I am so excited to introduce the fastest human who has ever lived on the planet over age 45—world record holder in Masters 100 meters, Lion Martinez from Stockholm, Sweden!

Lion coaches a thriving group of other master sprinters and as you will soon hear in this show, has some novel and fascinating ideas on how to train for sprinting that destroys some of the misconceptions and notions we have misinterpreted about what it means to be a truly explosive athlete. You will learn important things like the natural and necessary tradeoff between training for endurance competency and training for true speed and explosiveness (newsflash: you can’t really do both), tidbits about the energy systems of the body and why we’re truly only capable of maintaining maxim explosive output for around 3.5 seconds (and can only maintain our top speed for 7-8 seconds), why sprinting is an art form, what happens when we exhaust the lactate pathways, how to improve your technique and become a master sprinter, and more!

Check out Lion’s website here.


This show from the world’s fastest man over age 45 will be invaluable for any and all fitness enthusiasts. [00:43]

How do the times for today’s runners compare with the ancient Olympic records? [04:38]

What has changed with technology and training and recovery? [06:39]

The records in the Masters division have continually gone down. [09:30]

What is Lion’s athletic background that got him to this point? [12:01]

Competition is the beauty of the sport. [22:16]

What is the training like now? [25:57]

You can’t tell if you screwed up until you are further down the road. Recovery is very important. [29:38]

There are different types of fatigue or energy systems. [32:48]

Sprinting is unnatural for humans. The right technique is more complicated than just moving your legs. There’s a real science to it. [39:14]

It seems the goal of getting faster by doing sprints that are shorter and taking more rest might be less physically stressful and less breakdown when you’re talking about a training pattern. [52:47]



We appreciate all feedback, and questions for Q&A shows, emailed to podcast@bradventures.com. If you have a moment, please share an episode you like with a quick text message, or leave a review on your podcast app. Thank you!

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B.Rad Podcast:

Brad (00:00:00):
Welcome to the B.rad podcast, where we explore ways to pursue peak performance with passion throughout life without taking ourselves too seriously. I’m Brad Kearns, New York Times bestselling author, former number three world-ranked professional triathlete and Guinness World Record Masters athlete. I connect with experts in diet, fitness, and personal growth, and deliver short breather shows where you get simple, actionable tips to improve your life right away. Let’s explore beyond the hype, hacks, shortcuts, and sciencey talk to laugh, have fun and appreciate the journey. It’s time to B.rad.

Lion (00:00:38):
Sprinting is an art form, otherwise, we’d be sprinting 30 meters in a race.

Brad (00:00:43):
Hey, listeners, I am so excited to introduce the fastest human who has ever lived on the planet over age 45. That’s right. He is the world record holder in Masters 100 meters. He broke the record in 2023 with a time of 10.72. His name is Lion Martinez, and he’s from Stockholm, Sweden. He coaches a thriving group of other masters, sprinters and younger national level sprinters there. So he is doing some great work in the space. He has some really novel and super interesting, fascinating ideas about how to train for sprinting and destroying some of the misconceptions and the notions that we misinterpret about what it means to be a truly explosive athlete. So I think you’re gonna get a lot of value out of this show. I was so excited to introduce him. Then I went on talking in an intro for around six minutes, so I decided to save that recording, to make it a breather show, and have people listen to that and then be inspired to listen to our conversation

Brad (00:01:48):
that went on for over an hour and could have gone on for a couple more hours. But, I’m gonna let Lion, uh, save most of the insights for Lion to describe them himself. But suffice to say that this show will be super valuable for any and all fitness enthusiasts, especially as you realize the importance of developing that competency in explosive all out efforts and how to do them correctly, because it’s such a high risk ordeal to go out there and try to sprint, especially if you don’t have a background. So he’s gonna tell you how to get started gently at the very end of the show, and also go through all kinds of valuable information, including some scientific stuff that he explains really nicely so that we can all follow along. So, let’s listen to the world’s fastest Man over age 45. It’s Lion Martinez from Sweden.

Brad (00:02:40):
Lion Martinez. Thank you for joining me all the way from the great nation of Sweden.

Lion (00:02:45):
Thank you. Thank you so much. Excited to be here.

Brad (00:02:48):
Some of my listeners might be hardcore sprinting fans and masters track and field, but I think everybody will be excited to know that I’m talking to the fastest man who has ever lived over age 45. It’s incredible. And you just broke the world record this year, so congratulations.

Lion (00:03:07):
Thank you. Yeah. Yeah, it’s, it’s, uh, it is crazy. At least the fastest under these conditions. So, being old, I guess. But yeah, so thank you <laugh>.

Brad (00:03:16):
I was talking about Usain Bolt on a certain show and this and that, and, um, I got a letter from someone challenging me saying, how can you be sure that Usain Bolt is the fastest human that’s ever lived? Don’t you think one of our primal caveman ancestors was possibly faster? And I say absolutely no possible way. And I shot back at him pretty strong because the, and you described this beautifully, you know, the art of sprinting and the technique involved. It’s not just, uh, running out your door and chasing a lion as fast as you can go. You’re actually gonna be slower than a well-practiced sprinter. So, I don’t know, would you contend that, uh, you’ve seen bolt’s the fastest human that’s ever lived and, and you’re the fastest old guy who’s ever been on the planet?

Lion (00:04:07):
Yeah, I think it’s arbitrary to start bringing in too much chaos theory into this and said, yeah, there might have been a probable genetic com compilation of muscles and bone as an organism on the planet, but we have to go what we’ve measured Yeah. Under the, under the circumstances. And, you know, then you could start going down a rabbit hole of maximum speed, this and that. But the set distance is the ones we have in the Olympics, that those are the ones we measured. And that’s just it.

Brad (00:04:38):
Yeah. I had a great class in UC Santa Barbara College, this professor named David Young, and he was considered the world’s leading expert on the ancient Greek Olympics. And he made this really persuasive argument that because the ancient Olympics ran for somewhere around 800 or a thousand years, I believe, and the top performers were among the richest citizens in society because their victories were celebrated. They went back to their areas with the, the all of wreath. And so he contended that pretty soon it became quite professional and the athletes would train and train as their main occupation. And then you imagine the progression for 800 years rather than 120 of what we’ve had. And so he argues that some of those times and performances from antiquity could be comparable to today if you had adjust for all the technique and equipment.

Lion (00:05:36):
Yeah. Yeah. I mean, it’s possible. I mean, it’s just look back 70 years or so. We look at Jesse Owens, and, you know, great performers. Uh, uh, all of these athletes are of course amazing. I mean, but again, we just have to use the measurements and the recordings what, what we have. But it’s a fun thing to speculate, speculate about now, you know, sprinting, I mean, again, great athletes, but we progress in technique and form and learn about biomechanics and the internal components of muscle fibers and so forth and so on. So, you know, you have to, you have to same, same as boxing. You’ll have, you’ll have golden years and eras and you know, these kind of things. And some, and you’ll say that boxer would beat that boxer and have fun speculating, but it could be beautiful in the way it is. You know, you’ll have this era’s champion and have that era’s champion. And the only thing we could go off of when it comes to sprinting is we have reported times this managed run the fastest, and then we can speculate.

Brad (00:06:39):
Yeah. And you hear a lot of talk about, a lot of, it’s kind of blather from the fitness marketing industry, how we’ve had so many advancements and innovations and today and in, in diet and recovery. Um, but I’m not so sure that, we’re understanding this really well. I can also look at, uh, decades ago, like you mentioned Jesse Owens, or you’d mentioned Bob Hayes, who American, Americans might be familiar. ’cause he had a great football career with the Dallas Cowboys, but he won the gold medal in 1964, running 10 flat in a muddy lane, one without any, uh, any of the advancements. And a lot of people can, uh, slash a few tenths off that to compare to today’s top sprinters. So we’ve had people running quite similar times at the top level for decades. And so what is important with technological and training and recovery advancements and what’s kind of not such a big deal that we’re, we’re not getting,

Lion (00:07:44):
So I mean, specifically recovery and understanding the cellular activities and so forth and, and what happens inside the body, of course, great leaps compared to 60 years ago, 70 years ago. It was all, all experience and, and anecdotes at that time, but everything’s a progression. It leads to what we know today, you know? Yeah. We’re gonna be more optimal today, that’s for sure, because we can measure things. We have tools, we have labs and so forth. And much, of course, all the experience from what has been, um, I still believe that the combination is the best. I mean, it’s, there’s very few that have access to, to labs or blood tests and all these things, right? So we have to learn with experience and listen to coaches and athletes that’s been around for a long time because it’s a lifelong learning process.

