerobic based sport.
This is also the reason to run shorter repeats than what others suggest.
It also gives us a solid base to build workouts from because we have a greater sense of how each aspect relates to the others.

More importantly, it gives the athlete very specific goals rather than the guessing so many coaches use. Rather than saying "Run 10 repeats at 80% of max speed" (how does a runner know when they are running at 80%?), we give them very accurate and attainable goals.
We do the same in strength training--specific loads from simple lifts to increase motor unit recruitment.
As their strength increases, 10m times drop and so do speed decrements.

We don't do anything regarding lactic acid.

Barry Ross
01-25-2009, 02:52 PM
Nice work, Mr. Ross.

Thanks!
I like your quote from Pavel!

I'm meeting with Pavel in February. He is a great individual with a lot of knowledge and a great desire to learn.

Garrett Smith
01-25-2009, 03:05 PM
Honestly, since I've never done much sprint training ever, much of this seems over my head at this point. I do know a solid approach when I see it, though, and your success speaks volumes.

I'm curious about your distaste for POSE. Is that mainly in the sprinting arena that you don't care for it?

It seems to me to be a solid approach for re-training heel striking folks (mostly recreational, not elite). I do understand that any decent sprinter will not have any problem with heel striking and that POSE may not be applicable at all with elite runners.

I'm just curious.

Donald Lee
01-25-2009, 03:31 PM
I think I may now understand your reasoning for disregarding speed endurance, as you call it. By increasing maximal strength, you are able to increase your top speed and have more motor units recruited so that as you fatigue, more motor units are available. Is this a correct assessment?

Do the ratios of anaerobic to aerobic energy system being utilized (i.e., in the 400 m) in your athletes differ at all from the norm, as a result of your system of training, or is that largely unaffected?

Steven Low
01-25-2009, 04:33 PM
Great stuff man. Keep talking and we'll keep learning. :)

Barry Ross
01-25-2009, 05:02 PM
Honestly, since I've never done much sprint training ever, much of this seems over my head at this point. I do know a solid approach when I see it, though, and your success speaks volumes.

I'm curious about your distaste for POSE. Is that mainly in the sprinting arena that you don't care for it?

It seems to me to be a solid approach for re-training heel striking folks (mostly recreational, not elite). I do understand that any decent sprinter will not have any problem with heel striking and that POSE may not be applicable at all with elite runners.

I'm just curious.
http://www.bearpowered.com/images/Ka_comp_ 05_ 06_3.jpg

This is the image of a heel striker who only deadlifted--no form drills at all.
The season to season transformation is remarkable, but simple: he got stronger.

Barry Ross
01-25-2009, 05:11 PM
I think I may now understand your reasoning for disregarding speed endurance, as you call it. By increasing maximal strength, you are able to increase your top speed and have more motor units recruited so that as you fatigue, more motor units are available. Is this a correct assessment?

Yes!

Do the ratios of anaerobic to aerobic energy system being utilized (i.e., in the 400 m) in your athletes differ at all from the norm, as a result of your system of training, or is that largely unaffected?

The ratios are different for each person but the concept is the same. I'm not sure there is a "norm."

Donald Lee
01-25-2009, 05:20 PM
Thank you, Mr. Ross, for the time you've spent answering questions on this thread. I'm all out of questions, except I'm anxious as to when your next book will be released. :)

josh everett
01-25-2009, 05:28 PM
Hi Mr. Ross
I'm guessing another advantage to your program is your athletes really enjoy practice!
From what I understand of Clyde Hart & Baylor's system you guys are at opposite ends of the spectrum here. Interesting in that 2 opposite programs both get great results.

Chris H Laing
01-26-2009, 05:34 AM
The following is from the algorithm for a female runner:
9.804 7.895 4.802 5.069 9.871

The first number is the m/s of a 10m fly-in trial
The second is the m/s of a 300m fly-in trial
The third is m/s aerobic capacity
The fourth is the m/s anaerobic speed reserve
The last number is the combination of the of third and fourth numbers.


Can you explain how to use the algorithm for those of us who don't quite get it. Also, could you provide the algorithm for a male runner?

I'm interested in trying out this kind of sprinting work, and it seems more quantifiable than running at an arbitrary 80% of max (like you stated above)

josh everett
01-27-2009, 07:13 AM
For those interested here is a less arbitrary way of assigning target times for workouts as a % of your max for a given distance...

Personal best X 100 / percent effort

So if my personal best is 47.5 and I want to know what 90% of 47.5 is...

