The Throwing Experiment

The Throwing Experiment


How much training does it take to go from 16.50 to 19.00 meters in the Shot Put?  I plan to find out the answer to this question and others over the next 2.5 years. The question posed earlier comes from my current situation and a goal I have set for myself. I completed my 5th and final year of college in the spring of 2017 with a lifetime best of 16.59m in the shot.  The goal is to qualify for the 2020 US Indoor Championships in the Shot Put, which typically takes 19 meters. This blog will be about the road to achieving that goal, however there is a catch…


I am currently working as a graduate assistant throws coach, so my main focus will be coaching. I do not want training to take away from coaching, so I am going limit myself to training 6 hours/week September-April and 10 hours/week May-August. To achieve my goal with these limitations I will need to analyze every aspect of training in order to get the most out of my limited time. I view this as a secondary benefit of the limitations I am placing on myself. It will be a good thought exercise.

Lifting:  The plan is to use Windler’s 5, 3, 1 for the foreseeable future.  This involves lifting 4 times a week for an hour.

Throwing: I am planning to train shot put twice a week for an hour from September-April. This will likely take many forms such as throwing, drill work, or conditioning due to time constraints and weather. May-August I will train the throw 6 hours per week and this will include throwing, drill work, and conditioning .

I decided on this split based on an evaluation of myself as a thrower.  I see my greatest limiting factor as my strength levels, so I am going to devote 4 hours a week to strength training year round. Then I will devote the rest of my alloted time to throwing and conditioning.

Throwing has been my greatest limiting factor for most of my career. For reference, entering college I couldn’t squat 185lb to depth.  I improved greatly in college, but I still have a long way to go.

According to a presentation Don Babbit, Throws Coach at the University of Georgia, presented at a USTFCCA symposium elite throwers typically have at least:

Minimum Strength Threshold for Elite Shot Putters
Squat Bench Power Clean Snatch
Percentage of Bodyweight 200% 150% 133% 100%

In contrast I think my throwing technique is reltively sound. I have been throwing for over a decade, have taken thousands of throws, and have been able to learn and train under some great coaches. Therefore, for the time being strength training will be my main focus and throwing will get what is left of the alloted time.


To be determined…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s