Who is Usain Bolt?
Usain Bolt, a man standing 6’5” weighting 207 pounds, is a three-time Olympic gold medalist from Jamaica who currently holds the world record for the 100 meter dash at 9.58 seconds and the 200 meter dash at 19.19 seconds. He achieved both of these metals at the London Olympic Games of 2012 and is the first person to ever have won the gold metal in both dashes. When Usain Bolt was first interested in sports, his favorite was the game cricket. He had been coached in cricket until his coach noticed how fast Bolt could run. When Bolt turned 15 years of age, he won a junior sprint title for running a 200 meter dash in 20.61 seconds and he was the youngest to ever do so. His first major appearance was in the 2008 Olympic Games where he first won a gold medal for running the 100 meter dash in 9.69 seconds. Below is a little insight into how exactly Usain Bolt workouts and a few tips from the man himself.
Usain Bolt’s Workout Schedule
What does a three-time Olympic gold medalist from Jamaica eat to keep his body in tip-top shape? Athletes have to maintain their physiques through diet and exercise to be ready for their sporting events. Usain Bolt, like other sprinters, has a designated workout schedule he follows to train his body for powerful speed and endurance.
What Makes Usain Bolt Such a Fast Runner?
What characteristics does he have that make him such a good sprinter? Bolt has a unique muscular build shared by most of the best sprinters in the world. He is tall and lean, with long legs and short torso. Ultimately, it is his stride length. He can get big strides when running that put him ahead of the competition. He has been training since he was very young, starting in primary school up to the time he started competing in the Olympics. He has literally been training most of his life, and that is why he is so good at it.
Usain Bolt’s Training Program
Usain Bolt trains 6 days per week for 11 months of the year. He is in the gym every day for 90 minutes doing workouts to improve his speed, agility, and endurance for the Olympic Games. Most of his workouts focus on the core muscles and enhancing strength. He uses a combination of strength-building exercises in the gym and speed drills on the track to train his athletic body and keep his title of the “fastest man on earth”.
His workout focuses on a four-phase routine. He separates his speed training into 4 sections: starting blocks, acceleration, top end speed and deceleration. Bolt also uses a variety of speed drills to increase power for acceleration and leg strength for endurance. He also includes weight training into his routines as well. He usually spends a total of 3 hours per day in training and thereafter and then goes for a relaxing massage for muscle recovery.
Usain Bolt’s Training Schedule
Phase 1 for increasing power:
5 sets of 20 reps Bunny Hops
4 sets of 8 reps Box Jumps
2 sets of 10-12 reps Frog leaps
3 sets of 10 reps Bounding
Usain Bolt’s Weight Training Program
Machine Squats: (2 sets of squats, reps: 10-12)
Seated Chest Press: ( 2 sets on machine, reps: 10 -12)
Leg Extensions: (2 sets of leg extensions, reps: 10-12)
Weighted lunges: (2 sets of lunges, reps: 10-12)
Good Mornings: (2 sets, reps: 10-12)
He purports to generally do moderate to light weight weight on weight training exercises for two sets.
Phase 2 for strengthening the joints:
Cable knee drives (3 sets of cable knee drives, reps:10 -12)
Hanging leg raises (3 sets of Hanging leg raises, reps” 10 -12)
Ankle rolls (5 sets of ankle rolls, reps: 10)
Explosive step ups with weighted barbell (2 Sets with weighted barbell, reps: 10)
Usain Bolt’s Core Training Program
Phase 3 Core Strength Exercises:
Leg Lowering: start with your legs pointed at the ceiling. Lower your legs towards the floor without arching your back. Go as low as you can and lift them back up. You can hold onto a wall or something with your arms over your head if you like.
Side Sweeps: Lying on your right side, bend your left knee 90 degrees until it touches the floor. Extend both arms in front of you. Swing your left arm across your body to the floor behind you. Twist while keeping your hips facing the opposite way. Repeat and switch to the other side. This is for the obliques.
Reverse Crunches: This is the reverse of a standard crunch. start with your legs extended and roll your body up in a ball bringing your knees towards your chest. Do not allow your lower back to arch while extending.
Side Plank Clams: this is a modified side plank combined with abduction of the outer leg. Lie on your left side, with knees bent and feet tucked behind you. Raise up on one elbow and hold hips off the ground in a modified plank position. Open and close the knees in a modified clam pose. Repeat on the other side.
Phase 4: Sprinting Speed Drills
When training for 100 meter to 200 meter sprint races, Usain Bolt followed the example routine below.