47.5 X 100 = 4750

4750 / 90 = 52.77

I would need to run 52.77

another popular stratedgy is to run shorter intervals at race pace of a longer event... for example run 400m intervals at your mile PR pace.

Jay Cohen
01-27-2009, 09:36 AM
This thread just keeps getting better and better.
Thanks everyone.

Barry, like your website, now just have to think if putting out the 40 bucks for you book will enable me to become a faster runner. Not that the book isn't dead on, but rather if I can follow the book to the track.
If you ever offer workshops or seminars out toward the east coast, please let us/me know.

Jay

Barry Ross
01-27-2009, 10:58 AM
Can you explain how to use the algorithm for those of us who don't quite get it. Also, could you provide the algorithm for a male runner?

I'm interested in trying out this kind of sprinting work, and it seems more quantifiable than running at an arbitrary 80% of max (like you stated above)

I can't give you the algorithm because it is patented (Rice University).
We have the exclusive rights to it.
You can get a full explantion of it www.asrspeed.com (http://www.asrspeed.com)

You can find the algorithm itself on several research papers of Weyand, Bundle, et al.

Be forwarned, it doesn't work the way you would think it would!:confused:

Barry Ross
01-27-2009, 11:05 AM
This thread just keeps getting better and better.
Thanks everyone.

Barry, like your website, now just have to think if putting out the 40 bucks for you book will enable me to become a faster runner. Not that the book isn't dead on, but rather if I can follow the book to the track.
If you ever offer workshops or seminars out toward the east coast, please let us/me know.

Jay

I will be presenting at a seminar on April14-15 at SMU in Texas. The list of invitees include Dr Weyand, my partner Ken Jakalski and I believe several very will known names in the "speed game".

Not quite the east coast but midway between you and I, LOL.

Chris Forbis
01-28-2009, 08:19 AM
I can't give you the algorithm because it is patented (Rice University).

Sweet. Go Owls. (Rice alum here.)

Jay Cohen
01-28-2009, 09:10 AM
I will be presenting at a seminar on April14-15 at SMU in Texas. The list of invitees include Dr Weyand, my partner Ken Jakalski and I believe several very will known names in the "speed game".

Not quite the east coast but midway between you and I, LOL.

Barry, thanks for the reply. I doubt if I can make it, but will keep your book on my to buy list.
Jay

Donald Lee
02-04-2009, 02:42 PM
Going along with Barry Ross's ideas regarding Mass Specific Force (MSF) and Rate of Force Development, does anybody think switching the deadlifts-for a sprinter who has achieved an over 3x BW deadlift-to the Olympic lifts would be more effective? I would reckon, by switching the deadlifts for the Olympic lifts, not as much time would have to be spent on plyometrics.

Barry Ross
02-06-2009, 03:51 PM
Going along with Barry Ross's ideas regarding Mass Specific Force (MSF) and Rate of Force Development, does anybody think switching the deadlifts-for a sprinter who has achieved an over 3x BW deadlift-to the Olympic lifts would be more effective? I would reckon, by switching the deadlifts for the Olympic lifts, not as much time would have to be spent on plyometrics.

It would not be more effective...I know that because that's how I started ;) (see the article posted at the beginning of this thread. Power work was included.)
Running fast creates more necessary plyometric work than any weight training could accomplish.
Elite runners will apply force >4x mass in in less than 0.05s (first half of stance phase)...with one leg. The second half of the stance phase shows no force application at all. Rather, it is during that time that the runners grounded foot combined with the runners inertia creates a very powerful eccentric stretch--in approximately the same amount of time it took to apply support force. Oly lifts are not going to come anywhere near the speed and intensity of the eccentric work of running at high speed. Which is exactly why I dropped all Oly and other such lifts.
One other thing to consider is that the purpose of heavy strength training is to increase the number of the largest, fastest-firing moto units that provide speed endurance. Oly lifts are not good for that purpose either.

Donald Lee
02-06-2009, 07:18 PM
It would not be more effective...I know that because that's how I started ;) (see the article posted at the beginning of this thread. Power work was included.)
Running fast creates more necessary plyometric work than any weight training could accomplish.
Elite runners will apply force >4x mass in in less than 0.05s (first half of stance phase)...with one leg. The second half of the stance phase shows no force application at all. Rather, it is during that time that the runners grounded foot combined with the runners inertia creates a very powerful eccentric stretch--in approximately the same amount of time it took to apply support force. Oly lifts are not going to come anywhere near the speed and intensity of the eccentric work of running at high speed. Which is exactly why I dropped all Oly and other such lifts.
One other thing to consider is that the purpose of heavy strength training is to increase the number of the largest, fastest-firing moto units that provide speed endurance. Oly lifts are not good for that purpose either.

