My Transformation Into A Track And Field Athlete - Part 2.

Preseason track practice is about to begin. Many people want to know what my program will be. Here are the exercises I am doing, the supplements I take, and the recovery methods I employ.

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

So it begins... Track season is almost here. Preseason track practice is about to begin. Many people want to know what my program will be... exactly.

They want sets, reps, tempo, what foods I plan to eat, what I do for recovery, what I am wearing tomorrow… well maybe not that last one. But nonetheless the public has spoken and I can understand their demands.

I too have read many transformation articles in which the author instills a lot of hype, only to skimp on the details, and 6 months later he is a Green Adonis, and everybody is left wondering how he did it. This will not be one of those articles. The audience will know exactly what exercises I am doing, the supplements I take, and the recovery methods I employ. I do have to make one warning though.

Do not attempt to follow my program literally without first consulting a doctor or physical therapist.

I make this warning as inevitably someone with an ACL injury will read this, and will try to emulate it. People have to realize that not every injury is the same, and every leg is different. What worked for me might not work for you, and vice versa.

Recap Of Last Article

What Did You Do Again?

    Just in case you missed the last article, let me provide a quick recap. Last spring, I tore my ACL, meniscus (cartilage in the knee), and partially tore my MCL, otherwise known as the unhappy triangle of knee injuries.

    The first month I was not allowed to put any pressure on my left leg. After that it was an arduous trek to rehab my knee. Although not completely 100% in my eyes, the doctor has cleared me to do sports again.

    I have been able to get all my lifts back to where they were pre-injury, and in some lifts past that. I do notice that my right leg does more work than the left during the squat.

What are you trying to accomplish?

    I made the decision to put off baseball for a year and try track & field. So my goal is to at least make a decent showing in the throwing events. I have absolutely no experience in any of these events besides using my TurboJav for javelin throwing practice. I am hoping a good base of strength and muscular development will make up for my novice ability in throwing events.

The Plan

I have devised a three-pronged system of attack in regard to training for track, which involves:

In this article I will go in-depth with all three methods. You will see exactly what I do each and every day, as well as stepping back to see the larger picture in terms of micro-cycles and end results. But enough stalling lets get right to the system.

Nutrition and Supplementation

Let's start off with supplements. Although definitely not the most important part of an athlete's plan, inevitably people like to ask about the supplements.

The Supplements I Plan On Using

  • X:Cell's Cytofuse recovery drink

      Cytofuse will be used after each strength/power workout. It helps deliver much needed specific ratios of proteins and carbohydrates, with all the right ingredients. Obviously the big factor here is whey hydrolysate, which is one of the types of whey that is digested fastest. Recovery days will not conclude with a serving of Cytofuse.

  • Xtreme Formulation's Ultra Peptide protein blend

      Ultra Peptide will be used each night before bed. The micellar casein protein slowly digests in the body, making sure muscle protein does not degrade during the night. I will take it an hour and a half before bedtime.

  • Now's ZMA

      ZMA will be taken every night to help restore normal levels of zinc and magnesium, and allow me to reach a deeper level of sleep.

  • Generic fish oil caps

      Fish oil is something I take each day, multiple times per day. I usually take between 9-25 caps per day (1 cap = 1 gram of fish oil).

  • Generic B-Vitamin tablets

      B-Vitamins will be taken once per day, every day.

My nutritional plan is not easily explained. I don't have a strict regimented plan, as I have found that it is easy to fail.

The Basics Of Good Nutrition.
Good nutrition, like good training, is simple - learn the basics and practice them consistently. We have on our hands a zillion ways to diet, feed ourselves and live our lives for fitness. Let's clear the air and put some things in order.
[ Click here to learn more. ]

The Nutritional Rules I Follow

  • The only liquids to be ingested are water and milk.

  • If it does not have a perishable date, treat it with extreme skepticism.

  • Make sure each meal has at least some protein in it.

  • Always try to get in some fiber in every meal.

