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Athletics Coach

The moment you step in to the gym, you are already moving away from what you are really training for... Performance Coach, Henk Kraaijenhof

Strength for Sprinting Connecting gym gains with sprinting performance


n 2013, Athletics Australia hosted a sprinting conference with the internationally respected Dutch coach, Henk Kraaijenhof. One of the key messages taken from his presentation was the challenge of transfering strength

gained from the gym into improved performance on the track. Those back squats might be making your athlete a better lifter and it’s certainly making them look stronger, but is this extra

muscle actually transferring to improved 100m times? What can the coach do to ensure that the time the athlete

Strength is Specific

is spending in the weights room is being used most effectively for performance gains? Strength is specific in a number of different ways

The ‘Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demand’ or ‘Specificity’ principle suggests that strength gains

and this should determine how and what we train. To maximise the transfer between ‘weight room strength’ and the specific strength required for sprinting, coaches need to ensure that their chosen exercises best replicate the unique conditions of sprinting. This article will examine how the velocity, muscle group, muscle action, direction of force and joint angle of the muscles trained will effect the training outcomes and how these factors can be manipulated to maximise training outcomes for sprinting performance.

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are greatest when tested using the same characteristics as the training program

Profile for Athletics Coach

Athletics Coach - Issue 3, 2018