Lion (00:08:33):
And listen to those teachings, I think it’s very important. And to not only look at studies, not only look at lab results and reports and, and look what a specific substance does isolated and, you know, tested only on mice and such, but we learn from it and we’ve become better, I think. But I mean, the same thing in 20 years from now, 30 years from now, you know, we’re gonna add on to what we have today. So, and we’re gonna do the same. We’re gonna have the same conversations about, well, you know, both versus this guy or that guy, you know. But I think, I think as a sport, it’s just beautiful to see the progression. It’s beautiful to see athletes in motion. And, and, and that’s about it for me. I think that’s a, it’s a big motivator for me to keep doing this and apply the things that you’re speaking about to myself and having to be more specific as I grow older as well. Of course, recovery is the main thing that’s becoming with every week and year more important, uh, to, to get right and to respect.

Brad (00:09:30):
Yeah. Perhaps the biggest innovation or, or the greatest progress has been to keep athletes going for longer. Um, so I should ask, like, what were the records in the, the Masters M 45, they call it the 45 to 49 division, uh, you know, 20, 30, 40 and 50 years ago. They’ve probably been taken down like crazy.

Lion (00:09:51):
Yeah. I mean, it’s just Masters. There, there, there has been Masters championships and races since the eighties. I know this in the early eighties and such, but the, it’s 10 tenfold as many people that does it now. So, Mm-Hmm. I mean, and if you look at it as a whole, you can look at it as a singular efforts as with myself, for example. I mean, I’m also a, uh, a result of more people doing it. ’cause otherwise I wouldn’t know about it. And, you know, having prominent athletes that were big before former Olympians, Mathias Sunderland is one of them, you know, long jumpin in the Olympics with ley wins and such in the finals and coming into Masters. ’cause he’s the, he’s the, the person in in, in our country that really made this popular. So there’s an easy way in. So I think it’s the same thing.

Lion (00:10:43):
You have to look at that too. The records are gonna be broken. Uh, it’s just a, it’s just a thing of life. I, I’m just happy to be able to done it with the, the events that I do. Well, someone’s gonna break it Again. I’m just the, but the, so that’s the thing. I think that, for example, uh, Willie Banks and, you know, Willie Galk and these guys, and also the other ones to the other events that break records now all over the place. My accomplishment is equal to theirs and vice versa. That’s how I see it. I respect it as much. I just happen to run faster. But it’s just breaking it at some point in your career, you know? But someone’s always gonna run faster ’cause they have more talen but then you have to have all the pieces and components as well.

Lion (00:11:25):
You have to be look crazy and dedicated. You have to do all these things, right? And it, it is of course, raising the bar running faster, but I think it’s equal if so, so someone that did it in the 1980s or, or me doing it now, the, the challenge is the same. And I think the, the accolade is the same because we’re running in, in what we have in the area we have, and what you have around you will help too. So the people you run against and race against, how many they are, how fast they go, the shoes you have, and all the recovery mechanics and all this stuff. So, but I’m just happy to have crossed out these things off my list, but I’ll, I’ll keep trying. So,

Brad (00:12:01):
So I’d love to go to your background now and how you, uh, came to this point. You told me briefly you were a, a pretty elite level sprinter in your youth. Um, but I think you said you weren’t quite as disciplined and focused as you are now as a more mature older person. But, take us through your, your athletic background, if you don’t mind.

Lion (00:12:22):
Yeah, for sure. I would say local elite, but that’s about it. I mean, you have to look at it at a global level to, but said, I think the talent was still there. I just didn’t manage it well because I was young and I had a lot of things in my life that kind of took precedence from the discipline needed to develop your skill and to dedicate yourself. It’s hard when you’re young and you have lots of things going. And, you know, even though you’re coming from a young person to an adult stage, and you see your friends, they go further in life, in academia and career and, you know, all this stuff, right? So, and, and, and I is slightly lazy to begin with. So that creates a problem because you’re not progressing as fast, which means you’re not getting as much reward from it. So when you see all these external things, and that is a draw for you, it becomes difficult to stay as motivated as needed. So I just came to the conclusion, you know, to, to see that, well, you know, the, the, the time and effort needed to take myself to the next stage. It’s not really there. So, and this was, uh, you know, the early, my early twenties. But I did sports. I did sports all my life, come from a sporting family. I did hockey, wrestling and all these kind of things.

Brad (00:13:32):
This was always in Sweden, Lion.

Lion (00:13:35):
Yeah. So this was in Sweden. I did go to college in the United States to, in Texas. Yeah. But that was track and field. Track and field, yeah. So, so my, my, it was basically my hockey, was overlapping with my track and field, but I chose track and field at 15, 16 mm-Hmm. <affirmative> due to liking it more, basically. I a little brittle too, compared to the guys, the rough guys playing hockey. They’re a little bit bigger, a little bit more, you know, less finesse kind of in their movements. And I was very fast. I had like my muscles a bit more brittle. Not that, that, you know, same as with American football players, a little bit more stocky, a little bit more strong, a little bit more robust, so to speak. You know, had an impact on all this stuff. And I also was also more of a solo person when it came to sports. I just enjoyed being measured and beating people with their results instead of being part of a team, even though I loved that too. But it’s a different environment. So I was, I was, I was, I started when I was 11 track and field, and I got out of it basically when I was 23, 24. But I really quit 21. I really started tapering back and not doing it as much anymore.

Brad (00:14:46):
So did you come to Texas for the athletic opportunity to, to run on? Yeah. On a, on a certain track team. What school?

Lion (00:14:54):
So Beaumont College. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. So Lamar, sorry, not Beaumont College. Beaumont Town. Uh, Lamar University.

Brad (00:14:59):
Oh yeah, right. Yeah.

Lion (00:15:00):
But yeah, the problem for me was that it wasn’t made for me in the way I saw sprinting and sprint training. It was very communal and it was more towards 400 meter sprinting, and I was terrible at that at that time. So, but the, the school was great, so it really got me motivated for my career instead it kind of catalyst, I guess for kind of started thinking about life in a different way. So, long story short, I did win the nationals. You know, I did 10:45, 10: 32. I did, but the 10:32 never came through with the wind reading. So it’s not official. I had a few good races at that time, was probably one. And then I got injured the year after. ’cause I thought I was the best guy on the planet, and I started remote training with a coach, and I was, didn’t follow it because I was lazy. Mm-Hmm. Pulled my hamstringing. It took a year to get back. And that combined with everything else, kind of like, ah, I don’t know. I went back to do a 200 medal at the, at the nationals. And I also was participating in the European championships at one time, but that was about it. So it was elite local, but not in any way at 10:32 is not enough to be able to be leaked on a global level. So, so that was about it.

Brad (00:16:13):
So then you immersed into, I mean, now we have a 20 year time gap that you can maybe tell us how you spent your time. I guess you, uh, pursued career and things off the track. I think you related that. You, um, you got outta shape and the whole thing. So I’d love to get us back to, um, when you decided to return to the track.

Lion (00:16:34):
Yeah. So I was away for 10 years about, you know, the career thing and all this stuff. I, we got insanely overweight. For me. It was, I was over 220 pounds, something like this, you know, that’s 105, 110 kilos. And for me, a guy that’s supposed to

Brad (00:16:51):
<crosstalk> either way, it’s too much man kilos or pounds, doesn’t matter.

Lion (00:16:54):
Wasn’t good pals either. You know, I was, yeah. Was eating myself to death. Long story short, 10 years later, uh, so my grandfather passed away and he had a brain aneurysm. So I just knew, I, I just couldn’t live that life ’cause I was going the same path. I was not feeling good. I was a bad person. All my physical levels were dropped. And so quit cold Turkey, all that stuff. I started losing weight. I went to the gym. I burned it off in about eight months of just eating better, going to the gym, no cardio. And started remembering that I was fast at one time. So I was looking into, I was, I was looking, I knew Mattias Sunderland. He was doing it. He was a Olympic jumper again, right? So he was doing it, and he, I had him on social media.

