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  1. #1
    Registered User btownyute's Avatar
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    Does bodyfat really affect sprint speed?

    So im 5'9 at 155 amd i run about 12.2 for the 100m and i dont really sprint much. Idealy id like to run 11.8 in april. The thing is everyone on my school team that is faster than me have one thing in common, theyre all single digit bodyfat but theyre all weaker than me in every lift (especially legs) my squat is 440lbs for 5 reps while most of then are low-mid 300. The thing is ive realized for my leg strength i should be ALOT more explosive (jump and run higher/faster) so do you think i should just cut to single digits or just do plyometrics twice a week to utilize my strength better for speed? Btw im about 12% bodyfat.
    Last edited by btownyute; 02-01-2016 at 08:20 PM.
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  2. #2
    Strength Coach jonmd123's Avatar
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    Maybe you should try powerlifting, you would have one of the biggest squats in the world for your weight class.
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    Faster than Yesterday SprinterChick's Avatar
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    It's not as simple as single digit body fat. So much of sprinting is strength relative to size and using said strength to move your body forwards, and obviously having to lug around extra fluff isn't going to help anybody. So yeah, cutting helps but it all depends on if you lose strength or not.

    On my end I've often been beaten in the 400m by gals much fluffier than I am whereas in the 100m whoever I got beaten by did carry less bodyfat than I do (22% here, alas I'm female). However, I know in the pro world the 400m sprinters are the leanest of the lot so this puzzles me. Moral of the story I think is to not let the bodyfat mess with your head too much (I can't seem to dip below 22% as much as I'd love to get to 18% or so) but instead just train and fuel for becoming as fast as you can and let that take care of the rest. If you were about 20% bodyfat (as a guy) I'd say that yes, the single digit guys hold a HUGE advantage over you but 12% is already quite lean.

    As your weight room stats look impressive, try to fine-tune their application to the track such as perfecting your starting blocks technique and work on plyo some as well. You can definitely get to 11.8. And throw in dynamic stretching and resistance bands work, that helps plenty with speed.

    PS - If you need a sprint program, I'm using the Track Star USA 100/200m one and really loving it. It includes strength and plyo and core work as well as track stuff.
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    Registered User DCSpartan's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by jonmd123 View Post
    Maybe you should try powerlifting, you would have one of the biggest squats in the world for your weight class.
    just find a federation that allows for high squats
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    Leg strength definitely has a major component in power and speed, but training specifically for power and speed, rather than strength will have a better crossover.
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    Registered User Jerome1000's Avatar
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    Body fat and sprinting

    I am 5ft9 sprinter male running 11.3s in 100m.. I am 187 and overweight. If i lose 37 lbs and have a sprinter weight.. Would i get faster? I want to know how faster would i get?
    Last edited by Jerome1000; 11-09-2018 at 06:04 AM.
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  7. #7
    Registered User Jerome1000's Avatar
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    Body fat and sprinting

    I am 5ft9 sprinter male running 11.3s in 100m.. I am 187 and overweight. If i lose 37 lbs and have a sprinter weight.. Would i get faster? I want to know how faster would i get? I am 24
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    Registered User needgains1024's Avatar
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    Look, these guys in girls in here are mostly bodybuilders and powerlifters, not sprinters. I wouldn't take their advice too seriously. That's just being honest. Go to an athletic club and they'll put you into a program that is designed for sprinting. Take that coaches advice much more seriously than bodybuilders advice.
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    Registered User sowilson's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by needgains1024 View Post
    Look, these guys in girls in here are mostly bodybuilders and powerlifters, not sprinters. I wouldn't take their advice too seriously. That's just being honest. Go to an athletic club and they'll put you into a program that is designed for sprinting. Take that coaches advice much more seriously than bodybuilders advice.
    Not really true in this section. Many of us in here are more interested in training for sports than bodybuilding, powerlifting, or weight lifting.

    Jerome1000. Here's a test. Run a sprint and have someone time it. Rest for 5-10 minutes and do another sprint. This time wearing a 40 lb weight vest. Compare the times, you will likely be slower wearing the weight vest. So yes, with everything else being equal you will be faster if you're lighter. The problem you face is you're likely to loose some strength if you try to loose 40 lbs quickly. As to how fast you can be, nobody knows that. If you're in the US join USATF and find a local club to train with, many will have sprint coaches, work with them. During much of the T&F offseason your workout can be a lot like a football workout (different skills work but the strength work is basically the same). As you get closer to the T&F season you'll concentrate on sprint development and power work with many shifting to more Olympic lifts. My son plays college FB and is a T&F thrower and many of his friends/teammates/training partners play football and run sprints in track. Their workouts are very similar for most of the year.
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    Registered User needgains1024's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by sowilson View Post
    Not really true in this section. Many of us in here are more interested in training for sports than bodybuilding, powerlifting, or weight lifting.

    Jerome1000. Here's a test. Run a sprint and have someone time it. Rest for 5-10 minutes and do another sprint. This time wearing a 40 lb weight vest. Compare the times, you will likely be slower wearing the weight vest. So yes, with everything else being equal you will be faster if you're lighter. The problem you face is you're likely to loose some strength if you try to loose 40 lbs quickly. As to how fast you can be, nobody knows that. If you're in the US join USATF and find a local club to train with, many will have sprint coaches, work with them. During much of the T&F offseason your workout can be a lot like a football workout (different skills work but the strength work is basically the same). As you get closer to the T&F season you'll concentrate on sprint development and power work with many shifting to more Olympic lifts. My son plays college FB and is a T&F thrower and many of his friends/teammates/training partners play football and run sprints in track. Their workouts are very similar for most of the year.
    Didn't notice this was the sports section. My opinion still stands though. if I wanted to be a sprinter, then I would join an athletic club and go from there. No hurt though taking advice from here, but I would go via the athletic route.
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  11. #11
    Registered User DCSpartan's Avatar
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    WTF do you mean "athletic club"? I think you are trying to say a Master Track and Field Program but just dont have a clue what you are speaking about.

