You are here:

Weightlifting & Exercise/Training for college athletics


I am an 18 year old female about to start my freshman year of college this fall. I want to try out for the track team however, there is a lot of training that needs to be done. My specialty is the 400m dash. I'm not sure if you are familiar with that race but in short, it is a long sprint that requires a ton of lactic acid toleration. Current standards for my college are <61 seconds to try out, <59 for a guaranteed spot, <57 for scholarship $. My fastest time is 61.92. Im looking to get <59. So with that I am wondering what kind of lifting should I be doing. I do not what big muscles that will weigh me down and add extra weight. I do however want power, speed and endurance.


I can definitely help you out and I am confident you will get that scholarship money. So lets nip something in the bud real quick: I appreciate you not wanting huge heavy muscles as you are a speed athlete. First of all men in general have to train unbelievably hard and eat right to get huge muscles, and we have lots of testosterone which builds up muscles and it is still hard for us to get huge as well. So women who have much less testosterone, even if consuming 5000 calories still would have difficulty getting massive muscles-this is why so many body builders have used steroids. For endurance, keep running or mix it up with biking or any other cardio machine. Now for weights we are going to have to recruit your fast twitch muscle fibers and to do this we need to do plyometrics and lift heavy weights for a weight you can lift for 5-6 reps, and do 5-6 sets for the first week building up to 7-8 sets. I want you to stay away from squatting as this is potentially dangerous as your lower back and especially your knees could be damaged. Be aware that there are people who swear by squats. I agree they have many benefits but you can get those same benefits without the dangers by doing hack-squats (a special machine where you lay against a back support and have pads on your shoulders and you squat down on a track)and leg presses. Brooke warm up for 10 minutes then do some moderate lifts to get the muscles to "wake up" and get the blood pumping. Then start pressing out the leg press heavy. Feel free to mix in lunges and reverse lunges as well. When you leg press, go deep so the hamstrings get hit and the quads get a full range of motion workout. The hamstring should be 70% as strong as the quads. Ok now...on your non-lift days, do some plyometric jumping. Some people jump up on platforms, some just squat down and jump as high as they can, maybe try reaching high up on a wall. You can hold dumbells and jump while holding one in each hand. Brooke try these things I recommended and you should see results soon. Stretch when you are done and take hot showers after your workout. You will not get huge on this workout as that would require lots of dietary changes, but you will get more powerful. Best of luck and go get us that scholarship.


Weightlifting & Exercise

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Greg Hoppe


I can answer questions on proper exercise technique, starting as well as growing in attaining your fitness goals and questions regrading how the human body works from an exercise physiology standpoint. I can assist with any questions regarding anatomy & physiology, stretching and rehabilitation. I am also extremely well versed and experienced in martial arts, self-defense and massage therapy.


I have a B.S in Physical Education and a Black Belt in an eclectic martial art. I am also a certified Fitness Therapist through ISSA and a massage therapist. I can assist with questions regarding hiring a health and wellness professional as well as growing and succeeding in the field for those already working in it.

ISSA, Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals

B.S. in Physical education, Black Belt, ISSA certfified Fitness Therapist.

©2016 All rights reserved.