Lion (00:17:35):
So I was looking at his accomplishments, and I looked at the world list of men 35, and I saw was the fastest guy, well, he done 10:66, a guy called, Papa Ridley is an amazing sprinter and 66. And I saw, I thought to myself, okay, maybe not this year, but I’ve done the time at one time. What do I need to get to the final about 11 2 3. So I, I think I’ll do this, right. So I started doing the sprinting, came back to the Masters’ National that year, 2014, after three months of training kind. It went, it went good because I won locally, I did 11 five, I did. So

Brad (00:18:11):
That’s the Swedish champion in the 35 and over.

Lion (00:18:14):
Yeah. Yeah, exactly. So, so I did that, and I, I, I just, it was such an amazing feeling running 100 meters again, it was just like coming home. So, and, and I thought I’m gonna work on this now and let’s see where we can go.

Brad (00:18:31):
So that was almost, almost a decade ago now. Yeah. And you had the opportunity to join an organized program in, in Sweden that was training with other Masters? Or how did you, uh, how did you train?

Lion (00:18:48):
No, um, so there are a few groups around, uh, but I had a lot of experience from before. Um, my, during the time I won the, the ne the senior Met Championships, this 1999, I did the programs myself for a year and a half. So I started implementing those programs to start training myself, and then other athletes started gravitating towards training with me. And I said, sure, absolutely. You know, so creating an environment where you train with like-minded people in the same situation. So it’s been going better and better since then. And the programs I’ve been progressing too.

Brad (00:19:27):
So you’re coaching pretty actively these days. Other, other sprinters.

Lion (00:19:33):
Yeah, exactly. So local group of sprinters. So seniors and mostly masters.

Brad (00:19:39):
Some of ’em are doing quite well. I understand.

Lion (00:19:44):
Yeah. I, I mean, I, there’s something, I mean, I value their performances more than my own. It’s, there’s nothing beating someone you’ve helped to achieve things. So since we started, they have basically all PB every year, every year for, for all of these years. And they, we all get older, but they still pb I still get to, I can squeeze some more juice out of them <laugh>. So, um, it’s, it’s, it’s great. So I mentioned a few of them in different, uh, contexts, but I mean, Sarah coming back, uh, after like, you know, 12 years, 15 years or so, she’s 35 winning the world championships at 35. She was in the finals of the seniors in Sweden, and she’s over 35. It’s amazing. 07:49 at the 60 meters. That’s incredible. And we have more generally, my athlete, I posted about him a few times from, you know, ranked number 20, 25 in the world to his first medal.

Lion (00:20:43):
Now he’s 56 now, like 10 years in the game now in his first European medal this year. And he just keep getting faster, and it’s just amazing to see them grow and develop. So it also, there’s a, there’s a secondary or a meta effect here that you can validate your programming because you remove all the, not all of it, but a lot of the talent pool, and they’re, they’re not, they’re not young people becoming grownups. So they’re getting nothing for free is quite the opposite. So when you see these athletes progress and get faster, you know, your programming and your, the way you coach the art of sprinting and their form, you know, it’s working. So,

Brad (00:21:25):
So we’re, we’re not talking about triathletes training for hours and putting in many miles, however, the dedication required to get faster and faster, and for a group of people to set PBS and for you to compete at the highest level. I mean, didn’t you compete in Swedish nationals as well,

Lion (00:21:47):
Uh, this year?

Brad (00:21:48):
Or, or recently?

Lion (00:21:50):
Yeah. Yeah. It’s, it’s always my goal to do so. I’ve been so close making a final now. Oh, it’s kind of the thing that is still there for me, which is, which is, it’s, it’s, there’s a beauty in that to not getting there, because you always need something to motivate you. So, um, for, for two, three years now or so, I’ve been in semis and almost making the final, so I’ll, I think I’ll be there this winter or next year.

Brad (00:22:16):
I wonder if there’s any ego involved with the, the, the younger athletes in their prime. They, they probably really support what you’re doing and are huge fans and have that camaraderie as, as fellow sweets. But like, do you want to get beaten by a 45-year-old guy when you’re <laugh> when you think you’re trying to go for the nationals in your country?

Lion (00:22:33):
Yeah, I don’t think you want to but life is what it is. It’s competitive and, you know, I’m competitors, so, you know, I think it’s, I think it’s good for the sport somewhere because you show what you can actually do. You, you show people what you can actually do. And if I beat you, you’re not gonna get a medal anyway. And that is really what matters. Yeah. It’s a tough sport that way. You, you get on paper exactly how valued you are in all the time you put in and you know, you, you put yourself in this fight, right? So you have to be ready to fight.

Brad (00:23:05):
Yeah. It, it’s probably one of the best things about sports is it’s so honest and, and raw and, and completely exposed, and you’re out there giving it your best. And I think, you build so much respect for your fellow competitors, whatever age they are, or whether they, you know, we used to joke about getting beat by a girl in a long distance race, and now a woman last week ran 02:11 in the marathon. And so, um, that’s a time that would qualify for the Olympic trials in the United States as a man. So there’s no more, uh, you know, if she ran 26 miles and if you ran 0:212, you’re probably still pretty happy. You’re still an outstanding athlete, but it is what it is out there. There’s no storytelling.

Lion (00:23:44):
That’s it. It, that’s it. We are exposed and naked completely. And this is the beauty of the sports, right? So, but putting yourself through this, I think creates a better organism. Uh, you, there’s discipline and you, you get to face yourself in ways that the majority of people, planets on the planet are not going to. You get to find out who you are, especially when you are on a starting line of a world championship and you’re dead tired, day five, day six mm-Hmm. You have seven other guys or girls wherever you, whichever you know, you, you compete in that wants it equally much, you know? So you have to, you have to put out, put yourself out there, and who am I? Am I gonna get myself outta bed to do this one more time? You know, to, to, and you just hate it, but you love it.

Lion (00:24:28):
Same time. And I have two, two comments on, on this thing, is that, I’ve been so humbled by all the, in incredible kind words these young competitors have been giving me, I think 30 years ago, I don’t think the caliber of of us around of competing then would’ve had that way of good speaking about how they, how they, how they, how they are motivated and inspired by what I do, I, and I am by them too, I give it back, and I, you know, every time I compete and people come up and say like, you know, that’s amazing that you did this and it’s great and stuff. I, I’ve been really humbled by this. So I, that’s another part of this. It’s not only about being competitive, but these young, young guys are just amazing that way. So receptive. Uh, and number two, I remember there was a news article about Mattias against worm, the, the long jumper. It was about 10 years ago or so, maybe 12, because he was offered a, a spot on the national team for, uh, you know, a national event they had. And they asked him, so, how don’t you feel bad about taking this place from a, from a young guy or something? And he said, no, why would I? I earned this. I, I just jumped further. So why should not, there’s not, there’s no no such thing. I was better. I got picked and that’s it. And that’s really what it’s about.

Brad (00:25:49):
Yeah. What a quote. I mean, he can, he could stop with no, and then let everyone figure that out. Oh my gosh. Yeah.

Lion (00:25:56):

Brad (00:25:57):
So what is the training schedule like, and what type of dedication is required now, especially at your age where you can’t cut the corners, like perhaps a college student could, and they stayed up late, they show up to practice, they bang out another session, they go about their merry way? But now it seems like you have to have so many things optimized to run 10.72 seconds, a hundred meters for those listening that don’t have a reference point. Boy, I mean, you are, you know, a, a blink behind the, the fastest man in the world, and like I said, the fastest man ever at your age.

Lion (00:26:33):
Yeah. And this is a big question. Yeah. But you’re absolutely right. Have to have to optimize. I think, you have to start at the bottom and consider how many times per week can I really sprint maximum that that’s it. So, and, and that’s about two times, give or take, sometimes three, sometimes one. So we have to learn to be patient, and we have to learn the skill of resting. And that’s just it. When you’re getting injured, you go backwards. If you stay injury free at this age, there’s a possibility of going forward. And that’s difficult because it’s so ingrained in us that we train more, we get better. But that’s not the truth, because we are not a computer. It’s not a zero and one. So this, this, the needle of your fatigue and your fitness needs to always be dialed in.

Lion (00:27:24):
So the fitness fatigue paradigm, basically, you have to respect. And, uh, the relationship between the two gets shifted as we age. We have to be more long-term, and we have to have a slower progression with our fitness. We have to have a faster progression with our fatigue management. So we have to rest more often and rest more. And the problem is, short term, our brain can easily overcome these things and, and feel that, oh, no, I’m ready to go again. That might not be the case three weeks down the line. So you have to learn by experience. And for me, that was easy because when I came back, I, I did just what I did when I was 24, 23. I trained for five weeks straight, one rest day per week. And then I had a slower week that didn’t, didn’t work, especially out then, because I came in, uh, with no fitness and I was, the organism was not ready to do it.

