Olympic sprinters are some of the most exciting athletes in the world. You’ve seen them and I’m sure one of the first thoughts that entered your mind, is wow!!! They look like they were carved out of stone. Ripped, dense muscle and not an ounce of fat. They set up…a process that feels like its happening in slow motion; then BANG…the gun goes off and your slow motion set up just turned into the most spectacular combination of explosiveness, power, focus, muscle and agility. Know most of us will never run the 100 meters in 9.58 seconds, which is a record Usain Bolt currently holds. But we can take the principals of training for such events and apply them to our own routines. Here’s how.
Train for Speed Not Aesthetics
This sound familiar? You go to the gym every day and you start with a five minute jog and then you move on to a few sets of back, followed by a few sets of biceps and you finish with 20 minutes on the elliptical as you talk on the phone with your friend about this upcoming weekends party plans! Now as much as I applaud the fact that you are getting in the gym, that routine will not give you the body of an Olympic level sprinter. First the easy stuff. You have to block your calls, tune those headsets to your most motivating workout mix and get ready to grind, sweat and push like you’ve never pushed before. You have to train to develop a skill and not just to look good. Which is funny because ironically you will end up looking better than you did when you trained for aesthetics!
Train Like Bolt
Well I provided the mental mindset and approach required to train like a sprinter. Now the tough part, execution of the routine. What does a typical workout for the worlds fastest man look like; Power Cleans,Explosive Barbell Step-Ups, Romanian Deadlift, Barbell Ab Rollout. But wait; I thought Usain was just born fast. Well yes…he was born with a talent but he still has to work hard to develop the skill.
Try this routine to get you started towards your goal of Olympic glory! First start with a ten minute warm up on either the elliptical or a treadmill. Then you will complete three rounds of two circuits.
CIRCUIT A (3 rounds)
- Plank for 30 seconds to a minute
- Front Squat (4-6 reps) (strength)
- Push Ups (2 shy of your max)
- Romanian Deadlift (4-6 reps) (strength)
CIRCUIT B (3 rounds)
- Hanging Knee Raises (10-15 reps)
- Squat Jumps (10-15 reps)
- Hang Clean (10-15 reps)
- Lunge Jumps (10-15 reps)
Finish with 5-10, 30 second sprints on the treadmill or outdoors with a 90 second light jog or walk in between each one!
Nutrition, Rest and Mindfulness
This just doesn’t all happen in the gym folks. What you put in your body matters too. So focus on all the food groups at every meal. Eggs, chicken, lean meat and fish for protein. Oatmeal, beans, brown rice, sweet potato for carbs and pack that plate with colorful veggies! You’ve got to get enough rest as well. Try to get at least eight hours and drink at least 64oz of water a day! Finally, there is an often overlooked component to all this – mindfulness. Try meditation to help with your focus. Even if just five minutes a day.
So there you have it! Focus on developing your skill and the aesthetics will follow. Always be patient and focus on good form while you train. Don’t worry about how much weight you’re doing or how much your friend is doing. If you can’t hit those lifts with correct form then you will not be hitting the areas you intend to develop. Most importantly, be safe – you are no use if you get hurt.