post Usain Bolt's Workout Routine, Diet Plan & Supplements

Usain Bolt's Workout Routine, Diet Plan & Supplements

James Cunningham, BSc, CPT
Published by James Cunningham, BSc, CPT | Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Last updated: January 31, 2024
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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.

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.

As a certified personal trainer, I had to find out what his routine was like, so our team spent a day researching documentaries, interviews, and his social media channels.

His Stats

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

Career Highlights

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.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

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

After Carl Lewis did it in 1984, Bolt became the first man to win the 100 and 200-meter races, 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.

Usain Bolt's Workout Routine

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

To keep his figure lean, he 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
youtube

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:

  • 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: 3 minutes)
  • 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: 4-5 minutes)

Deceleration Example Workout: 

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

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?

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.

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.

‘’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."

 

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:

Psychological Aspects of Usain's Training

Usain Bolt's success isn't just physical; it's deeply rooted in his mental strength, and as a personal trainer, I know how important it is to build up mental performance to achieve physical goals.

Exploring the psychological facets of his training reveals a world of mental resilience, unwavering focus, and robust motivation.

These elements are as crucial as his physical regimen in shaping him into a world-class athlete.

Research from the Department of Biomedical Engineering, at the Lerner Research Institute confirms how mental strength directly impacts muscle power [2].


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.
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/14998709/
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