Starting Blocks Drill: 10×2 point start for 10-20 meters (rest for 2 minutes), 6×3 point start for 10-20 m (rest for 3 minutes), 4×2 block starts for 10-30 meters (rest for 5 minutes).
Acceleration Drill: 10×20 meters with weight vest (4 minutes rest), 5×15 meters 2-point start using weight sleds (5 minutes rest).
Top End Speed Drill: 5×30 meters acceleration, 75% top speed for 15-20 meters, sprint for 10-15 m (rest for 4-5 minutes).
Deceleration Drill: 2×100 meters (2-3 reps), 95% top speed for 200 meters pace (rest for 2-3 minutes between drills, 5-8 minutes between sets).
Speed Endurance Drill: 6-8×150 meters, 80-90% of 200 m pace (rest for 3-4 minutes).
What Usain Bolt Eats to Maintain His Magnificent Physique
When he was younger, Usain Bolt never worried too much about what he ate. But now that he is older, he realizes that he has to put better fuel in his body to compete as an athlete. These days, his meals focus mainly on protein from fish and chicken, as well as nutrients from fresh vegetables, pasta, and rice. Although he eats nutritious food, he has to avoid temptation like fast food and sweets.
He likes to keep his meals light, especially before a training session. He often has an egg sandwich for breakfast, pork or corned beef with rice or pasta for lunch, and chicken and Jamaican dumplings for dinner. Though he tries to avoid too many fried foods, one of his favorite indulgences is hot wings. He tries to eat his largest meal in the evening, primarily consisting of protein and vegetables, along with a small amount of carbs.
He tries to avoid a lot of carbs and fried foods, along with foods with chemical additives and preservatives. To stay hydrated, he drinks a lot of water and Gatorade.
The Importance of Sleep
Besides training and eating healthy, another vital part of an athlete’s routine is getting enough sleep. Getting adequate sleep at night and rest between training sessions is vital for performing your best in competitions. Sleep is good for the brain as well as the body. When athletes are training, sleep helps them form long-term memories. Helping them to perform better and faster. Learning new skills becomes easier. Adequate sleep is also essential for cognitive processing. Your brain can’t function as well without good sleep.
Usain Bolt’s Tips for Sprinting
Start your workout by performing about ten to fifteen strides, stretching, and about ten more strides. Make sure to always stay focused on your movements and form and not the competition. Your body should be upright with your back straight and muscles relaxed. Drive forward by using your hips and arms. When in a race, transition slowly from starting off to full speed which should occur over fifteen meters.
What Exercises Make You Stronger?
- Hang clean
- Sled push
- Hill sprints
- Box squat
- Bulgarian split squat
Best Exercises for Sprinters
Prior to starting any exercises, always do some warm up stretches to warm up the muscles before working out.
Part I: Weight Room Training
- 3 sets of 6 reps Barbell Squats
- 3 sets of 6 reps Bench Press
- 5 sets of 5 reps Power Cleans
3 Giant Sets:
- 10 Chin Ups
- 10 Dips
- 40 foot Sled Drag
- 12 Weighted Jump Squats
- 20 reps Hanging Knee raises
- 8 reps per side reverse lunge with knee drive
Part II: Speed Training at the track
Warm up for 30 minutes and then do each exercise with a 30-second rest in between each exercise. So, one set, then rest. Next set, then rest…
- Skips – 50 m
- Backward Skips – 50 m
- High Knees – 50 m
- Butt Kicks – 50 m
- Backward runs – 50 m
- Leg swings – 10 reps
Best Tips for Sprinters:
- Stay well-hydrated by drinking enough fluids daily.
- Get a good night’s sleep. Eight to ten hours per night will maximize your physical and cognitive function.
- Work on coordination and balance
- Increase strength through weightlifting and squats
- Build endurance by practicing short sprints and repeating frequently
- Eat a healthy diet with plenty of protein and nutrients to fuel your training days
- Reduce stress through meditation, yoga, or other relaxing activities after training
Where is Usain Bolt Today?
Usain Bolt is currently retired from Olympic competition. He is a father to 3 beautiful children with his girlfriend, Kasi Bennett. He is a full-time businessman with his own restaurant chain, “Usain Bolt’s Tracks and Records” and his own signature line of champagne. Today he is focusing on the future of his family.
Sport Specific Training for Sprinting
It is always best to work with someone who knows what they are doing, such as a qualified personal trainer, (like me) so that you can be assured you are correctly performing the exercises mentioned above correctly as well as performing the proper warm-ups and adjusting your diet for peak performance. Eating a diet that will best build your endurance. With the right amount of dedication, you’ll be able to sprint faster than most in no time.
by Mr. America Jason Kozma