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Usain Bolt’s Workout Routine, Diet Plan & Supplements

Isaac Robertson
Published by Isaac Robertson
Fact checked by Donald Christman, BHSc FACT CHECKED
Last updated: April 28, 2021

This Jamaica-born athlete is a living legend and arguably one of the most talented runners the world has ever seen.

After nine Olympic gold medals, eight world records, and 11 world titles, the superstar Jamaican sprinter retired from athletics in 2017, but his career still doesn't cease to inspire.

Usain Bolt, the fastest man ever, is the only sprinter to win both 100 m and 200 m races at three consecutive Olympics.

Most of us don't have what it takes to withstand Bolt's workout routine or even to come close to breaking a world record.

Still, if you are looking to improve your athletic ability, this article will give you insight into how one of the greatest athletes of all time does it.

We'll get into the details of Usain Bolt's diet and training routine, both on track and in the gym. So, let's dive in!

His Stats

  • Height: 6'5" (1.96 m)
  • Weight: 86 kgs (207 pounds)
  • Birthday: 21 August 1986

Career Highlights

usain bolt about to sprint in a track and field

Although we all know him for his double sprint victory at the 2008 Olympics, Bolt has also won numerous awards in the 200 m events.

He earned his place in the history of sports by setting records that only a few runners can dream of breaking.

After Carl Lewis did it in 1984, Bolt became the first man to win the 100 and 200-meter races, and four times 100-meter relays in a single Olympics, and the first-ever to set world records in all three disciplines.

His 2009 record-breaking margin for 100 m race is the highest since the start of fully automatic time measurements.

 

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A post shared by Usain St.Leo Bolt (@usainbolt)

Usain Bolt's Workout Routine

man sprinitin in a field, man practicing box jumps in a gym

Usain Bolt's training program is methodical, consistent, and performed on a daily basis. He focuses on stimulating propulsiveness by strengthening his fast-twitch muscles.

To keep his figure lean, he also relies on a range of conditioning exercises.

Electric Bolt Training

The aim of this training program is to boost energy and produce maximum strength in minimal time. These exercises aim to increase the flexibility of Bolt's legs and help him accelerate while sprinting.

Usain Bolt divides the speed and explosiveness drills into two phases involving five exercises:

Workout Phase A

  • Bunny Hops - 5 sets x 20 reps
  • Box Jumps - 4 sets x 8 reps (in weight training, Bolt performs it with the medicine ball)
  • Bounding - 3 sets x 10 reps

Workout Phase B

His superhuman stride is what gives Bolt's sprint the edge. This workout routine aims at improving hamstring flexibility, strengthening and stabilizing the knee joints and hips. The last two exercises consist of:

  • Cable Knee Drives - 3 sets x 10 reps
  • Hanging leg raises - 3 sets x 10 reps

Usain Bolt in the Gym

man doing reverse crunches in a gym, man doing hanging leg raises

Bolt hits the gym for his weight training routine to boost muscle strength.

But before he starts his sets of barbell lunges, landmine press, power cleans, dumbbell step-ups, Romanian deadlifts, ab rollouts, Bolt warms up by doing sets of workouts such as:

  • Side Sweeps - 3 sets, 30-secs rest
  • Reverse Crunches - 3 sets, 30-secs rest
  • Side Plank Clams - 3 sets, 30-secs rest
  • Bunny Hops - 5 sets, 20 reps
  • Box Jumps - 4 sets, 8 reps
  • Bounding - 3 sets, 10 reps
  • Cable Knee Drives - 3 sets, 10 reps
  • Hanging Leg Raises - 3 sets, 10 reps

Usain Bolt Weight Training Routine:

close up image of a hand holding a barbell, man doing sled pushes in a gym

Bolt admits that he's not much of a heavy lifter:

"I just go heavy enough to develop the muscles," he says. He tries to strike a balance and do just enough to boost his endurance.

Workout 1

  • Box Jump with Medicine Ball Slam - 4 sets, 5 reps
  • Good Morning - 4 sets, 8 reps
  • Barbell Lunge - 3 sets, 10 reps
  • Sled Push - 3 sets, 20 reps
  • Barbell Landmine Exercises - 3 sets, 20 reps

Workout 2

  • Power Cleans - 5 sets, 3 reps
  • Explosive Barbell Step-Ups - 4 sets, 6-8 reps
  • Romanian Deadlift - 4 sets, 10 reps
  • Sled Drag - 3 sets, 20 reps
  • Barbell Ab Rollout - 3 sets, 10 reps

Usain Bolt Training Routine For Speed and Sprint Races

shirtless usain bolt jogging in a field

Bolt then hits the track for his running workout, consisting of starting blocks, acceleration, top-end speed, deceleration, and speed endurance training.

