Transforming Smoot Carter: Day 6


Baton Rouge, LA- Today was Smoot’s last split session. The main objectives today were to continue technical development of acceleration skills, determine Smoot’s acceleration curve, and work on power clean technique. Here’s what I had Smoot do for the first session:

  1. Short Warmup A
  2. Dynamic Flexibility: Merrill
  3. Sprint Development: Pai Mei (2 x 30m)
  4. Hurdle Mobility: Skill (1 x 8H)
  5. Biomechanical Analysis / Speed Development:
    1. 4 x 20m
    2. 1 x 60m
    3. 1 x flying 10m
  6. 2 x 40m hill runs

I used the speed development portion of this session to get some video of Smoot so that I could do a quantitative biomechanical analysis on his sprint performance. The first two 20m sprints were recorded from a low posterior view to assess bilateral symmetry. An additional two 20m sprints were recorded from a sagittal view. A 2D scaling technique was used on these recordings to determine the progression of Smoot’s stride lengths during the early acceleration. Stride frequency during his acceleration was also determined from this video. Finally, a single camera 3D reconstruction technique was applied to the panned video view to accurately determine the progression of his trunk and shin angles as he sprinted for 20m. After Smoot had taken a long break, I had him sprint 60m and recorded the performance from a high vantage point. Using previously layed out markers at set increments and video analysis software, I was able to determine Smoot’s acceleration curve. This is useful because it allows me to quantify Smoot’s instantaneous velocities and accelerations over the full 60m. This lets me know such things as where Smoot hits top-end speed, what his top-end speed is, and how well he maintains his top end speed. Armed with this information, I can better determine which areas of Smoot’s speed development (acceleration, top end speed, short speed endurance, etc.) need the most work. Having this information also allows me to assess his ability to distribute his effort over a short sprint distance. The final thing I recorded Smoot doing was a 10m flying sprint. Using a non-panning camera setup I used video analysis software to qualitatively assess his maximum velocity sprint mechanics. To wrap up the first session, I wanted to do something that would fit within the theme of the day but wouldn’t be overly taxing on Smoot’s CNS after all of the hard sprinting he had done on the track. With this in mind, I took Smoot over to a 40m cement ramp that is less than 50m from the track and had him do a couple accelerations up the incline. Ramp running is great for teaching acceleration mechanics because it helps put an athlete into the correct postures and body alignments necessary for efficient sprint acceleration. Following the ramp sprints we headed home for some food and rest. Overall, it was a very productive session.

After about a 3 hour break, we returned to the track for Smoot’s second session. This is what I had him do:

  1. Warmup: 200m skip + 600m jog
  2. Dynamic Flexibility: Graham
  3. Weight Lift:
    1. Power Clean: 3 x 2 w/ last @ 75%
    2. Power Clean from the knee: 3 x 2 @75%
    3. Squat: 3 x 2 warmup; 6 x 3 @ 80% for SPEED; 1 x 8 DEEP
    4. Bench Press: 3 x 2 warmup; 6 x 3 @ 80% for SPEED; 1 x 8
    5. Single Arm RDLs: 2 x 5 + 5
  4. Cooldown: 400m choice (skip/jog/walk)

Before Smoot came to me he did his power cleans using a single pull technique. One thing I’m trying to do is switch him over to a 2-pull technique and get him to incorporate a double knee bend. Not only does this technique allow for more weight to be used but it also makes the movement more dynamic. After his first three sets of power cleans from the floor I had him start the pull from just below the knee. This forced him to start the pull a little slower until the bar passed his knees at which point he was naturally forced into a double knee bend position which is a more powerful position from which to explode the bar up. I kept the load for the cleans relatively light so that he could master the technique and also because the squat workout which followed the power cleans was particularly hard. For squats, I had Smoot start off with a relatively light weight and progress up to 80% of his 1RM. When he had 80% on the bar, I had him attempt to squat for speed. He lowered himself in a controlled manner to a deep squat position and then blasted out of the whole as fast as he could. He did this for 6 sets of 3 reps, giving him 18 very high quality reps at 80% of 1RM. I had him follow the same set and rep protocol for the bench press. He finished up his squat and bench press workout with a single higher rep set that I sometimes use to induce an endocrine response that has proven beneficial for strength gains. The workout was concluded with some single arm RDLs to help bring balance to his lumbo-pelvic-hip musculature and an easy cooldown lap.

Later that evening I did some intensive soft tissue therapy on Smoot’s lumbar area, his right patella tendon, and his feet. After yesterday’s and today’s therapy sessions the restrictions in his right foot appears to be about 50% better however it still needs quite a bit of work. When Smoot returns home to Virginia, I’ll continue to address these areas of restricted mobility through appropriate therapeutic exercises.

Mike Young

Mike Young

Founder of ELITETRACK at Athletic Lab
Mike has a BS in Exercise Physiology from Ohio University, an MSS in Coaching Science from Ohio University & a PhD in Biomechanics from LSU. Additionally, he has been recognized as a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) from the National Strength & Conditioning Association, a Level 3 coach by USA Track & Field, a Level 2 coach by USA Weightlifting.
Mike Young


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Mike Young
Mike Young