I guess what you are saying is that strength-speed does not transfer as well as maximal strength itself to the speed-strength required in running? I was just pondering whether when you reach some point at which you have a really high, maybe even 3.5-4x bodyweight deadlift, whether the deadlift itself would no longer be of much benefit. Will you be able to recruit more of the largest, fastest-firing motor units while sprinting from continued focus on deadlifting or focusing on something that requires more power?

That was my train of thought, but thanks for still checking up on this thread.

Barry Ross
02-07-2009, 03:21 PM
I guess what you are saying is that strength-speed does not transfer as well as maximal strength itself to the speed-strength required in running? I was just pondering whether when you reach some point at which you have a really high, maybe even 3.5-4x bodyweight deadlift, whether the deadlift itself would no longer be of much benefit. Will you be able to recruit more of the largest, fastest-firing motor units while sprinting from continued focus on deadlifting or focusing on something that requires more power?

That was my train of thought, but thanks for still checking up on this thread.

There are 3 aspects here.
1. Increasing strength in order to have more motor units to recruit.
2. Increasing storage and release of elastic energy
3. Increasing rate of force delivery.

1=Heavy lifting (deadlift or squat or?) for recruitment
2=Plyometrics for storage and release of elastic energy
3=? for increasing rate of force delivery

The simple answer to #3 has been power lifts, but as stated earlier, power lifts have significantly slower rates of force delivery than just running fast.
So why not just run fast to get faster?

The speed limit for every runner, regardless of training level, is the amount of support force (in excess of mass) delivered to the running surface during decreasing ground contact times.

Jakub Kruhlik
02-09-2009, 08:21 PM
http://www.bearpowered.com

is this the book being discussed? I read the originl article but now want to buy the book.

Donald Lee
02-09-2009, 11:15 PM
http://www.bearpowered.com

is this the book being discussed? I read the originl article but now want to buy the book.

Yes. Definitely an interesting read.

Alan O'Donnell
03-23-2009, 10:26 PM
How would all of this Barry Ross stuff apply to jumping, rather than sprinting?

That is, if you want to train to increase your vertical leap, would it make sense to follow a similar minimalist routine of heavy DLs + lots of jumping (or sprinting even)? Or would oly lifts be more directly applicable to, say, training max box jump height?

Garrett Smith
03-24-2009, 06:29 AM
When I get to my sprinting training in the future, I'm definitely getting this book and maybe even the ASR system. It all makes too much sense. Thanks for posting, Barry!

One question--can the ASR system be done by one person, with just a stopwatch (not having a "gate" system)?

Barry Ross
03-25-2009, 10:15 AM
When I get to my sprinting training in the future, I'm definitely getting this book and maybe even the ASR system. It all makes too much sense. Thanks for posting, Barry!

One question--can the ASR system be done by one person, with just a stopwatch (not having a "gate" system)?

Hi Garret,
Yes, it can be used by an individual and without expensive equipment. It will work well as long as the runner is consistent in their timing.
What we suggest on the site is that you put something of bright color just before the timing zone begins and the same just before it ends.

Jakub Kruhlik
03-26-2009, 08:14 PM
is this the asr system you guys are talking about?

http://www.asrspeed.com/default.aspx

Will purchasing it once be enough because I see that they have a monthly and yearly subscription?

Another question for you Barry, I'm sure it's discussed in the book but at the moment money is tight. I was planning on doing a SS type program over the summer because along with getting faster I was looking to increase my strength to body-weight ratio. What kind of affect would extra strength work have on the effectiveness of your program? Obviously I wouldn't be squatting a lot since your program would have me DLing a lot but what about doing Bench, Press, and Power Cleans. I'm trying to keep it simple yet effective so that I can get as strong and fast as possible.

Barry Ross
04-01-2009, 12:44 AM
is this the asr system you guys are talking about?

http://www.asrspeed.com/default.aspx

Will purchasing it once be enough because I see that they have a monthly and yearly subscription?

Another question for you Barry, I'm sure it's discussed in the book but at the moment money is tight. I was planning on doing a SS type program over the summer because along with getting faster I was looking to increase my strength to body-weight ratio. What kind of affect would extra strength work have on the effectiveness of your program? Obviously I wouldn't be squatting a lot since your program would have me DLing a lot but what about doing Bench, Press, and Power Cleans. I'm trying to keep it simple yet effective so that I can get as strong and fast as possible.