Lion (00:28:21):
So I quickly had to cut that down to three weeks of work, and then one week of very little volume and, and, and very few times of training during that week. And then I started seeing like, okay, now I can progress. And then that evolved into something more complex where, you know, you start playing with the blocks, the weeks and the micro periods of, I can go a little harder this week, but then I have to go a little slower next week, and so forth. And you start building this complex programming over time. And so you, you grow into it. But learning how to rest and be confident with that is, is extremely difficult, especially if you are say that you’re, take this as an example. If you’re a 400 meter sprinter and you used training a lot and all the time, and, but it’s not gonna work if you’re 50 years old compared to when you’re 20, you’re gonna have to learn to rest, otherwise you’re gonna get in trouble. So that’s really it. Just summarizing everything of that is just learn, learn how much you can train and what and when, and then learn to just be patient and love resting too.

Brad (00:29:30):
So that’s great.

Lion (00:29:31):
But I mean, there are layers of, there are layers to this, but then, you know, we, we’ll be here all week if you speak about everything. But that’s, that’s,

Brad (00:29:38):
Well, I feel like you’re hitting me personally in the heart or the stomach. Either one now, man. ’cause I, I feel like I’m trying to be smart and intuitive. I have a lot of athletic experience, but something you mentioned is really important where, um, you can’t tell that you screwed up until a little bit further down the road. And so I go out there, I feel great, I’m enthusiastic, I’m competitive, I love my high jump practice. I’ll take 20 practice jumps instead of a maximum of 12, which I understand a lot of elite athletes will limit any session to or competition to, no more than that. And then, I start to feel it in the aftermath, where at the time, if you came up and, and grabbed me by the throat and said, Hey, what are you doing? I’d say, oh, I feel great. I think I can nail it. You know, I can get my, uh, my curve right on on one more try. Okay, one more try after that. And I guess that’s a problem that you’ve certainly run into, like you described when you, when you came back after a 10 year layoff, but then how do you learn and put these principles and, um, you called it the paradigm of fitness and, and recovery fatigue.

Lion (00:30:49):
Yeah. Fitness fatigue. Oh, fitness

Brad (00:30:51):
And fatigue paradigm. Yeah.

Lion (00:30:52):
Yeah, yeah. So, and, and just to, to, to answer that specifically first, um, there’s a super good scientist and, and doctor called Mike Stone. Like, you know, if you’re listening to this, check him out on YouTube. He’s working with the NSE aa. Um, he’s one of their advisors and he has lots of lectures online. And the fitness fatigue paradigm, I mean, it’s probably at someone else who coined this phrase, but it’s pretty simple. You train, your fitness is gonna go up, but at the same time, your fatigue goes up too. Mm-Hmm. At some point you cannot train anymore, or the body’s gonna adapt in ways you don’t want for your sport. And that ties into the other conversation, or the other side of this coin is that our human survival is built on longevity and, and endurances and all these things, right? So if you’re a, if you’re a distance runner or a wrestler and so forth, a very cardio heavy sport, you can do more vol, more volume, you can train more often because it’s not as taxing for the nervous system.

Lion (00:31:55):
And you’re building components that is gonna help you for your sport. But this means you are signaling your body from your brain that you need more recovery, and that means more oxygen, and that means more oxygen, carrying muscle fiber, which is slow twitch muscle fiber. So you’re actually preparing yourself for doing less high intense work. Your body’s gonna get worse on handling a lot of high intense work, for example, sprinting or lifting. So you’re getting less performance based, you’re getting more survival based, right? So if you’re sprinter or a thrower or someone, that’s very explosive things. If you add a lot of volume, uh, you’re, you’re gonna get slower. It’s as simple as that because the body’s not gonna want to get injured. So especially if you do that over a long period of time, then you add a lot of intensity to your volume, and you’re not built for it, then you’re gonna get injured and adding to all of this madness, right?

Lion (00:32:48):
There are different types of fatigue or energy systems or things that give you the ability to do things as the nervous system, which can get fatigued. There’s, uh, your muscle fibers that can get broken down and so forth, and micro, micro damages. And then there’s the emotional and mental fatigue from, from different things like the emotional, I, me as a coach, for example, if I have an athlete that, that speaks, uh, comes talk, uh, come, come and talk to me about how bad his or her relationship is, or, you know, they’re breaking up or losing, losing a job or whatever it is, I cannot run that athlete as hard because it’s going to, it’s gonna negatively affect that person, both as a human being and vice versa, in in track, right? So we have to manage all these things. So you can build a system, but you have to be adaptive within the system, and also you have to be ready to, again, ease up and increase from there, rather than trying to go maximum in everything, all variables, and then try to pull back.

Lion (00:33:47):
You’re just gonna end up in trouble. And, and this is, this is difficult. This is, this is what everyone’s trying to solve. There’s no perfect system. We have to have this human, human organism is not static. So we have to work with this, and it’s very, very difficult to get it right. But I think I am a system that is very good for many, and then you have to do one-to-one conversations with the athlete. And if you don’t have a coach, you’re gonna have to be harder on yourself. So the last thing I’ll say about this, uh, be before getting too in technical or too long-winded, is the human body is very good at doing a lot of things on one day. It’s very good. You can go all day because you have re uh, you have reserve systems in place where you can borrow from yourself, and you can add supplements to this, like caffeine, for example.

Lion (00:34:39):
Caffeine stimulates the nervous system because it’s a poison, it’s plant poison. So everything starts sparking and happening, and your, your heart rate’s gonna go up and all this stuff. You, the blood pressure’s gonna go up, get you ready to do things, but you’re borrowing from yourself. So you’re gonna have to pay for that at some point. And you, if you, I mean, that’s why people don’t go and no, you’re never gonna see a world class athlete go seven hard days in a row. It’s not gonna happen. They can go seven hard days with low intensity and lots of volume or, or seven days of very low volume and high intense, but not all of these variables at once. Then you’re gonna get into trouble. Once you’re broken down, you’re losing so much time, right? So we have to be very comfortable with, okay, coach, yes, I’m gonna rest today. That’s what I’m gonna do. Absolutely. I hope, I hope I wasn’t, yeah. Spinning. Yeah.

Brad (00:35:27):
Super helpful. And one thing occurs to me, uh, there seems to be that straight trade off where if you have an endurance related goal and an explosive power sprint related goal, you’re just gonna be, um, asking too much. And I’m referencing, like, I like to compete in professional speed golf, which is running the course, which is five miles. So I have to have some endurance competency, but then I also announce that I have important goals in high jump and, and track and field sprinting. And so I, I realized a few years ago, like, I’m gonna have to pick one and just let the other be completely discarded. Because when you, when you layer in real endurance training, and I’m talking about going out there for 45 minutes or 60 minutes, steady heart rate as many endurance athletes are familiar with, you’re not gonna have, you’re not gonna have much success with doing a four second explosive high jump effort or, uh, you know, a a 15 second, a hundred meters or a minute for 400 meters.

Lion (00:36:27):
Yeah, exactly. And, and this, we have to accept this fact. But yes, can you be better at everything over time? Yes, you can. But there will be trade-offs at some point, like world class level, world level, you know, athletes are gonna be specialists now with sports that are multi, say, say decathlon, you need to be good at many things. Um, you can raise everything, but you can never be as you, you’ll never be as good as everyone else on the, you know, each separate event. Um, because what, and this is the thing, right? We know that your cardiovascular ability will go up and down faster than, say, speed components takes a lot longer to get tissue and tendons stiff and all that required for that, you know, fast, which muscle fiber. So you can play with these in emphasis, like, I am, I, I put emphasis on this now, I deemphasis that now, you know, and, and you can raise one component, but it only works so far.

Lion (00:37:25):
When you start to become extreme, you, you’re gonna have to make compromises. It’s just simple as that because the body adapts, and that’s why we get better or worse. It’s homeostasis. We, it’s a good thing because it makes us adapt to the stimuli, but it’s also a bad thing because it stops adapting when you stop doing something and you do something else, and you’re gonna go. And we have to also, this is also a paradigm with the slow and fast stuff, like I said, human evolution and, and longevity. And, and this stuff is because we are a cardiovascular organism, so it’s easy for us to improve survivability by increasing red blood cells. And, you know, the amount of, of oxygen, metabolization that happens where we do a lot of long things or carry a lot of stuff, we are not very good at doing fast things.

