Strength Training For Speed and Power

Training Speed and Power Events

Track Events: 100 m, 200 m, 400 m, 110 m Hurdles, 100 m Hurdles, 400 m Hurdles

Field Events: Long Jump, Triple Jump, Pole Vault, High Jump, Shot Put, Discus, Javelin, Hammer

Terms to Know For Speed and Power

  • Strength – The ability of the neuromuscular system to produce force. (Sub-maximal, maximal and relative)
  • Rate of Force Development (RFD) – The rate at which muscular force can be applied.
      • Peak Rate of Force Development (PRFD)

– associated with explosive strength and is related to the ability to accelerate objects including body mass.

    • Power – Rate of doing work. Work = Force x Distance
    • Peak Power – Highest instantaneous power value found over a range of motion.
  • Plyometrics – An eccentric contraction followed immediately by a rapid concentric action.

5 Speed and Power Training Qualities

  1. Work Capacity– The ability of an athlete to repeat sub-maximal efforts of work.
    • Modalities – medicine ball circuits, Olympic combinations, plate/bodyweight circuits.
  2. Strength– Multi-Joint Movements performed with sub-maximal to maximal intensity, fluctuates between 70-100%
    • Modalities – squats, press, pulls (multiple variations)
  3. Strength-Speed– Multi-Joint ground based movement focused on developing triple extension power of the hips, knees and ankles.
    • Modalities – Olympic Variations of the Clean & Jerk and Snatch, Dynamic Strength Movements
  4. Speed-Strength– Multi-Joint ground based bodyweight and minimally loaded exercise used in developing Rate of Force Development.
    • Modalities – plyometrics, weighted jumps, maximal medicine ball throws
  5. Speed – Maximal velocity within a specific movement pattern.
    • Modalities – addressed by coach and specific event needs.

Exercise Selection in the Daily Training Plan

Example Training Outline

  • Dynamic Warm-Up General to Specific Warm-Up
  • Olympic Variation Lift (snatch, clean, jerk)
  • Ground Based Multi-Joint Leg Exercise (squat or pull)
  • Posterior Chain Lower Body Exercise (RDL, Glute/Ham, Good mornings)
  • Pressing Exercise (bench, incline, push press)
  • Posterior Chain Upper Body Exercise (Pull-ups, Bent-Rows, Inverted Rows)
  • Core Work (MB throws, rotational work, linear abdominals)
By Scott Cappos (University of Iowa) and Damon Davis (Auburn University)
Track and Field Strength Training