«The Litvinov workout»
Take 10% off your 5 RM Back Squat. Then ….
Squat it as many times as possible and sprint 70 m.
The Litvinov Workout
by Dan John
An amazing thing happened in 1983. I went on a date. Okay, that was a joke, because everybody knows that
during the 80s I was covered with black and blue marks from being touched with ten foot poles.
Actually, the World Championships of Track & Field began in Helsinki, and the list of winners is a «who’s
who» of the sport. You’d find the names of Carl Lewis, Mary Decker, Edwin Moses, and Sergei Bubka
littered among the gold medal winners.
It was also the year of an important failure. John Powell, who’d led American discus throwing for a decade,
failed to make the finals. Powell came away with two important lessons and inspired a generation to rethink
training from his observations.
The Two Lessons
1. The discus trials were at nine in the morning. Powell had never trained – ever – to throw at nine in the
morning. He thought he could just walk out and throw the qualifying distance.
He learned after the competition that it took him a lot of time in the morning to get the snap that he had in the
mid-afternoon. This is a good lesson for a lot of us who take performance for granted in life and sports.
2. When Powell looked around to see how the rest of the world was training, he noticed that his training
hadn’t advanced much, if at all. He noted that the throwers from the rest of the world were leaner, faster, and
Especially impressive was the young gold medal winner in the hammer, Sergey Litvinov. If any of you are
interested in becoming leaner, faster, and more muscular, keep reading.