Lion (00:38:15):
It’s just a survival mechanic in itself. It does a small thing when you have to run away from something. But it’s much better for the organism to be good at staying alive through doing, you know, being, being, being able to do things for a long time. It’s better for the birds. That’s how we survive. And all little food and, you know, that kind of stuff, right? So, and, and all the planet earth human beings are, uh, one of the most cardiovascularly good organisms of all animals. Very few animals can do like 10 hours straight running or that kind of stuff. Like, it’s not good for them. They’re built different. But anyway, long story short. So for speed athletes, speed, power, and explosive athletes, we have to be careful specifically with steady state cardio. It doesn’t mean we don’t need any, anaerobic capabilities. We do because it’s part of recovery. But we need to find where the balance is before one starts compromising on the, what actually delivers the results we want in our sport.

Brad (00:39:14):
That’s interesting. I’ve, I’ve never heard, uh, this point expressed where you contend that the sprinting and the explosive stuff is, is, is kind of unnatural for the human. And so when we’re training to be a sprinter, it’s quite different than training to be an endurance athlete, which we hear all these amazing, uh, evolutionary anthropology insights that the human has built for endurance. And we have all these capabilities. But when we’re talking about sprinting, of course we can run off at, you know, for, for a life or death burst of speed, but then going to practice and, and putting together sessions, that’s where the, the risk comes in because we’re, we’re not adapted to be hardcore sprinters trying to eke out I 10th of a second off our time.

Lion (00:40:04):
Yeah. And again, multiple components to this specifically. If we knew that sprinting more as in incredibly a lot more would be beneficial for our results, everyone would sprint every day. But we know we, we can’t because we have to recover and we know we can only do a certain amount of reps. And that has been also through the evolutional practices and programming and this stuff. So this is the reason why we kept a certain amount of reps, because even fast sprinting after a while will become aerobic because we require so much recovery. So the more, again, fatigue, fitness fatigue, once we, our fatigue starts to climb incredibly high, the organism will start to be slower because it needs more cells to recover and more, more, more, more of that type of, uh, muscle fiber. So even if I had the capabilities of sprinting 100 reps per day at, at some point I’ll get slower and slower because I need to say, my, my brain will signal, oh, we need more recovery.

Lion (00:41:13):
We need more recovery. This organism is about to die because we cannot move blood enough, fast enough around with enough oxygen. This organism is not doing good among other things as well. So that is why small doses of sprinting fully rested is the best way to go about it. And there’s a secondary. So here’s the, here’s the end part, which is ties into what you said here is sprinting is an art form, otherwise we’d be sprinting 30 meters in a race. It’s similar to many sports. Like you take darts, for example. You have a certain amount of rounds because at the top level, everyone’s so good they won’t miss five in a row, but if you put 30 throws in a row, they might miss one of them if they’re top level. So you need something skill brought into the, the, the sport. Mm-Hmm. To differentiate between the gold medal and the bronze medal or the silver medal.

Lion (00:42:01):
Yeah. So that’s why we run 100 meters because we cannot run 100 meters maximum. We cannot, it’s not possible. We decelerate everyone decelerates. Even though you’re not doing nine five, you will be decelerating for a certain amount of time. So that’s why there’s an art of sprinting. It’s not running or, you know, manipulating yourself to 30 meters and throwing yourself over the line because there’s no skill involved. It’s a, it’s a skill. It’s not running as fast as you can. It’s sprinting. It’s a, it’s a constructed form to be optimal over 100 meters. If I wanna run 30 meters maximum, my form doesn’t matter that much. ’cause I can just blast out all my power I have and throw myself over the line. But we don’t do that stuff. The sport, same with swimming, et cetera. It’s always a little long, like 400 meters. It’s way too long.

Brad (00:42:49):

Lion (00:42:50):
Yeah. We know that lactate, the lactate metabolism or in the way of how much the cell can buffer and, and, you know, burn before it starts pushing out, pouring out into the muscle is about 22.5 seconds. So if you push it to 27 seconds. We say we push it to 27 seconds. That’s about optimal. Everything else is really not a part of the event 400. But we do 400 to add components that require skill and more training. That’s what we have. 100, 200 and 400 is to differentiate and to create a more of a skillful, uh, way of displaying our, you know, our physical prowess. I think so. ’cause we have to look at it as that, that’s why it’s like, it’s a skill of sprinting. It’s an art form, and we have to spread it out, distributed 100 meters when we train, we have to dose it small so the athlete is rested and can train this skill.

Lion (00:43:44):
That’s how it’s tied together. You can only train the perfect art and skill form when you are at least somewhat rested. If you’re not rested, you’re gonna run in a way that you are energy efficient. So then you’re not sprinting anymore, right? You’re ground complex, become too long, you’re dipping in your knee because you cannot handle the pressure of, you know, yet another contact maximum and so forth. Again, I’m, I’m blabbering now, but, but this is part of it. It’s a big package and it Oh, sure. This, this is how we get to the results in our event if we’re sprinting.

Brad (00:44:15):
Yeah. And I think a lot of recreational fitness enthusiasts are completely missing, um, this important component of functional full body total fitness, which is to be truly explosive and to train those energy systems that allow you to go maximum speed. And so I want to come back to a couple of those, um, time checkpoints you mentioned. Um, so, so the research shows that the, the ATP is exhausted in the cell after about whatever they say, seven or eight seconds of maximum effort. That’s why you said, um, everyone’s decelerating, even the world record in the a hundred meters. You’re slowing down after hitting top speed, and then you’re, you’re realizing that, you know, um, some, some borrowing has to come to keep the legs moving after that brief, maximum potential explosiveness. Uh, but then you’re talking about this 22.5 second checkpoint, something like that. So that’s when the, is that when the second energy system is exhausted, the lactate and we have to go into a little bit of glucose burning, and so there’s another need to slow down or what does, what does that checkpoint represent? So

Lion (00:45:22):
Yeah, but it’s the opposite. So after its creatine, and we usually say about 3.5 seconds before

Brad (00:45:29):
Oh, 3.5, so yeah,

Lion (00:45:31):
That’s the true completing it.

Brad (00:45:33):
Yeah. Okay. So like a power lifter lifting the heaviest weight for the record is going with full maximum explosiveness. It takes some 3.5 to lift the bar.

Lion (00:45:44):
Yeah. About, right? Yeah. So it differs depending on who you are and how you exert yourself. But say we say three, let’s say 3.5 about, and then, then there’s the glucose or gly glucoses part from 3.5 to about seven, seven and a half.

Brad (00:46:00):

Lion (00:46:01):
Yeah. And you can, so, so if you put those together 3.5, and then you have, you have about about seven seconds to go, this can go up and down a little bit and you see different studies, but then you have around 10 seconds, right? So 9, 5, 10 seconds, right? But even the glucose, the, uh, glucose, uh, metabolism is not as efficient as the first part. So usually what happens, you’ll see, you see world-class sprinters, they’ll reach top speed with, you know, the a TP CURT system about, they’ll peak that, about when that starts to deplete, it’s kind of goes together, right? So you’re peaking your max speed, you’re, you’re using all that energy to get the mask going. You peak, then you, then you, then you hold for about three more seconds or so, and then you start to accelerating something about the sorts three, four seconds more, you know?

Lion (00:46:47):
and then you’re into the glucose system and you know, sorry, glucose. So, and, and that’ll start depleting as well. We know this and then lactate comes in. And that whole process, we don’t have to go into here. There’s so much you can read about that. And there’s so many, uh, people that know about what that is and means. But what happens, which is interesting, is about 22.5 seconds. That’s why it’s so important when you’re a sprinter to try to finish at 200 meter race under 22.5 <laugh> because hey, yeah, you will.

Brad (00:47:22):
Lsten up, people.

