Ask Martin Vol. 28: Strength Coaching Throwers

Question: I am working on a collegiate strength training staff and, among other sports, I am responsible for the strength training for throwers. I am wondering if you have any input on how to balance strength training with the different phases of throws training. For example, if there is a phase of throwing heavy implements, what would be best to do in the weight room at that time? -Coach Nicholas


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3 replies
  1. Duncan Atwood
    Duncan Atwood says:

    And don’t forget, javelin is different! If you make the same weight room strength training program for javelin as you do for the other throws, it will not be efficient for the javelin throwers. They need different strengths. Imagine how unthinkable it would be to make the shot/disc/hammer crowd do javelin strength workouts! Such a coach would be, well, considered a beginner.
    I have sample javelin strength programs I’m happy to share. Javelin throwers need to be very strong, but not strong like everyone else. There’s that bothersome running business, the need for huge ranges of motion, and strength in those ranges. The standard Olympic lifts are ok but not central. Shocking, so I’ll repeat it – the Snatch, Clean and Jerk and Dead Lift are not central to javelin strength training. I know javelin throwers who hit 84m with the new rules javelin who weighed 80kg and whose main lifts were average for high school athletes. But he wasn’t beat up from strength training so he could get the technique. Javelin is different!

    • Martin Bingisser
      Martin Bingisser says:

      Of course. Giving a shot putters program to a hammer thrower would also be malpractice. Programs need to be tailored not just to the event, but to that athlete. Everyone has their own needs that need to be identified and trained for.

      • Duncan Atwood
        Duncan Atwood says:

        Seems obvious, doesn’t it? Yet I frequently hear of javelin throwers doing the same lifting program as the other throws, and only dabbling in the “R” activity – running.
        Easy to criticize; I think college throws coaches have a very hard job, are way overworked, and have plenty of other limitations on what they’d like to do. Don’t throw that ball against the wall!! It might leave a mark!! You all have to cheer for each runner in each lap of the 10K… Anyway, in all the discussions, cumbersome as it is, I hope some distinction is made between the different training required by each of the four throwing events.

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