Sun | Jan 17, 2021

Expert's guide to Bolt-level fitness

Published:Friday | August 4, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Bolt in discussion with his coach Glen Mills during a training session.
Usain Bolt gets his hamstring stretched.


To run 100 metres in 9.58 seconds, Usain Bolt had to be in tip-top shape, and fitness trainer Steve Ming is one of the persons who helped him get that way. We sought his expertise to get some tips on how to achieve that world class athletic fitness.

Ming explained that before there is any training one has to prepare the mind. This takes a lot of work and first you have to have the determination to do so.

Simply working out won't get you into Usain Bolt shape. A good workout plan, complemented by a healthy diet, is what works best. Also, your diet has to be structured for your specific goals. Your diet should match your physical needs, so ensure you work closely with your trainer or nutritionist.

When you're ready to go to the gym, be sure to get clearance from your physician.

Here are a few more tips from Ming:

Build slowly

Rome was not built in a day so if you want to look like that Greek God, do not expect it to happen overnight. Pace yourself to avoid injuries.

Start with a strong cardio routine

Cardiovascular exercises will help to build the strength of your muscles. By the time you get to weights, muscle repair will happen more quickly.

Know your limits

Yes, to grow you will need to push yourself but you still need to be aware of your limitations even after working out for some time. Do not jump or skip levels because you think you are now an expert.

Target exercises

You cannot work all areas of the body every day. You will be overworking certain muscles and creating greater chances for injury to occur. For weight training you will have to have a leg day, then a day for arms. Give the different muscles time to prepare. The only area you can work every day is the core.

*NB Cardio can be done daily.

No sacrifices

Working out might be a sacrifice in itself but what we are speaking about here is form. Never sacrifice form for the number of reps you can do. It is better to get it right and do less than do more and get injured. Form is always important.

Point to note:

Ensure that you keep hydrated throughout the day, drinking eight to 10 glasses of water per day.