Tag Archives: beer and sprinting

Beer and Sprinting

How much is enough? And what are the priorities? Sometimes contrarian ideas produce great results.

Here’s a contrarian idea: Do as little as needed rather than as much as possible. Here’re two examples.

One of the best beers in the world is brewed by Belgian monks at the Westvleteren Brewery.

The list of what they don’t do is long: no advertising, no marketing, no labels, no brewery tours, you can’t buy more than two cases, there’s no delivery, and you have to pick up your cases there after placing your order by phone.

The list of what they do is short: they try to brew the best beer.

Their beer sells out and they could sell lots more; but as the abbot says “We brew beer to afford being monks.”

The second example is one of the best track coaches around, Barry Ross. In 2003, one of his athletes, Allyson Felix, became the first track star to go directly from high school into pro track. She also had the fastest 200 meter sprint that year.

The list of what this coach doesn’t do is long: no long hours in the weight room, no long hours on the track, no gizmos like sleds and parachutes, no squats, no training to failure, and no attempt to gain weight.

The list of what he does is short: a few heavy deadlifts, sprinting, and resting between sets.

In a nutshell, Barry Ross aims to make faster sprinters by building  stronger sprinters without adding extra body weight . He found the key exercises are running fast sprints and doing heavy deadlifts. To avoid gaining body weight the reps are kept low (2-5) with a timed 5 minute rest between just a few sets and his athletes never train to muscular failure. The number of sprints in his workouts never exceed 10. Ross thinks the biggest mistake coaches make is overtraining their athletes.

Barry Ross has pared down training to the essential and trainable. He’s arrived at a minimal workout with maximum results. Research shows athletes are better off lifting heavy weights for strength and then refining their sport’s skills by performing the actions of their sport.

Barry Ross’ athletes are runners who lift weights  rather than  weightlifters who run.

Establishing priorities and doing only enough instead of as much as you can, works.