Ready to Train Like Usain Bolt?
What makes a great athlete? Is it natural talent? Sure, there’s certainly an element of that? Is it discipline and dedication? Yup, they’re basically essential. Is it the right equipment? That can definitely give you the inside track? Is it the coaching and support of others? They can certainly make a good athlete great. But none of this accounts for all that much without the right training regimen. No matter what your sport, no matter what your natural talents, you must train every day to maintain the fine edge that gives you a competitive advantage over other, less disciplined players.
A great training regimen means not only training in the techniques of your chosen sport, nor does it mean mentally preparing yourself for the challenges you’ll face. It means preparing your muscle groups for the grueling exertion that your sport requires of you. For runners, this means not only proving your commitment on the track, it means building a strong foundation for success at the gym. Here we’ll look at the legendary Usain Bolt’s training regimen to harness the athletic prowess you need to become a great sprinter...
On your marks. Get set… Go!
Sprinters need to focus heavily on weight training to build strong muscles for the explosive movements that leave their competition in the dust, while ensuring the muscle flexibility to get the long strides necessary for a sprinter.
Weights Day 1:
- Good Morning curls (sets: 4, reps: 8)
- Box Jump with Medicine Ball Slam (sets: 4, reps: 5)
- Barbell Lunge (sets: 3, reps: 10)
- Sled Push (sets: 3, reps: 20)
- Barbell Landmine Exercises (sets: 3, reps: 20)
- Power Clean (sets: 5, reps: 3)
- Explosive Barbell Step-Ups (sets: 4, reps: 6-8)
- Sled Drag (sets: 3, reps: 20)
- Romanian Deadlift (sets: 4, reps: 10)
- Barbell Ab Rollout (sets: 3, reps: 10)
As you can see these workouts are designed to target multiple muscle groups and build functional muscle in the legs, lower back and core to facilitate stronger running. As they are compound exercises, they also help with conditioning.
Strength and conditioning, however, are only two pieces of the puzzle. A great sprinter like Usain Bolt knows the importance of conditioning exercises to improve endurance, stave off fatigue and maintain that competitive edge. That’s why the following are staples of his training regimen:
- Leg Raises (sets: 3, rest: 30secs)
- Cable Knee Drives (sets: 3, reps: 10)
- Side Sweeps (3 sets with 30secs rest)
- Side Plank Clams (3 sets with 30secs rest)
- Bunny Hops (sets: 5, reps: 20)
- Reverse Crunches (sets: 3, rest: 30secs)
- Box Jumps (sets: 4, reps: 8)
- Bounding (sets: 3, reps: 10)
- Hanging Leg Raises (sets: 3, reps: 10)
Finally, it’s time to take these finely tuned muscles out on the track. Bolt’s speed training is divided into four drills to prepare him to smash 100m records.
- Starting Blocks: 10x2 point start for 10-20m (2min rest), 6x3 point start for 10-20m (3 mins rest), 4x2 block starts for 10-30 m (5 mins rest)
- Acceleration: 10x20m with weight vest (4mins recovery), 5x15 m 2-point start using weight sleds (5mins rest)
- Top End Speed: 5x30 m acceleration, 75 percent speed for 15-20 m, sprint for 10-15 m (4-5mins rest)
- Deceleration: 2x100 m (2-3 reps), 95 percent of 200m pace (2-3mins rest between reps, 5-8mins between sets).
A punishing regimen to be sure, but if you want to be the best, you have to train like the best. Nobody ever gave a gold medal for sitting in front of the TV eating pizza!