    PLenty of us have done track and played collegiate sports in this section and we know a little bit about what we are talking about, as opposed to you.
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    Registered User DCSpartan's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Jerome1000 View Post
    I am 5ft9 sprinter male running 11.3s in 100m.. I am 187 and overweight. If i lose 37 lbs and have a sprinter weight.. Would i get faster? I want to know how faster would i get? I am 24
    Why do you think thats sprinter size? Jesse Owens and Ben Johnson weighed more at that height.

    You would get a little faster, but sprinting unlike strength doesnt change much over time. You can get a speedy guy bigger and stronger, but really hard to do it the other way around.
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    It seems yes. Unfortunately, you will not see a lot of information about it in the Web, but you are welcome to work everywhere and to lose the fat. And you will see the result.
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    The problem is rate of force development is different than maximum strength. Your foot is on the ground for far less time than the time it takes to generate the force for your max effort squat. Once you can squat over 2x bodyweight you need to start working on a faster rate of force development to harness your maximum strength to get more explosive. Usain Bolt is Usain Bolt not because of his max effort squat but because of an insanely fast rate of force development.
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    Originally Posted by MaxMaximorum View Post
    The problem is rate of force development is different than maximum strength. Your foot is on the ground for far less time than the time it takes to generate the force for your max effort squat. Once you can squat over 2x bodyweight you need to start working on a faster rate of force development to harness your maximum strength to get more explosive. Usain Bolt is Usain Bolt not because of his max effort squat but because of an insanely fast rate of force development.
    great way to put I'm gonna rep you for the explanation once you get over 2.5 times bodyweight in squat focus should truly be on rate of force development so plyometrics, sprinting and Olympic lifts
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    Registered User Jerome1000's Avatar
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    Thank you for the test. Here is the results for the test of using 30lbs of weight, and without weight. 30 m distance. I am at 180lbs. Using the sled pull with 30lbs. With weight I ran 5.11 seconds and without weight I ran 4.13 seconds. In conclusion if I lose the 30lbs weight I will run 10.35s
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    Fat rolls are like parachutes and increase your wind resistance. A bunch of muscle increases your wind resistance too, but not quite as much because there's less flapping in the breeze.
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    Registered User sowilson's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Jerome1000 View Post
    Thank you for the test. Here is the results for the test of using 30lbs of weight, and without weight. 30 m distance. I am at 180lbs. Using the sled pull with 30lbs. With weight I ran 5.11 seconds and without weight I ran 4.13 seconds. In conclusion if I lose the 30lbs weight I will run 10.35s
    You can't make that conclusion. it's not a one to one from the 30yrd to the 100yrd and you may loose some strength loosing 30lbs. You can conclude that you will probably be faster - unknown how much though.
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    It does make a difference, yes. Which should be obvious: the heavier you get, the more force you have to put into the track to accelerate and maintain maximum velocity. And that increase isn't linear (so losing 30lbs won't simply push you up to 10.35).

    But to be honest if you're focussing on chasing a heavy squat, you're not going to be improving those times any time soon, because it's the wrong thing to do (and even if Not, you're probably squatting all wrong for sprinting).
    For one thing, you need to focus on technique, explosive power and put in the time on drills and specific training. Kim Collins did a sub 10 at 40 years old because he didn't touch weights until his 30s, and focussed on improving his specific skills.

    You lift heavy and slow, and you're not improving speed force production into the ground. Otherwise every powerlifter would be doing a sub 12. Quite simply, the squat does not translate straight into power or even the sprint. It helps with the start, as any Olympic weightlifter can tell you. But sprinting isn't a maximum strength event, it's about putting down force quickly.

    My advice: drop the squats, get in more track and grass time, develop your skills through drills addressing weakness and practice your 100m. If you want to add in weights or other training out of competition season keep it to general strength and focus on speed and technical transfer: lunges, box leg raises for too flexors, etc. Forget gaining muscle and limit strength, because it won't translate well. Better yet, add some jump training, plyo, GPP conditioning.

    But keep specific to your goal. And don't worry too much about the bodyfat. I was around 12% when I got my pb of 10.62.
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    Thought you might find this helpful.

    http://speedendurance.com/2013/01/21...for-sprinters/

    I'd recommend Essop Merrick on YouTube as well as the Speed Endurance website.
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    Originally Posted by btownyute View Post
    So im 5'9 at 155 amd i run about 12.2 for the 100m and i dont really sprint much. Idealy id like to run 11.8 in april. The thing is everyone on my school team that is faster than me have one thing in common, theyre all single digit bodyfat but theyre all weaker than me in every lift (especially legs) my squat is 440lbs for 5 reps while most of then are low-mid 300. The thing is ive realized for my leg strength i should be ALOT more explosive (jump and run higher/faster) so do you think i should just cut to single digits or just do plyometrics twice a week to utilize my strength better for speed? Btw im about 12% bodyfat.
    Well you may have lateral movement problems too, like are you "goofy"? Flexibility could also be an issue, as well as running form. Running fast is not just about strength and body weight, it's about how efficiently you can move.
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