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
About The Author

Digital Track and Field

Training tips and tutorials from top high school and college coaches. Free courses, articles, videos and memberships. Get your coaching breakthrough with Digital Track and Field.