  • Try to eat Protein + Fat or Protein + Carb meals.

  • Eat plenty of vegetables and fruits

  • Get plenty of oils, whether it is from olive oil, fish oil, or other healthy oils. For that matter, just get plenty of good fats.

  • If you are going to a restaurant or friends house for dinner, always eat an apple or a healthy soup to reduce appetite.

  • Have 2-4 servings of nuts or cheeses every day for added protein intake.

I find it easier to follow these rules instead of following strict meal routines. This approach encourages more variety and less chance of deviating from the plan. I don't count calories or macronutrients because I have built up the knowledge to estimate the nutritional value of most foods, and I know which ones to avoid.

On the weekends my ability to follow the nutritional rules above is lax. I will still eat well, but I might partake in the occasional chicken panini or have a cookie or desert if a friend's mom offers it to me. I don't think there is anything wrong with this because it helps switch things up, even if it's just for one night.

The real problems start when you become lax on the rules every day, and that's when you start to gain fat. Also, remember to increase your food intake slowly as you start to become more active for your sport, as this is imperative to maintaining weight and energy.

Recovery and Regeneration

I think this is the most neglected portion of an athlete's program. When you are introduced to high loading parameters, your body will become sore. If you employ good recovery and regeneration methods, you can rebound quicker than someone who just sat there.

Charlie Francis, an eminent Canadian track coach, has said that "regeneration treatments regularly can increase his or her work by as much as 40%". This is why you should employ recovery and regeneration techniques.

The Recovery And Regeneration Methods I Will Use

  • Contrast Showers

      Contrast showers are to be used after strength/power workouts. About 1 and 1/2 to 2 hours after the workout I will use the protocol calling for 30 seconds of cool water and then 2 minutes of hot water. This will help increase blood flow and aid in recovery. Since I will be doing them after each strength/power workout, I will be doing them three times a week.

  • Epsom Salt Baths

      Epsom salt baths are to be used two times a week, once during the week at night after a taxing strength/power workout, and once during the weekend after a recovery session. Epsom salt baths increase blood flow and allow for magnesium to be absorbed into the bloodstream. Epsom salts are to be mixed in a warm bath.

  • Foam Core Massage

      Foam Core Massage is the next best thing to getting bodywork done by a massage therapist. The best part is it only costs $15, compared to the high cost per session of a massage therapist. All you have to do is roll troubled body parts on the foam core, and it will reduce inflammation and alleviate soreness.

      If you can afford it, get regular massage work done on your body. Foam core massage will be done every night and any other time necessary to reduce inflammation.

  • Recovery Drinks

      Recovery drinks will be used after every strength/power workout. This is to aid in the recovery progress. Cytofuse will be the drink of choice. For more info about it, read the supplement section of this article.

Rest & Recovery: The Overlooked Aspect Of Training Success.
When you consider that most people spend only 4-10 hours a week working out, you can see that the vast majority of our time is spent in the rest and recovery phase. Several factors effect recovery rate. Find out what they are and how they can help you!
[ Click here to learn more. ]

CNS-Intensive and Recovery Workouts

This is the meat and potatoes of this article. To start off, I should tell you where I am coming from with regard to this portion. I subscribe to the Charlie Francis method of training. I like to group all CNS-Intensive exercises on separate days from my recovery workouts. Let's start with CNS-Intensive days.

On CNS-Intensive days, you of course do stuff that is CNS intensive. This includes maximal strength and power methods. The reason for this is that you need to be able to recover from intensive efforts.

You won't make much progress deadlifting your max 5 days a week. For that reason, on Monday, Wednesday and Friday I will be doing CNS Intensive Days. Tuesdays, Thursdays, and the weekend will allow me to recover from these intense efforts and speed up recovery.

A Common CNS-Intensive Day Workout

  • Warm-up - Jogging around the track, combination of dynamic stretching and calisthenics (push-ups, bodyweight squats, etc.) to increase blood flow.

