As a sprinter, most of my training is focused on generating power and developing explosive strength. This is the case both on the track and in the gym. There are many ways this can be achieved but set out below are a few of my favourites.
In sprinting it is important to place focus on powerful high speed movements that engage the hamstrings, glutes and utilise triple extension. One movement that involves all three is the hang clean.
Many of you may well be familiar with full cleans, which are great for overall athleticism. Whilst some athletes use the full clean, we adopt the hang clean for increasing speed because it focuses on the power element of the movement. The full clean movement is slower which is not as useful for me as I am trying to develop powerful fast movements.
Box jumps (in between sets of half squat)
Squatting prior to jumping involves neural activation. This basically means to prime your muscle and mind to be explosive. At this time of year (mid-season) I will do 3 sets of 5 at 85% of my 1 rep max and 5 box jumps at 1.05m height in between each of those sets.
Jump squats are a ballistic exercise which involves pushing the weight into free space (another example of a ballistic exercise would be push press). By accelerating and releasing weight into free space, the body recruits fast-twitch muscle fibres.. The high speed ballistic movement fires up the central nervous system to produce the greatest amount of force in the shortest amount of time. I will lift a little lighter than 85% for this exercise so that I can focus on height and control rather than loading up the weights.
3 key elements of my post workout routine.
1.) I don’t know about you but I am never hungrier than when I’ve finished a session no matter how big or small. I try to bring a protein shake and a banana or a protein bar with me to training so I can have something straight away because lets face it, the 10 minute drive home is just too long to wait.
2.) Jog / skip 400-800m. This may transition into a walk/crawl depending on how hard the session was.
3.) Cyclo-therapy. NHC Cyclo-Therapy is a three dimensional deep tissue massage. I use the NHC hand held unit after tough sessions as it allows you to instantly target troublesome areas. The vibrating effect of the hand held unit essentially provides treatment akin to deep tissue massage, without the damage caused by a deep tissue sports massage. The vibrational therapy also promotes recovery by aiding blood circulation to the muscles. However, I do still have a sports massage every month or so and physio treatment once a month.
What supplements I’m currently using.
ELEVATE™ – I cannot recommend Summer Berry ELEVATE™ enough. Before trying this, a pre workout is never something that would cross my mind to try. Of course I have had other caffeinated drinks such as coffee before training, and that works, but ELEVATE™ is on another level. I work full time as a trainee solicitor so training after any day at work is often quite difficult mentally and physically, but never more than before a Friday weights session. I drink ELEVATE™ whilst warming up on the bike in the gym and the effects are game changing! The explosive exercises such as snatch are significantly helped after I’ve had this pre workout but in addition to that you don’t get that drained feeling 10 minutes before the end of the session. It allows me to really get the most out of every session.
Complete Greens™ Tablets – is there an easier way to top up your 5 a day?! I don’t think so. I am rubbish at getting in my greens with my meals. Particularly because after a day at work and a training session by 9.30pm I don’t usually feel like making much effort with my cooking. To combat this I try to make a greens focused nutribullet smoothie in the mornings but often don’t have time (due to sacrificing time in the kitchen for time asleep in bed!!) so this is just a fantastic way to make sure I get that all important greens boost.
High Protein Snack Bars (Chocolate Orange) – do I even need to say any more? Chocolate orange is my absolute weakness so to be able to have a guilt free bar with the same taste is perfect. I usually snack on these as a treat when I’m hungry and have a sweet craving. The bars are quite big so I usually only have half (although the other half usually follows within the next 30 mins). Sometimes I will have one after training too.