Lion (00:47:24):
Yeah, you’ll seriously decelerate. Yes. What happens is the cell, the cell is buffering all this lactate to use as fuel for moving the legs, moving the legs. At some point, it will not be able to hold all this lactate. I’m paraphrasing a little bit here just to mm-hmm. Be generalizing. But it starts to spill out in the muscle. And that’s when you start your, your legs going dead from there on, which usually happens through 250 meters or so from a, you know, a, a good level sprinter or coming up to the 300 meter and, and the 400 meter, you know about when it come off the bend, that’s when it’s gonna get really tough because what it does efficiently, what it or effectively does, we know about, you know, it creates hydrogen ions and this stuff and, and lowers the pH value, which is why you feel nauseous after all of this stuff. But what actually happens, which is more interesting from a mechanical standpoints, uh, is that it starts to turn off muscle fiber clusters. Hmm. So the reason for deceleration in a longer sprint is because you have less motors or less cylinders in your legs doing the same amount of work. So you’re gonna go slower, simple as that.

Brad (00:48:37):
And it’s turning them off. The brain is turning them off to protect against perceived damage. Like, uh, central governor theory where

Lion (00:48:45):
That’s part of it. Yeah. Yeah. You’re, it wants you to stop. It doesn’t want you, right?

Brad (00:48:49):
It want you to stop

Lion (00:48:50):
’cause you’re poisoned. You’re poisoned. All of this lactates, all of this, you know, toxic stuff is out in your muscle fibers and you, you, you’re in the blood, in the blood, right? You, you p the pH value goes that value it goes down. You need to stop and rest. It’s not made for human beings. But it’s, I mean, and that’s why it’s such a difference. If you have a world-class four nanometer sprinter doing uh, say a 43, 44, that’s incredible. Like compared to a master’s athlete that does 51 mm-Hmm. And or someone doing 55, that’s over 10 more seconds of work. So it’s a lot more aerobic than at that point, and you’re gonna be the subject. That’s why that’s, you know, I side thing, but I’m advocating for certain age groups to earlier go to 300, that should be 300. It’s, there’s pointing, forcing someone to, you know, to run more than a nine, eight of four. It’s

Brad (00:49:43):
Kinda like my, that that’s great. It’s like my contention with the Ironman that the Ironman shouldn’t be for anyone over 40 or 45. It’s too long. It’s ridiculous. It’s just a, it’s just a slog. And it would be far more, far more esteem competition to train for and prepare for the half Ironman and let’s call that an Ironman. If you’re over 50 years old, it, it’s, you know, we’re, yeah, we’re modeling the, the front people when we really shouldn’t be.

Lion (00:50:09):
Exactly. There are more reasons we don’t have to go to this, ’cause this is specific mass, but even the 200, if you say you’re doing a 28 second 200 meter, I mean, that’s way past lactate threshold, right? You make it 150. Not only that, because also you don’t have to compare yourself to your old 200 that you did 10 years ago. Uhhuh, <affirmative> make it one. We have one fifties in, in, in 90% of the stadiums have Masters Sprinters do one 50. It’s fun. Anyway, side note, but yeah. Well, so

Brad (00:50:37):
You know, what’s important about this is the, the workouts, uh, yeah. So you’re not gonna change the sport anytime soon. But for the master’s athlete listening or the sub elite athlete, like a high school kid whose best time is 24 flat in the 200 or whatever, we want to adjust those workouts to respect the energy systems rather than just blindly practicing 400 meter repeats. Because that’s what the, that’s what, that’s what they’re holding on the race.

Lion (00:51:06):
Yeah. And here’s some method then. So what most people do is that they start adjusting to their decline. They start to do more aerobic work, which I have an understanding of, but to me it’s like you’re giving up a little bit. It’s like I give up, I try to get my athletes faster. So the amount of time they spend, they’re further down the track so far it’s working even for masters, right? They get faster, which means they spend less, less time in that area area, um, in that area of deceleration and their muscle fiber clusters turning off. So I, that’s, I wanna do that as for as long as possible. And I mean, I have, for example, I have now, um, a 65-year-old athlete who’s the same thing. He came from being, you know, 20 down to actually being number four in Europe because we got him stronger and faster still.

Lion (00:52:02):
He comes from long distance. So it was low hanging fruit for him to be stronger, do more plyometrics then, and then speed. So he’s further down the track and then he can still utilize his natural endurance components in his him doing, and he’s a 400 meter spinner, right? So, but he’s further down the track now. You know, we we’re talking 20 meters, 25 meters or 15 meters further down the track and doesn’t sound like much, but it’s a, a lot when you’re running the 400 meters, right? So I think there’s, there’s so much we can do with speed training and form before we start giving up and, and then it’s like, I can’t get faster now. I’ll just train my aerobic capacity to be able to handle the last part of the race.

Brad (00:52:47):
Right. And it seems that the goal of getting faster by doing sprints that are shorter and taking more rest might even be less physically stressful and less breakdown when you’re talking about a training pattern.

Lion (00:53:04):
Yeah. I’d say, I’d say it’s, I mentioned before, putting emphasis on things. So I think everything’s gonna break you down over a certain amount of time. So if you keep cycling these variables, then we, we are not allowing ourselves to sink too far down in, in one of those components. Say you see sprint endurance, for example, which means say one 20 is one 50 to 200 or something like that, and you rep between four to six of those. Uh, that’s not very tough for the nervous system compared to running 60 meter max reps. Right. So, but it’s mepo metabolically tough because you’re creating metabolites and you’re creating different ways that the body needs to recover and things from. So over time, cycling these in periods, I think is beneficial for the organism, because when you’re working one part of this, you’re resting the other one, but you cannot only do one thing because you’re gonna go down that hole too far too. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>.

Brad (00:54:05):
And so is that a progression over the season or over a week of chosen workouts? Or how do you mix those around to Yeah, I think just for the listener to understand, like, um, the nervous system is most challenged when you’re asking for maximum output and then the energy systems, the aerobic system, whatever anaerobic system is more challenged when you’re doing a, a badass workout, like six times, one 20 or something.

Lion (00:54:31):
Yeah, absolutely. So both, so within the micro periods, one week we will have different, uh, components we’re working on. They can be similar too, to get a higher effect. So specifically in the beginning when we’re not as fast without running 95% in beginning, we can do two or three or four of those in concession over a certain amount of days. But once we get faster, we wanna split it out a little bit. You know, we do one speed session in one speed into our session, but that speed endurance session, for example, can be shorter or longer over a certain amount of weeks. So say we do three weeks of short reps, 60 meter, 80 meter reps with short rests, but we don’t wanna do it more than that because then again, then we’re taxing that energy system too much and you’re gonna get broken because it still requires you a lot of effort to run 60 meter at a certain percentage.

Lion (00:55:20):
So then we start exchanging that for longer things, which will usually make the athlete feel more recovered, bam, in between session. But it’s tougher for the energy system during that training. Like for example, we, when we start doing the one 20, the first time, people are in a dark zone and they’re towards the end, they’re in, they’re in the darkness, and they, you know, you want to vomit it, you wanna go home and all this stuff, two weeks later, it’s fine, right? Mm-Hmm. Because the body is adapting to the work. And when it’s, when you as a coach see that they’re adapting to it, um, that’s when you want to swap it out again. Now, you know, to challenge homeostasis, so it doesn’t stagnate to give it new stimuli. But also because if you start giving the athlete that type of workout and you need to add reps, so you do six and then you do eight, you might do, say you do 10.

Lion (00:56:08):
If you give ’em a 10, it’s mentally and emotionally draining too, because it, they know it’s a super hard thing to get through. They need to manage what they eat, and they need to really be, have fortitude to go through it. So for sprinter, it’s more fun usually to do maybe sixties or eighties because even though it’s short rest as sprint endurances, because they can utilize different types of form and they can do, you know, maximum output in this customer.

Brad (00:56:35):
So it’s the same thing again?.

Lion (00:56:36):
You don’t wanna ruin athletes running one, twice, one fifties, because they’re also gonna start adapting to surviving that workout rather than getting faster. You’re going to develop mechanics that usually means longer ground context because it’s, it’s just more comfortable running that way to get through so that it’s almost like they’re dialing down that maximum output that you need in competition. So that also needs to be compressed and not be too long, because again, they’re just going around with a lot of metabolites that’s running around crazy in the body, and they’re gonna need more lactate resistance to be able to handle those workouts which linger in the body. Right? So you, we have to, the modalities have to change constantly.

Brad (00:57:22):
You mentioned ground contact time. So in order to sprint faster, you actually want your foot on the ground for a short duration as possible, and then back on the ground as quickly as possible. So, a lot of people, like, uh, a lay person will look at leg turnover and, and try to get faster and faster turnover, but I understand that, um, even, uh, recreational people can have turnover similar to that of a world-class athlete. So it’s all about the, you know, the, the force production that you put into the ground with each stride and how long that makes your stride is what the true key to sprinting speed is.

