From Jamaica, Usain Bolt played sports throughout his childhood and says they were more or less all he thought about. He played cricket and football in the street with his brother, and at age 12 was his school’s fastest runner. With encouragement from his high school coach, he continued to improve and win competitions despite his rather lackadaisical attitude toward training. The ‘fastest man alive’ currently holds the world record in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay. He also completed the ‘Triple Triple,’ meaning he won 3 gold medals at 3 consecutive Olympics (’08,’12,’16). This feat has only been achieved by 2 other runners in history (Finnish Paavo Nurmi and American Carl Lewis). ‘Lightning Bolt’ is an 11-time world champion and has garnered many awards including twice winning the IAAF World Athlete of the Year and Track & Field Athlete of the Year. He also holds 19 Guinness records. In 2017, Bolt came in 3rd in the 100m race at the World Athletic Championships, but then collapsed with an injured hamstring in the 4×100 relay and had to be helped across the finish line. He retired soon after, declaring he would not return to racing. Bolt briefly moved on to professional soccer and more recentlyhas mentioned an interest in playing American football. Bolt has come out with a couple of autobiographies and was the subject of the 2016 biographical film called IAm Bolt. He co-founded an electric scooter company called Bolt Mobility. Bolt has millions of followers on social media. He is 6 feet 5 inches tall and weighs about 207 lbs.
Usain Bolt’s Diet
Bolt never paid special attention to his diet as a young man, but as he has gotten older, he started to focus on what he eats, and vegetables and protein are now at the core of his dietary regimen. He doesn’t have much during the day while he is training, and has things like fruit, an egg sandwich and perhaps a little chicken with pasta or rice. He eats his biggest meal in the evening. He does make a point to stay hydrated with his sponsor Gatorade, under the intense heat of the Jamaican sun.
- Medium Fat 25% 25%
- Medium Carb 45% 45%
- Medium-High Protein 50% 50%
Bolt drinks a lot of Gatorade because it’s so hot in Jamaica.
Bolt keeps his meals to a minimum during the day, eating just enough to not be tired. He’ll have a fruit, along with easy to digest carbs like rice and pasta.
Letting Loose After Sundown
Bolt eats his biggest meal before bed. He follows his coach’s advice of avoiding carbs in the evening and has primarily vegetables and protein.
Bolt says his favorite indulgence is hot wings, but he tries to avoid wings and all fried food when he is training.
What to Eat
What to Avoid
Bolt On Eating While Training
‘I try not to eat too much up to a workout, but I stay hydrated.’
Bolt On His Eating Schedule
‘During the day, I only eat just enough to have energy for training and to make sure I digest fast enough. But at nights, before I go to sleep, I consume a lot of food.’
Bolt On Broccoli
‘My coach wants me to eat a lot of vegetables, so I do eat more of that than anything else. I’ll eat broccoli, but I’m not a big fan.’
Bolt On Cravings
‘When you get your cravings, you just have to look the other way. That’s the hardest part.’
Usain Bolt’s Fitness Routine
Weekly Workout Routine
When training, Bolt spends 90 minutes every day in the gym, concentrating on core strength, flexibility and explosiveness.
Bolt 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 strength.
Don’t Be Hasty
Bolt advises sprinters not to rush getting to top speed, but rather to accelerate gradually by leaning forward.
Bolt says that staying focused on your goals is the only way to achieve them.
Four Phase Routine
Bolt uses a variety of drills to increase leg strength and power. He breaks his speed training into 4 sections: starting blocks, acceleration, top end speed and deceleration.
Hit the Blocks
Bolt spends a lot of of time training on how to get out of the blocks quickly, because a strong start is key to a fast time.
Lift Like You Mean It
Although Bolt is long and lean, he does a lot of weight training, including deadlifts and power cleans.
