This is a basic weight training guide for a 2nd or 3rd year (or onwards) “full time” athlete (i.e. not a recreational nor part-time multi-sport athlete). For a primer on weight training, click here.
I feel for a beginner track athlete, the 1st year and/or 2nd year should be a general strength training program. Then every year (or two) you have to start adding and removing some exercises. As the athlete gets stronger, the requirements change over time. Since I don’t like to change mid season, September (or October) is when I start with a new program.
Here are some house rules to this program:
- No lifts to failure (no non-functional hypertrophy).
- No 1RM (one rep max), only doubles or triples (2 or 3 rep) sets, at 85-95% of 1RM (see calculator).
- Ideally, do 3 sets of 3 reps (3×3) but cut down to 2×2 on easy weeks or tapering week.
- If you are new to this, you may want to choose a lighter weight and do 3 sets of 5 reps for the first week of a new exercise. Technique first, then add weight.
- The whole workout should be no longer than 45 minutes. If you are, then you are chatting too much. If you are in school, you want to shower, get home and eat as soon as possible so you can hit the books.
- This Weight Training program is 3 days per week and done immediately after your track workout, so no warm up set is required. But if you like to do one, that’s fine, that’s up to you. Please change your T-shirt before starting! I hate sweaty benches after somebody bench press!
- I am aware that some people may have to commute to a Gold’s Gym from the track which may have a cool down effect.
3 Days a Week
You have 3 core exercises performed twice a week, which I label A, B, and C where:
- Monday = A + B
- Wednesday = B + C
- Friday = A + C
- Ancillary exercise optional EVERY session (i.e. military press or hamstring curl)
- Abs EVERY session (read articles from the core category here)
You perform these every 3 weeks, with the 4th week being an easier week or testing week.
- Month 1 – A=Power Cleans, B=Squats, C=Bench,
- Month 2 – A=Hang Cleans, B=Dead Lift, C=Box Push Ups (see speed strength)
- Month 3 – mix it around with variations,
- Month 4 – and so on….
I hope this will help you get started in your weight training routing. Remember it’s all about gaining functional strength and power without the added muscle mass.