After demolishing the 200 and 100 metre world records, Usain Bolt was quoted as saying "I woke around 11am and decided to watch some TV and had some nuggets". He was lying. Earlier this year, FHM actually met with the man known as 'the Lightning Bolt', where he exclusively revealed his rigorous training technique.
Depressingly, Bolt maintains his 6ft 4in, 13st 8lb pound frame in peak condition with a relatively effortless diet. And remarkably, he doesn’t ‘do’ supplements: “I take vitamin C, but that’s it,” he says. Instead, Bolt opts for a high-energy diet to maintain his engine, gauging each of his six meals at 60% protein, 30% carbs and 10% fats. What’s more, sprinters need to consume one gram of protein per pound of bodyweight. Which means a 14-stone man needs to down 196 grams of muscle-building flesh. Or almost eight chicken fillets per day to move at peak speed.
8am - breakfast
Jamaican dumplings or ‘Johnny cakes’ consist of flour, water, butter and milk. They have modest nutritional worth, so Bolt also devours yams, which provide an enormous source of energy-transporting carbs, digestion-aiding fibre and vitamins C and A.
1pm - lunch
Bolt believes in hitting all his nutritional bases. Lunch should consist of blood sugar-lowering brown rice, immune system-boosting wholemeal bread and fat-eating protein such as tuna. Jamaican favourite, snapper fish, is also ideal.
7pm - dinner
Bolt opts for even more energy-producing brown rice, supplemented with muscle-boosting chicken, pork or beef. Yet the world record holder is also famous for his love of junk food – he scoffed a McDonald’s to celebrate setting his most recent world record.
For training in tropical temperatures, the rule for water is simple: keep drinking it. In typically relaxed style, Bolt says, “It depends how much I want.” But then, his favourite drink is Guinness with Red Bull.
2/ On-track training
Your carcass has roughly 250,000,000 bone muscle fibres, separated into ‘slow’ and ‘fast’ twitch muscle fibres; the former excellent for stamina activities such as marathon running, the latter perfect for rapid sprints. But unlike most individuals, Bolt is the proud holder of 80% fast twitch. Hence his successful track record and adherence to a five-times-a-week training system that sees him cover the following series of leg-loosening manoeuvres. But be warned: each one must be carried out four times, with you performing the motion for 25 metres, before slothfully, resentfully hobbling back to your blocks…
As one knee rises, so too does the opposite hand (despite remaining bent 90º at the elbow). Thrust each knee as high as possible, and bound upwards. At the same time, drive the opposite leg down, slamming each foot on the ground to propel your next step. Next, steal Nan’s foot spa and melodramatically sigh, “Bloody hell!”
Also known as ‘hardcore skipping’, this works the knees and hips. Launch into a skipping movement, but as your knee lifts, kick the lower part of that leg out. Then, while panting like a sex pest, alternate each knee while punching upwards with the opposite arm – keeping it bent at the elbow. Hear something break. Whimper.
Straight leg extensions
Predominately used by hurdlers, this looks like a goosestep – but it helps prepare an athlete’s body for added motion and flexibility. Keeping one leg rigid, kick forwards and upwards until you feel your hamstrings strain. Drive yourself forward, averaging five kicks per metre. Again, keep elbows at 90º and punch upwards.
Designed to prepare your leg muscles for the follow-through when sprinting. Jog along – while keeping your arms bent at the usual 90º – then snap your knees up sharply so you hit your fleshy buttocks with the heel of each foot, alternating between the two.
3/ Gym-based plyometrics
Complement your track torture with this back-breaking bunch...
Method: Grasp two dumbbells weighing 25lbs (or 10kg) and stand with your legs apart – one out to the front of you and one behind. Now bend the forward knee into a lunge (keeping your front knee behind the tip of your toe) and, in an explosive movement, jump up, switch legs in the air and land in a lunge with the opposite foot forward.
Method: Clutch the same dumbbells you used for the weighted lunges at arms length down the side of your body. Then squat right down on the balls of your feet, before springing upwards fully and extending your body. Repeat four times, each time bashing out 15 squats. Prepare yourself for some grim arse cheek soreness tomorrow.
Method: Simple… but deadly. Squatting in front of a hurdle with your feet together, but keeping your back straight, blast up over it while bringing both knees into your chest. And cross your arms over your chest for the duration of the exercise. Your instinct to wave your arms about for balance – despite not being able to – will make your abdominal muscles work harder.
Method: Squat with your hands placed behind your back, then swing your arms up. As you do so, soar forwards in one graceful movement. Then straighten your body in mid-air so your arms and fingers are pointed up, while your legs and toes point down. Land on the balls of your feet, crouch again and repeat the process.