A Usain Bolt Routine
Leg raises: 3 sets; 30 sec rest between sets
Side sweeps: 3 sets; 30 sec rest between sets
Reverse crunches: 3 sets; 30 sec rest between sets
Side plank clams: 3 sets; 30 sec rest between sets
Bunny hops: 20 reps x 5 sets
Box jumps: 8 reps x 4 sets
Bounding: 10 reps x 3 sets
Cable knee drives: 10 reps x 3 sets
Hanging leg raises: 10 reps x 3 sets
Weight training Routine #1
Box jump w/ medicine ball slam: 5 reps x 4 sets
Good mornings: 8 reps x 4 sets
Barbell lunges: 10 reps x 3 sets
Sled push: 20 reps x 3 sets
Barbell landmine exercises: 20 reps x 3 sets
Weight training Routine #2
Power cleans: 3 reps x 5 sets
Explosive barbell step-ups: 6-8 reps x 4 sets
Romanian deadlift: 10 reps x 4 sets
Sled drag: 20 reps x 3 sets
Barbell Ab roll-out: 10 reps x 3 sets
Starting blocks: 10×2-point start for 10-20m. 2 min rest. 6×3-point start for 10-20m. 3 min rest. 4×2 block starts for 10-30m. 5 min rest.
Acceleration: 10x20m with weight vest. 4 min rest. 5x15m 2-point start using weight sled. 5 min rest.
Top-End speed: 5x30m acceleration @ 75% speed for 15-20m then sprint for 10-15m. 4-5 min rest.
Deceleration: 2-3 reps of 2x100m @ 95% of 200m pace. 2-3 min rest between reps. 5-8 min rest between sets.
Bolt On Setting His 100m World Record
‘I was slowing down long before the finish and wasn’t tired at all. I could have gone back to the start and done it all over again.’
Bolt On Focus
‘I’m focused on what I want to do. I know what I need to do to be a champion, so I’m working on it.’
Bolt On Taking It Easy
‘Easy is not an option. No days off. Never quit. Be fearless…Skill is only developed by hours and hours of work.’
Bolt On Winning
‘Don’t think about the start of the race; think about the ending.’
Bolt On Injury
‘I accept that I will get injured. I accept that I cannot win every race. I work hard to decrease the chances of those things happening, but I accept they will happen. A lot of people don’t accept it. They get injured, they go crazy.’
Usain Bolt’s Supplements
Bolt keeps his supplements on the down low, but in addition to eating a healthy diet, a multivitamin is never a bad idea to cover all your vitamin and mineral bases.
Protein and branched-chain amino acids
Protein and branched-chain amino acids will fuel your workout and help with recovery. Research shows that many people, not just athletes, are deficient in magnesium, but the typical supplements
Magnesium oil absorbs better, helping with sleep and recovery.
Fish oil helps to protect your joints and reduce inflammation.
If you’re like Bolt and aren’t crazy about broccoli, a green supplement can fill in any gaps with all those important phytonutrients and antioxidants.
Probiotics are useful to help ensure you absorb all those essential nutrients.
Dextrose is an easy-to-digest type of carbohydrate that supplies quick energy on days when you have multiple events.
If you’re not a fan of Gatorade, coconut water is a great all-natural alternative to replace electrolytes and keep you hydrated.
Usain Bolt’s Lifestyle
As important as a healthy diet and his sprint training is, Bolt says getting enough rest is his number one priority. Without it, your body will not be able to operate at maximum potential.
Nerves Can Get to Anyone
At age 15, Bolt was so nervous at the World Junior Championships, he put his shoes on the wrong feet. He realized his mistake before he his race, and went on to win.
Joke’s On You
Bolt is infamous for his practical jokes, and once while he was hiding in a van rather than showing up to practice he ended up being detained by the police. He went on to set record times at that competition.
Bolt has scoliosis, which has resulted in his right leg being shorter than his left. Experts are undecided as to whether this has helped or hindered his running ability.
Digging His Downtime
Bolt says he’s addicted to the video game Call of Duty. He also digs reggae music and sometimes DJs.
As part of his sponsorship deal with Puma, the company sends gear to Bolt’s high school. He also films his ads in Jamaica using a local crew as a way to boost local businesses.
Bolt On His Performance
‘I’m now a legend. I’m also the greatest athlete to live. I’ve got nothing left to prove.’
Bolt On Limits
‘I don’t think limits.’
Bolt On His Competition
‘I just imagine all the other runners are big spiders, and then I get super scared.’
Bolt On Stress
‘Worrying gets you nowhere. If you turn up worrying about how you’re going to perform, you’ve already lost. Train hard, turn up, run your best and the rest will take care of itself.’
Bolt On Losing
‘I think sometimes when you’re on top and all you do is win, win, win, you get lazy and lose focus. When you lose, it opens your eyes and you get serious. There is always a time when it is good to lose.’
My Story: 9.58: Being the World’s Fastest Man
Faster Than Lightning: My Autobiography
I Am Bolt