Hi Jakub,

You can get a monthly or annual subscription. The annual is a better deal, but the workouts are the same.

Strength to body weight ratio is a good rule of thumb for the onset of performance changes but the increase in mass-specific force (support force) is what provides the actual increase in performance. The dl's will take care of that.
The inability of power and Olympic lifters to sustain their running speed over relatively short distances compared to sprinters is the difference of rate of force delivery (RFD).
Faster runners apply greater support force during shorter ground contact times.

Power cleans are a waste of your time because they are slower than game speeds and they are dependent on maximal strength anyway. It's a technique lift when not used in it's own particular sport.
Power lifts do not increase the faster firing motor units as much as maximal lifting because they are sub maximal lifts.
Muscles trained this way lead to increases in speed decrement over time (another cause of the power and Olympic lifters increased speed decrements)

Bench is only a necessity for certain sports...soccer, basketball, football, rugby etc, but not for sprinting or just running faster.

Garrett Smith
04-01-2009, 06:11 AM
FYI you guys, Barry has a forum at www.bearpowered.com, he's been very helpful with some of my initial questions about the weight program.

Jakub Kruhlik
04-02-2009, 07:45 PM
well I do play soccer. So should i just add in bench/press with my DL's?

Blair Lowe
04-03-2009, 01:19 AM
Soccer. Hmm, BP or pushups won't really make much of a difference, imo. I'd say pushups or something along those lines.

Garrett Smith
04-03-2009, 06:44 AM
The pushing exercise to go along with the DL is very Power to the People (Pavel T.) inspired.

Jakub Kruhlik
04-03-2009, 12:03 PM
so just Deadlift and Press (Pavel would say Side Press)?

Garrett Smith
04-03-2009, 12:28 PM
Well, the idea is a pushing movement that has application to your chosen sport/activity.

The program is more complex than PTTP and 2 sets of 5 reps for 2 exercises. I don't want to describe the whole thing, I think Barry put a lot of work and thought into the book and he should get the business.

Jakub Kruhlik
04-03-2009, 12:38 PM
Oh I totally understand and I will be purchasing the book just tryin to figure out the next couple months since I will have summer break and want to figure out what I need to do to achieve my goals. Thanks for the help.

Jakub Kruhlik
04-04-2009, 09:45 AM
Barry and Garrett if you could chime in on this.

Whats a good sprint workout for after my weightlifting session? Should i just pick a distance, say 50m, and repeat it (with full rests, I'm thinking between 3-5 minutes) until my times get slower?

Garrett Smith
04-04-2009, 10:30 AM
Jakub,
I'm not the person to answer that. You might try Barry's forum at www.bearpowered.com if he doesn't answer here.

I do know the book covers the lifting (I've got that) and the ASR program covers the running (I don't have that yet).

Jakub Kruhlik
04-04-2009, 10:48 AM
Ok thanks Garrett, ill post over there as well. One final question (sorry to be a bother :) ). What should my diet look like? I know Barry is all about gaining the least amount of bodyweight, so should I just stick to my Zone blocks which are at 16 right now (22/160#/5'11")?

Garrett Smith
04-04-2009, 05:15 PM
Jakub,
Maybe you want to start another nutrition thread for that question to keep this one cleaner.

Simple answer is, if you aren't gaining weight at what you're eating now, while getting good gains and recovery, then what you're doing is fine. The Zone tends to undershoot necessary calories and fat, so it likely won't work forever.

Jesse Burroughs
04-14-2009, 07:33 PM
hmm so this is prolly a little late but i would like to chime in anways haha.

I read the book and honestly wasn't that impressed. I do agree with a lot of it like that power cleans are not very good for developing power and that sprinting form is mostly natural and strenght biased. But i would like to point out that I noticed most of the athletes you used as examples seemed to be explosive naturally and had a strength deficit. Also the majority were females it seemed. My point with this is from what I have read is that most atheletes benefit from any sort of strength training. Like SS. As long as they are a novice weightlifter. So take any sprinter that is a novice weightlifter and throw him/her on a beggining weightlifting program and they will benefit. So someone like me that has pretty good strenght (Max dead at 405 for a triple, at 180 lbs) might not benefit as much from this program. Im more strenght based and am pretty weak when it comes to expolsiveness. So I would most likely benefit from more power training. Also the information in the book was well kinda scanty for the most part. Idk somethin about spending over forty dollars on a book that was about 80 pages with wide margins and large type didnt really appeal to me. Just my opinion. Granted there was some really good info and i learned some stuff but well I learned more surfing kelly braggarts site higher-faster-sports then i did reading this book. Idk i wasnt that impressed and i followed the book for about three weeks and didnt like it. Some people would benefit I beleive but as a said those gifted athletes who have a strenght deficit. Just my two cents tho. Also I should mention that I sprint and well my coaches are not very good so I have to kinda coach myself =( Pretty pathetic when I dont improve during the season but when i come back after a year my times drop by a lot. Idk its crazy haha.