Lion (00:58:02):
Yeah. This, this is the art of sprinting. This is the difficulty, which is, is a complex another paradigm. It’s a complex systems of how long the stride is and how fast it is. And, and that can be divided up in so many pieces and parts. But basically, speed is velocity across the ground, but that’s it, right? How fast does the mass and organism travel? And you’ll ask, you’ll have people that will try to apply more force, you know, longer on the ground, then you’ll have sprinters will try to apply more turnover, more frequency, or putting down the feet more often. Both of those things are primal and they’re not bad, but we cannot let that override the skill and rhythm and flow. Um, so that’s what we’re teaching co in my group. We’re constantly teaching how to over overcome your own primal sense of what you want to do versus what you need to do.

Lion (00:58:59):
Mm-Hmm. And as we say, yes, this is true. There’s, everyone, anyone on the planet can turn over, even little kids or, and 80-year-old ladies can turn over five strides per second, but they cannot do it at a certain length. That’s the difference in a world class sprint and someone who isn’t, and your frequency, so to speak. Again, the odd amount of times you put your feet down and your turnover, so to speak, the cadence, which is the technical term cadence, is most, well, of course, if you have better capability, muscle capabilities and tendons that are stiffer to allow you to come off the ground faster, that’s one thing. But it mostly benefits from you being rested because it’s resistance that makes you, your cadence and turnover difficult when you have a long stride. So when your stride is long and you wanna turn it over fast, what is problematic is if you’re not rested, your nervous system is not gonna be able to contract and relax, relax the muscles fast enough, and, uh, there’s gonna be res muscle resistance or, or fascia resistance.

Lion (01:00:03):
Your fascia is gonna be full of residue from, you know, being sliding across the muscle and inflammation, all this stuff. So the more of that, the harder it’s gonna be for you to, to easily turn over, which I think most people that don’t do sprinting have experience when they are, when they are run down by training after a lot of weeks that have not recovered. It’s like you cannot do it naturally. You have, it’s almost like you’re fighting yourself to get to the positions you need. So, and, but, but when you rested in peak, it’s like, it’s automatic. It’s like you can’t always feel the ground. My foot’s right there. I’m flowing. I’m flying all this stuff that you feel. So, so your turnover is more based on how, how rested you are. And that also helps you to practice your art more. That’s why you wanna be rested when we sprint, because you get to practice how you’re supposed to be sprinting. And there’s so much going into this, and this is like, you know, this is five hours of talking

Brad (01:01:01):
About, yeah. I have a couple important checkpoints to hit before we wrap up. But one of ’em was how, um, I first encountered you with that beautiful comment you made on one of my posts saying, Hey, wait a second, you should rest even more than, I’m making a post about emphasizing how important it’s to rest for a long time if you’re doing sprinting. And I’m like, wow. Okay. So true spriting requires incredibly long rest periods. And for anyone socialized to like mainstream workout programming, like your bootcamp class or your spin class where they sprint quote unquote for 30 seconds, rest for 30 seconds, sprint for 30 seconds, or, you know, even my experience going out there and doing short sprints and resting for a minute after a ten second sprint, you said, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. Wait a second. You gotta rest more than that if you wanna be a true sprinter. So I’d love for you to talk about the importance of the really extreme resting period, even after a short effort. And perhaps as a follow-up question. What if I’m a novice who’s not moving that fast to begin with? Do I still need to rest five minutes after doing a a 60 meter sprint?

Lion (01:02:12):
Yeah. Very important topic. And this is incredibly difficult to communicate or relay to people that don’t do sprinting, because it’s one of the most specific things on the planet you can do as an organism, because high intensity is usually perceived as something that’s like 80%. So say you’re doing a H-I-I-T class, you know, high intense kind of mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, you know, mo moving around lifting weights and stuff. You do a circuit and it’s high intense and it’s like, wow, 80%, but we operate at 95% and up when we are doing speed, it’s very hard for any athlete that’s not a sprinter to really reach plus 95% in any control manner, which we need to do. And we’re not looking to be more conditioned. That’s the difference. This is not conditioning training. So if we separate that, it’s easier to understand because most people work out and train to be conditioned in some way.

Lion (01:03:09):
Yes, we can do, it can be very, very granular about the, the meaning of conditioning. But when I mean that it’s the aerobic cardiovascular training or, you know, increasing capacity, that is not speed training. Speed training is the art of sprinting controlled form to maximize 100. Let’s take 100 media, 204, but 100 meters of sprinting, or even shorter than this to be maximal. And we know that the energy systems require time. So say the ATP creatine system running 60 meters only max this, and it takes you eight minutes to fully recover. It’s a science. So if you do less than that, you’re not gonna do speed. It’s not gonna be optimal for speed. We can shorten that rest to half if we wanna do cellular work. Hmm. But then we need to, then we need to lower it from like a hundred percent to maybe 95 and we, which is still really fast, right?

Lion (01:04:03):
But, and then, and then we’re training cellular stuff, then we can be a little bit more lenient on technique and stuff. But then we need to know that that’s the training. So you will not be able to have perfect technique if you are not rested. It’s simple as that. You can be close, but you’re not gonna be perfect. Which is again, why this is important, because you’re gonna run 100 meters and you need to have a form. You need to distribute your power and your energy and your rhythm and everything elasticity over 100 meters, which is longer than you can run maximum. So all this stuff goes back to this side. So I want run 100 meter close to maximum, I need a minimum of the 10 minutes. So it’s simple as that. We know this, you otherwise you’re gonna, your, your, your form’s gonna get worse. Mm. Because you’re gonna want to be more efficient with energy. Yeah. If, if you’re signaling the mind to, to, to require to handle more, you’re gonna get slower, worse technique, and you’re going to probably get injured. That’s what’s gonna happen. We are Formula One cars. We’re not race, you know, rally cars that you can run or, you know, or even Yeah, just use any analogy. Anyway, so, and uh, so the second question was,

Brad (01:05:12):
Oh, and so if someone is really Oh, not adapted. They, they do fitness and they go with those 80% hit workouts, but now they set the goal of getting actually faster and working that top end for all the health and fitness and longevity benefits. Dave Dole talks about this, you know, the Swiss, he’s a personal trainer and he used to compete at a hundred meters. He had the Swiss national record, 10 16 for a while. Um, he says he has clients in his gym where some of ’em, he’ll ask him to do a test and, and do something for one minute all out, and they’ll do it, and then 15 seconds later they’ll say, oh, should, should I do another one now? And he’s like, whoa, I asked you to go all out, man.

Brad (01:05:55):
You should be laying on the ground. But he says different neurotransmitter profiles and different fitness levels. So let’s say someone is, is asked to go out there and join your club for a day and, and do a 60 meter sprint at 95%. And they don’t, they don’t appear to be too winded and they feel like they can return after a minute ’cause they’re in, in that novice category. Is it, is it actually something to address where, hey, I know you’re not, uh, that explosive yet, so we don’t need to sit around for 10 minutes, we need to do perhaps a different workout, or does the same rule apply to someone on different fitness level, I guess is my question?

Lion (01:06:33):
Yeah, it’s a great question, but so yeah, then it’s multifaceted, right? Because at a certain level it matters. So let’s say Usain Bolt does a 9.5 And you have someone that does 14 seconds Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, it’s gonna require more Usain Bolt at that speed because it’s, we are still organisms that are built to 99.9%. Some, you know, the same. This is gonna be more taxing for the nervous system to do a 9.5 than a 14. Yes. But Usain Bolt is much more skilled at that percentage than a new person is. So if I take someone as a CrossFitter that has great conditioning and, and mixed with power and all this stuff, if I say, let’s do, I go down to that level and say that we do six times one 20, or say eight times one 20 at 95% for that person, right?

Lion (01:07:24):
So say I do that at first foot context, we don’t have to talk exactly what it is, but say I do 13 seconds and that person does it at 15, that person’s gonna be much more tired than me doing it at 15, that I’m doing at 15. Um, because I’m much more skilled at this. Even if I go out to 13, I do my maximum and that person does his maximum, I’m gonna be less fatigued. Mm-Hmm. If that person actually does the same percentage. Mm-Hmm hmm. Because I am skilled at what I do and I’m conditioned within these energy systems, you know, I’ll take anybody, we know this as sprints two, when if we are lay, if we lay out, do a layoff of a year or two or six months or three months, say three months, and we go do same sessions six times more, 20 or one 50, it’s gonna be a tough day because it’s so specific and the same.

