U.S. Pole Vault Academy

Disclaimer: This is the training schedule WE follow. We share this with you (other athletes) so that you can understand how we train, and hopefully, it will help you in your training -- though we are NOT recommending this as a training program for you. Each athlete is different -- different height, weight, speed, gymnastic ability, skill in the vault, etc. A training program needs to be comprehensive to cover all aspects of the event including both mental and physical. We encourage our athletes to work on the area they are weakest, whether that be gymnastics, speed, strength, mental focus, or the mechanics of the pole vault. With that in mind, we share our workout schedule that we use to train our High School and Collegiate athletes -- based on their athletic ability, endurance, and skill in the pole vault. We hope that you can use this information to your benefit. Please e-mail us with any questions you have regarding our workouts.

Warmup: Minimum 20 minutes jogging (2-4 miles)

Stretching:

  1. Standing hurdle stretch (lead leg)
  2. Sitting, feet out in front of you
  3. Sitting hurdle stretch
  4. Leg cross butt stretcy & back twist
  5. Butterflies
  6. Back arch stretch
  7. Strider Stretch
  8. Active Leg Swings
  9. Calf stretching against wall/rail
  10. Armpower Drills (running in place, vertical jumps, takeoff jumps, hip-flexor, knee drive drill)
Notes:
  1. During "in-season" make it an easy day the day before jumping with full-runs.
  2. NEVER jump 2 days in a row. NEVER jump when injured. You must be 100% to Pole Vault safely!
  3. *Back down 2-days before competition (Thursday/Friday if competing Saturday) & rest (you MUST stretch !!)
  4. Back off bounding 8 full weeks before peak competition (e.g. State/Nationals) to let your legs fully come back.
  5. Back off lifting program 2 full weeks before 1st round of championships (e.g. Districts, Regionals, State).
Training Program:

October


Monday
3x40 High Knees
3x40 Butt Kicks
3x50 Stride Bounds
1x500m (90 sec)
1x400m (68 sec)
1x300m (50 sec)
5x200 (32-34 sec)
5x100 striders
Stretch again
100 Pole Plants
Abdominal workout (60+150+60)
Lifting (Legs)
Tuesday
3x40 High Knees
3x40 Butt Kicks
4x50 Stride Bounds
4x100 Tire Pulls
3x100 Lunge-walk
6x100 Striders
8x40m Froggies
4x40m Left Leg Hop
4x40m Right Leg Hop
100 Pole Plants
Abdominal workout (60+150+60)
Lifting (Upper Body)
Wednesday
3x40 High Knees
3x40 Butt Kicks
4x60 Stride Bounds
3x20m (sprint)
3x30m (sprint)
3x40m (sprint)
10x20m (hills)
3x600m (<2 min)
3x600m (<2 min)
100 Pole Plants
Abdominal workout (60+150+60)
Lifting (Legs)
Thursday
3x40 High Knees
3x40 Butt Kicks
4x60 Stride Bounds
4x100 Tire Pulls
3x100 Lunge-walk
6x100 Striders
8x40m Froggies
4x40m Left Leg Hop
4x40m Right Leg Hop
100 Pole Plants
Abdominal workout (60+150+60)
Lifting (Upper Body)
Friday
Jog 5 miles slow
& stretch
Armpower
Hip-flexor drills
(60 sec)
Armpower
Knee-Drive drills
(60 sec)
100 Pole Plants
Abdominal workout (50+100+50)
Lifting (Legs)

November


Monday
3x40 High Knees
3x40 Butt Kicks
3x50 Medium Bounds
3x50 High Bounders
1x400 (64 sec)
1x300 (50 sec)
5x200 (30-32 sec)
5x100 striders
Stretch again
100 Pole Plants
Abdominal workout (75+200+100)
Lifting (Legs)
Tuesday
3x40 High Knees
3x40 Butt Kicks
4x50 Stride Bounds
4x100 Tire Pulls
3x100 Lunges (50 lb)
6x100 Striders
8x50m Froggies
4x50m Left Leg Hop
4x50m Right Leg Hop
100 Pole Plants
Abdominal workout (75+200+100)
Lifting (Upper Body)
Wednesday
3x40 High Knees
3x40 Butt Kicks
4x60 Medium Bounds
3x20m (sprint)
3x30m (sprint)
3x40m (sprint)
10x20m (hills)
4x600m (<2 min)
4x600m (<2 min)
100 Pole Plants
Abdominal workout (75+200+100)
Lifting (Legs)
Thursday
3x40 High Knees
3x40 Butt Kicks
4x60 Stride Bounds
4x100 Tire Pulls
3x100 Lunges (50 lb)
6x100 Striders
8x50m Froggies
4x50m Left Leg Hop
4x50m Right Leg Hop
100 Pole Plants
Abdominal workout (75+200+100)
Lifting (Upper Body)
Friday
Jog 5 miles slow
& stretch
Armpower
Hip-flexor drills
(2x2x 90 sec)
Armpower
Knee-Drive drills
(2x2x 90 sec)
100 Pole Plants
Abdominal workout (75+200+100)
Lifting (Legs)