Donald Lee
04-14-2009, 09:55 PM
Mr. Ross,

I was thinking about your approach again the other night, and I've seemingly unconvinced myself. I thought about posting in your forum, but I thought it was appropriate for this thread. I also stopped following the Biomechanics of Speed thread on the Supertraining group, so forgive me if it was already delved into in some form.

With the DLing, 30 meter flyes, etc., the focus is primarily functional, rather than structural. I am sure structural adaptations will occur, but once sizeable strength has been achieved, further adaptations will occur primarily by means of neural or functional adaptations.

These adaptations will be in intermuscular coordination, intramuscular coordination, etc. I believe sprinting form improvements from DLing may be due to intermuscular coordination, but I would like to focus on intramuscular coordination. According to Supertraining, intramuscular coordination includes the following:

- Number encoding, the control of muscle tension by activating or deactivating certain numbers of fibres.
- Rate (frequency) encoding, the control of tension by modifying the firing rate of active fibres.
- Pattern encoding, the control of tension by synchronisation or sequencing of firing of the different types of muscle fibre (e.g. slow or fast twitch fibres).

I believe your premise for not training speed endurance is that, by maximizing MSF, you will be able to recruit more higher threshold fibres, even as you fatigue. I am not 100%, but I believe in reference to number encoding, nearly 100% recruitment of fibres is possible in most trained athletes. Further neural improvements in terms of intramuscular coordination are determined mostly by rate encoding and somewhat by pattern encoding.

Once top speed is reached in sprinting, what makes having maximized MSF in training more beneficial than having worked on speed endurance? I do not believe maximizing MSF makes you able to recruit more higher threshold fibres.

Intuitively, it also seems that practicing longer distance sprints would be more beneficial for pattern encoding in the latter part of the race.

I am wondering whether this is addressed in Charlie Francis' new book as well.

Steven Low
04-14-2009, 11:06 PM
Donald,

I think it might be better to approach this from a global view.

We know that frequency of stride based on human biomechanics is pretty much virtually the same for all sprinters.

Therefore, the sprinters who have longer strides are going to be able to run faster. Those who have longer strides are those who are able to exert the most mass specific force. Therefore, increasing mass specific force is key.

We pretty much know that lifting heavy ass weights is going to raise all CNS related intermuscular and intramuscular coordination as well as preferentially hypertrophy/strength type II fibers..... so why not do heavy DLs?


Anyway, what distances are you referring to for speed endurance (for a 100m sprinter and/or a 400m sprinter let say).

Donald Lee
04-14-2009, 11:11 PM
Donald,

I think it might be better to approach this from a global view.

We know that frequency of stride based on human biomechanics is pretty much virtually the same for all sprinters.

Therefore, the sprinters who have longer strides are going to be able to run faster. Those who have longer strides are those who are able to exert the most mass specific force. Therefore, increasing mass specific force is key.

We pretty much know that lifting heavy ass weights is going to raise all CNS related intermuscular and intramuscular coordination as well as preferentially hypertrophy/strength type II fibers..... so why not do heavy DLs?


Anyway, what distances are you referring to for speed endurance (for a 100m sprinter and/or a 400m sprinter let say).

I'll think over more later on what you posted, but in reference to speed endurance, I just mean distances beyond which top speeds are reached.

Donald Lee
04-14-2009, 11:26 PM
Donald,

I think it might be better to approach this from a global view.

We know that frequency of stride based on human biomechanics is pretty much virtually the same for all sprinters.

Therefore, the sprinters who have longer strides are going to be able to run faster. Those who have longer strides are those who are able to exert the most mass specific force. Therefore, increasing mass specific force is key.

We pretty much know that lifting heavy ass weights is going to raise all CNS related intermuscular and intramuscular coordination as well as preferentially hypertrophy/strength type II fibers..... so why not do heavy DLs?