Lion (01:08:11):
And they are, you know, the example that you mentioned here, that person is not gonna be able to do the same intensity on set, set two. They might think so, but they’re not. And this is why a good coach, a good eye, and a good internal analyzing is needed to see that. Like, okay, if I go, if I go, uh, above my, or at my level, you know, this, this is a perfect distribution over this over the reps, but if I go too hard and I think I’m, because I’m not winded, which we’re not using as much anyway, use that as a system to, I’m gonna get in trouble towards the end of the session, which again, I’m gonna get worse technique and I’m, you know, gonna try to power through with lactate and all this stuff, and it’s not, the stimuli I want to to do is not the same anymore.

Lion (01:08:56):
So that’s why it’s so specific. So I hope I’m answering this right. So yes, at an extent this is correct, but at the same time, someone is not very skilled. I don’t want to kill them on the track and just have the rest because they haven’t run as fast. It’s much less, uh, of a difference than this. Right. So they’re, even though, ’cause they’re still running at their, I I would still not run them, you know, at their maximum capacity still when they’re so early. So I’d back them down and I, you know, we’ll monitor it, but, but it’s not that much of a difference. It’s better to do a progression where when the athlete starts becoming comfortable with this type of workout in the beginning of the session, we can do less, uh, rest. And then we add a little every rep to make sure they keep form and, and, and so forth. So we don’t always have to do 10 minutes, you know, for 10, 100 meters. Doesn’t have to be that we can come down in the beginning and then add towards the end. And depending on how they, after this, there’s no magical one minute. Exactly. It’s, that’s just to be safe.

Brad (01:09:58):
Right. This is great stuff. I guess I would, maybe I should finish up asking if someone’s at a decent level of fitness and, uh, wants to, uh, pursue this new objective of becoming truly fast and powerful and explosive and throwing in some, some true sprinting practice into whatever other workouts are currently in the, in the routine, how would you take someone gently from a starting point if they, if they showed up to practice and said, Hey, I’m, uh, I, I do some CrossFit. I I I’ve run a five KII ride my bike, I I do this, I do that. Now I wanna sprint. What would be kind of a, a gateway pattern of workouts to, to build some competency and then continue down that path?

Lion (01:10:42):
I’m just a huge believer and a practitioner of shorts too long. And that’s a, there’s two classic ways of going around how to teach sprint athletes. And you do long to short or short to long. And that refers to the amount of meters that you train per repetition, in the beginning of the season, so to speak, towards the end of the season. So short to long, even though I hybridize it, I have to say I hybridize within the percentages so we don’t have to go into detail, but I am a firm believer of teaching good mechanics and, and and form. And you do that easier training short distances first, which also teaches more speed. It, it programs more speed and then ask the athletes is more comfortable with performing as I want them to. I progress them longer so they can keep their form longer.

Lion (01:11:34):
And then the opposite would be you do a lot of long work stuff to work in a lot of cap, cap, uh, capacity, uh, and then you start compressing it towards the end of the season to be more specific towards the end of the season, which is more of a long sprinter type of method. Uh, but different athletes and coaches have found success with both systems, but I prefer this. So I’d keep that short, teach them form a technique, and then when I see they can handle it injury free and then, you know, they run accordingly to a, towards what I wanted to do, then we can start increasing the, the length. But I mean, there’s more, there’s more variables. You’ll see. I’d start them with very few reps. Let’s do three times 60, let’s start with that. Yeah. It doesn’t feel like anything. Yeah. But that’s enough for now. And then next time we’ll do four and then five and then six and so forth. Then yeah. And then we do, sure. So when we increase it to 80, then we go back to three, and then we do four and five and six and so forth. So these funnels of iincreased distance and, and, uh, reps.

Brad (01:12:37):
So you’ve had a pretty fantastic season with multiple world records and championships and now, uh, take us through your off season and how your, how your patterns change and then your goals for 2024.

Lion (01:12:51):
Yeah, for sure. I think, you know, we, we all go back to building components that are gonna help us later in the season, which is a little more capacity, it’s a little bit more aerobic, uh, it’s a little bit more volume with lower intensities. And we work on things that are not as specific. That said, I don’t do a traditional GPP as in our general prep phase. I, I don’t go out and, uh, do cross country stuff or do miles or anything. I, I do plyometric type base or an athletic base. We do a lot of low level plyometric jumps, uh, gymnastic type jumps with movements to challenge the brain. But we do, you know, we do some hill sprints, short hill sprints, we do more tempo races, which is the low intense stuff we do. It’s 60 to 80%. And, uh, you know, we do our two hundreds and our three hundreds in, in rep with very short rest, you know, and, uh, back in the gym a lot, which I enjoy and try to, to build the components that will increase my max strength and power later on.

Brad (01:13:57):
So what’s on, what’s on tap for 2024? You’re going for the nationals again, to mix in with the young guys, and then I guess there’s some big events for masters where you’re gonna be, uh, going for your titles and records.

Lion (01:14:12):
Absolutely. I am very motivated from the results I’ve got now. So what I’ve done now is just come back and look through all the programming again and see where we can squeeze out more juice, so without getting injured. So I’m hoping that we will do that. I am shifting a little bit of here, a little bit there. Small things in here that will, you know, get me to where I want. Definitely looking at breaking the world record again, I’ve set a goal for myself at 6 6 78. It’s, it’s a huge goal, but I think I can do it. Yeah, it’s

Brad (01:14:40):
Indoor. 60 meters people. Yeah.

Lion (01:14:42):
Or 60 meter. Yeah. And I’m gonna do sub 22 into 200. I think it was slated already this year to do it indoors. The problem was, first of all, I had a pneumonia, which screwed me over for a long time. And it also wasn’t helpful in the 200, but also in the 200 indoors, the, you need to get a good track and you need to be able to do all these things. And, I actually broke it two edit, 2223 indoors, and I did that on day five of the world championship. So my legs were pretty dead as they were. So I think I have more in me. Uh, I started a little bit too late with the two hundreds. I’m gonna do that earlier this time and, and really go to the places where they have the, you know, the good tracks and everything. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. So those two world records are gonna be big for me. Uh, and then we’re going back to Poland in Torin, which is the European Championships again. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. So it was a world champs this last year there. It’s an excellent, excellent stadium or an indoor facility they have. So looking forward to that. It’s a little long though. It’s the end of March. It’s a long season, but, is this what we do? <laugh>? So I’m looking forward to it.

Brad (01:15:51):
And then where’s the big masters world outdoors next year?

Lion (01:15:56):
Yeah. So it’s in, in my whole country of Sweden. It’s in south of Sweden, or you know, the e uh, west of Sweden. It’s, uh, Gothenburg Southwest.

Brad (01:16:05):
All right.

Lion (01:16:06):
Yeah. So it’s, it’s, it’s gonna be incredible. We think it’s gonna be the best one so far. And, uh, looking forward to being my own country.

Brad (01:16:14):
Oh my gosh, how exciting. Lion Martinez. Such a fascinating conversation. I really appreciate you taking the time. I look forward to keeping in touch with you and watching your great exploits as well as your, the athletes that you coach, which is so wonderful that you’re, you’re, you’re building a whole, a dynasty over there. Tell the listeners where they can keep up with you and, and follow your information and your exploits.

Lion (01:16:38):
Yeah, for sure. And thank you so much, Brad, for your time and inviting me. Uh, you know, I more and more follow your posts. I think you onto some really, really amazing, amazing things, always spot on. So good work, uh, for me, uh, Lion Martinez at Instagram. Pretty simple. Follow me there and, uh, you’ll see more what I’m, what I’m doing and about what I’m up to this following season. Well,

Brad (01:17:03):
Lion Martinez, everybody. Thanks for listening.

Brad (01:17:08):
Thank you so much for listening to the B.rad podcast. We appreciate all feedback and suggestions. Email, podcast@bradventures.com and visit brad kearns.com to download five free eBooks and learn some great long cuts to a longer life. How to optimize testosterone naturally, become a dark chocolate connoisseur and transition to a barefoot and minimalist shoe lifestyle.



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