Here's the breakdown of Bolt's sprint training:

Starting Blocks: 

  • 10×2 point start for 10-20 m (2-minute rest),
  • 6×3 point start for 10-20 m (rest: 3mins),
  •  4×2 block starts for 10-30 m (rest: 5mins)

Acceleration Example Workout: 

  • 10×20 m with weight vest (4-minute recovery),
  • 5×15 m 2-point start using weight sleds (5-minute recovery)

Top End Speed: Example Workout: 

  • 5×30 m acceleration,
  • 75% speed for 15-20 m,
  • sprint for 10-15 m (rest: 4-5mins)

Deceleration Example Workout: 

  • 2×100 m (2-3 reps), 95% of 200m pace (rest: 2-3mins between reps, 5-8mins between sets)

Speed Endurance Example Workout: 

  • 6-8x150m race, 80-90% of 200m pace (rest: 3-4mins)

Workout Principles

usain bolt working out in a field

So, how does he do it? How much of it is pure talent, and how much is the strenuous workout?

Before his retirement, Bolt spent about 90 minutes in the gym every day, focusing on improving his agility and speed. [1]

For such record-breaking performance, the whole body has to work as a unit. He says a strong core is a key part of being a successful sprinter. He does a lot of different exercises to work the core and build muscle strength.

How to Run Like Usain Bolt?

He might make it look effortless, but behind Usain Bolt's ridiculous speed is a rigorous diet and a workout plan.

Vital elements of Bolt's workout routine involve flexibility exercise, weight training, stretching, and explosiveness in workouts.

When asked what combination of workouts he recommends, Bolt says:

"It all depends on the goals of that person. Most coaches would recommend a combination of running, intervals, weights, and drills to help an athlete run faster and get better," says Bolt.

He also emphasized the importance of remaining healthy and injury-free, which can be super challenging for elite sprinters like him:

"We tend to walk the line. We really need to watch the hamstrings, calves, and Achilles, which all get tight."

But no matter how challenging it may seem, Usain Bolt claims that with the right workout routine, technique, and dedication, anyone can be like him.

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Usain Bolt's Diet Principles

white plate, fork and knife in a yellow background

Bolt starts the day with a small egg sandwich, spends about 20 minutes in the weight room, then has a light lunch of corned beef and pasta, or fish - if he needs to go easy on the meat.

Back in 2013, his eating habits included a lot more carbs. He used to eat all the staples of Jamaican cuisine, like yams and potatoes for breakfast and rice for dinner.

This would make you think that his diet hindered his accomplishments, but we know that’s not the case, mainly owing to his spartan workout plan.

He has a personal chef who takes care of his meal plan, but Bolt admits that his diet hasn't always been strictly regulated:

‘’When I was younger, I could pretty much eat what I wanted, but as I got older, I have had to eat a better diet to ensure I have enough energy for training and avoid gaining weight.’’

Rumor has it that Bolt once ate 100 chicken nuggets in a day while competing in the Beijing Olympics, which makes you wonder if there's even such a thing as a Usain Bolt meal plan.

The legendary sprinter also seems relaxed about his midnight food cravings: 

"During the day, I only eat just enough to have energy for training and to make sure I digest fast enough. But at night, before I go to sleep, I consume a lot of food. My coach wants me to eat a lot of vegetables, so I do eat more of that than anything else."

Usain Bolt's diet has changed over the years as he added more vegetables, fruits, and protein to his meals.

His coach is adamant about incorporating broccoli into his diet, but Bolt admits he's not a huge fan of the fiber-rich veggie.

The Fastest Man’s Meal Plan

  • Breakfast - Egg sandwich.
  • Lunch - Pasta and corned beef, or brown rice with chicken breast.
  • Snacks - As a snack, Bolt eats a variety of vitamin C-rich fruit like mangos, pineapples, apples.
  • Dinner - Jamaican dumplings stuffed with ackee and saltfish, or chicken wings.

What Supplements Does He Take?

fish oil pills in a white spoon

Even superhumans need an extra kick for the impeccable performance. Usain Bolt takes:

  • A multivitamin,
  • Fish oil,
  • Magnesium,
  • Green superfood powder,
  • Protein, and BCAAs.

Do You Think You Can Train Like Bolt?

Although you may not adopt Usain Bolt's diet and training routine, there's a hell of a lot of inspiration that future generations of runners can draw from his approach to fitness.

Do you think his techniques and advice can push you toward that finish line faster than before? Tell us about it in the comments.


References:

  1. https://www.indiatoday.in/lifestyle/health/story/usain-bolt-diet-training-secrets-olympics-athlete-jamaica-health-fitness-lifest-1030607-2017-08-21#:~:text.

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