Anyway, what distances are you referring to for speed endurance (for a 100m sprinter and/or a 400m sprinter let say).

I'll think over more later on what you posted, but in reference to speed endurance, I just mean distances beyond which top speeds are reached.

A few quick thoughts:

1. I do agree with maximizing mass specific force in order to increase top speed and RFD.

2. Once top speeds are reached, however, fatigue comes in to play. As higher threshold fibres become fatigued, due to intramuscular coordination, other higher threshold fibres are recruited. If all or nearly all fibres are indeed recruited at top speeds, why not spend some time on speed endurance?

3. Does the ability to not train speed endurance for sprinting have anything to do with the fact that the force in sprinting is expressed in milliseconds (which does not allow for maximal contraction)? Does it also not have anything to do with elastic energy contributions?

I could be way off base with #3, but it's a random thought that popped into my head.

Barry Ross
04-17-2009, 05:19 PM
I'll think over more later on what you posted, but in reference to speed endurance, I just mean distances beyond which top speeds are reached.

A few quick thoughts:

1. I do agree with maximizing mass specific force in order to increase top speed and RFD.

2. Once top speeds are reached, however, fatigue comes in to play. As higher threshold fibres become fatigued, due to intramuscular coordination, other higher threshold fibres are recruited. If all or nearly all fibres are indeed recruited at top speeds, why not spend some time on speed endurance?

3. Does the ability to not train speed endurance for sprinting have anything to do with the fact that the force in sprinting is expressed in milliseconds (which does not allow for maximal contraction)? Does it also not have anything to do with elastic energy contributions?

I could be way off base with #3, but it's a random thought that popped into my head.

Hi Donald,

Since we agree on point No. 1 above, lets examine 2 and 3:

#2:
It is not intramuscular coordination that causes muscles to fatigue, it is the overabundance of ATP.

In "A metabolic basis for impaired muscle force production and neuromuscular compensation during sprint cycling", Bundle AJP 2006, the authors state:

"We conclude that impaired muscle force production and compensatory neuromuscular activity during sprinting are triggered by a reliance on anaerobic metabolism for force production."

The response I've seen from numerous books and online training sites regarding the improvement of "speed endurance" never describe the mechanism by which speed endurance is actually enhanced. In other words, what's in the "black box" of speed endurance work that creates change?

Bundle's study concluded that muscle impairment (manifested as rate of speed decrement) is caused by an abundance of ATP: "The results we present here indicate that a dependence on nonoxidative pathways of ATP resynthesis impairs muscle force production during locomotion."

In other words (and per Dr. Weyand), the abundance of ATP allows the runner to work fibers until they are no longer able to create the tension necessary to continue at high speed.

In addition (same study), "During fatiguing submaximal contractions, measures of EMG are known to increase throughout the effort. This response has been attributed to motor unit recruitment because motor neuron firing rates during these contractions have generally decreased or exhibited little net change"

From a personal conversation with Dr. Weyand, muscle fiber EMG increases as newly recruited motor units (MU's) come on line to aid in speed maintenance.

If this is the case, then increasing the number of larger, faster firing motor units should result in reducing rate of speed decrement.

So how do we make them available?

The only way we can is by lifting heavy weights, since this is where the greatest muscle tension is needed. Submaximal lifts of 75% 1 RM or lower will not recruit the fastest firing units (which means that power lifts are not helpful since they are below 80% of max)

The concept of speed decrement over time is the basis of the algorithm we use. Once again, with 97% accuracy in predicting running times it's difficult to argue against it.
Over the last five years we've been using this tool to measure improvements in speed endurance to the point where we are confident that the short runs dictate the long runs. Short fast runs combined with maximal lifts (>85%) improve running performance over the short and the long.

When coaches suggest that speed endurance work reduces rate of speed decrement, they are not necessarily incorrect...but they are not maximizing the ability of their athletes, regardless of the level of the athlete.

You might be wondering about the elite runners regarding this issue. The elite sprinter may offset some of these issues by the fact of what makes them elite--they are able to apply significantly greater amounts of mass-specific force during shorter ground contact times; perhaps to the point that they are not recruiting and using all of their available MU's at each ground contact.
The fact that most elite male sprinters in the last 20-25 years has shown multiple equal ground contact times over 10m segments also tends to strengthen the possibility.

#3
No and no :)

Garrett Smith
04-17-2009, 07:49 PM
Short fast runs combined with maximal lifts (>85%) improve running performance over the short and the long.
Does this sound familiar to anyone else, like it has been applied somewhere in a different type of training...? :)