  • Power Work - Short sprints of less than 60m, plyometric exercises (skips, hops, bounding).

  • Throws - Can either be with medicine balls or actual throwing implements (like the javelin or shot-put).

  • Weights - Compound exercises done at heavy loads that prevent repetitions from going above 6-8. Examples would be squats, deadlifts, bench press, rows.

    Weights are always done last, because if you did them first, fatigue would influence the form of sprints, throws and plyometrics. If done with weights last, plyometrics, throws and sprints can act as a primer for the CNS to do heavy lifting.

    As far as the actual weights routine, I will be following the pendulum approach, as put together by Christian Thibaudeau.

    Basically, you rotate methods every week to keep your CNS guessing. Week 1 is structural work, week 2 is maximal strength, week 3 is strength-speed, week 4 is speed-strength, and week 5 is active recovery.

A Common Recovery Day Workout

  • Warm-up - Same as on intensive days.

  • Hard Bodyweight Circuits - Consists of several bodyweight and low load exercises like push-ups, sit-ups, lunges, roman twists, burpees etc.

  • Specific Muscle Group Circuit - for hamstrings or core.

  • Form Work For Throws - Low intensity throws, only working on form for throwing implements, not trying for personal bests.

  • Extensive Tempo - Could possibly be used, but has more application for sprinters and running events.

A Sample Week

Now that we have all the elements described, what would an actual week as far as training and restoration look like? Take a look:


  • Warm-up

  • Various Medicine Ball Throws - Forward overhead 1 x 10, Backward overhead 1 x 10, throws for height 1 x 5, Forward and Backward underhand throws 1 x 5 (limit 30-35 quality throws).

  • Plyometric Exercises - Ankle bounding 2-4 x 20 yards, Leg bounding 2-4 x 20 yards, altitude landings 1-2 x 5 in athletic position.

  • Weights - Concentric emphasis for upper body push/pull, and lower body quad/hip dominant.

  • Post-Workout Recovery Shake - Cytofuse.

  • Before Bed - Foam core massage, Ultra Peptide shake, and ZMA (taken an hour after shake).

    Click here for a printable version of this page.


  • Warm-up

  • Jump Rope Work

  • Hard Bodyweight Circuits - (see above for exercises used).

  • Specific Muscle Group Circuit - Hamstrings (hip extension, plate drags, leg curls).

  • Contrast Shower - post workout.

  • Before Bed - Ultra Peptide shake and ZMA.

    Click here for a printable version of this page.


  • Warm-up

  • Javelin Throws For Power - limit 30 throws.

  • Weights - Eccentric emphasis for upper body push/pull and lower body quad/hip dominant.

  • Post Workout Recovery Shake - Cytofuse.

  • Before Bed - Epsom Salt bath and Ultra Peptide shake, plus ZMA.

    Click here for a printable version of this page.


  • Warm-up

  • Jump Rope Work

  • Javelin Throws For Form - limit 30 throws.

  • Hard Bodyweight Circuits - (see above for exercises used).

  • Specific Muscle Group Circuit - Core (roman twists, MB sit-ups, planks).

  • Before Bed - Foam Core Massage and Ultra Peptide, plus ZMA.

    Click here for a printable version of this page.


  • Warm-up

  • Medicine Ball Throws - (see Monday for exercises used).

  • Plyometrics - Altitude landings 2x10, landing in an athletic stance.

  • Weights - Isometric emphasis for upper body push/pull and lower body quad/hip dominant.

  • Post Workout - Cytofuse recovery shake and contrast shower.

  • Before Bed - Ultra Peptide and ZMA.

    Click here for a printable version of this page.


  • Burnout - Pick two exercises, push-up and sit-up, and do them to failure, rest 120 seconds, then repeat again.

  • Epsom Salt Bath


  • Complete Rest

That will be my weekly schedule leading up to official track practice, which starts in about a month.


The next article in this series will chart the progress I made for my preseason workouts, as well as describe how I fit my training regimen into track practices.

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3