December
Begin Vaulting (practice vault 3x week -- low grip)


Monday
4x40 High Knees
4x40 Butt Kicks
4x50 Medium Bounds
4x50 High Bounders
100 Pole Plants
10x4 Step PV
10x6 Step PV
10x8 Step PV
5x100 striders
Stretch again
Abdominal workout (75+200+100)
Lifting (Legs)
Tuesday
4x40 High Knees
4x40 Butt Kicks
4x50 Stride Bounds
4x100 Tire Pulls
3x100 Lunges (75 lb)
6x100 Striders
8x50m Froggies
6x50m Left Leg Hop
6x50m Right Leg Hop
100 Pole Plants
Abdominal workout (75+200+100)
Lifting (Upper Body)
Wednesday
3x40 High Knees
3x40 Butt Kicks
4x60 Medium Bounds
3x20m (sprint)
3x30m (sprint)
3x40m (sprint)
100 Pole Plants
10x4 Step PV
10x6 Step PV
10x8 Step PV
Abdominal workout (75+200+100)
Lifting (Legs)
Thursday
4x40 High Knees
4x40 Butt Kicks
4x60 Stride Bounds
4x100 Tire Pulls
3x100 Lunges (75 lb)
6x100 Striders
8x50m Froggies
6x50m Left Leg Hop
6x50m Right Leg Hop
100 Pole Plants
Abdominal workout (75+200+100)
Lifting (Upper Body)
Friday
3x40 High Knees
3x40 Butt Kicks
4x60 Medium Bounds
100 Pole Plants
25x4 Step PV
25x6 Step PV
Armpower 90 sec
2x2x Hip-flexor drills
2x2x Knee-Drive drills
10x Pole Run-throughs (full run)
Abdominal workout (75+200+100)
Lifting (Legs)

January
Begin Vault Competitions (practice vault 3x week - gradual move to full grip/run)


Monday
3x40 High Knees
3x40 Butt Kicks
3x50 Medium Bounds
100 Pole Plants
6x 4 Step PV
6x 6 Step PV
8x 8 Step PV
15x 10 Step PV
10x100m Accelerate.
10x Pole Run-throughs (full run)
Abdominal workout (100+300+150)
Lifting (Legs)
Tuesday
3x40 High Knees
3x40 Butt Kicks
4x50 Stride Bounds
4x100 Tire Pulls
3x100 Lunges (100 lb)
6x100 Striders
8x50m Froggies
4x50m Left Leg Hop
4x50m Right Leg Hop
100 Pole Plants
Abdominal workout (100+300+150)
Lifting (Upper Body)
Wednesday
3x40 High Knees
3x40 Butt Kicks
4x60 Medium Bounds
3x20m (sprint)
3x30m (sprint)
3x40m (sprint)
100 Pole Plants
10x4 Step PV
10x6 Step PV
10x8 Step PV
Abdominal workout (100+300+150)
Lifting (Legs)
Thursday
3x40 High Knees
3x40 Butt Kicks
4x60 Stride Bounds
4x100 Tire Pulls
3x100 Lunges (100 lb)
6x100 Striders
8x50m Froggies
4x50m Left Leg Hop
4x50m Right Leg Hop
100 Pole Plants
Abdominal workout (100+300+150)
Lifting (Upper Body)
Friday
3x40 High Knees
3x40 Butt Kicks
4x60 Medium Bounds
100 Pole Plants
6x 6 Step PV
15x Full RunPV
Armpower 90 sec
2x2x Hip-flexor drills
2x2x Knee-Drive drills
10x Pole Run-throughs (full run)
Abdominal workout (100+300+150)
Lifting (Legs)

February
Vault Competitions (practice vault 3x week)


Monday
3x40 High Knees
3x40 Butt Kicks
3x100 Accelerations
100 Pole Plants
4x 4 Step PV
3x 6 Step PV
3x 8 Step PV
20x Full Step PV
10x100m Accelerate.
10x Pole Run-throughs (full run)
Abdominal workout (100+300+150)
Lifting (Legs)
Tuesday
3x40 High Knees
3x40 Butt Kicks
4x50 Stride Bounds
4x100 Tire Pulls
3x100 Lunges (100 lb)
6x100 Striders
Arm+ Knee-Drive 90
4x50m Left Leg Hop
4x50m Right Leg Hop
100 Pole Plants
Abdominal workout (100+300+150)
Lifting (Upper Body)
Wednesday
3x40 High Knees
3x40 Butt Kicks
3x100 Accelerations
5x20m (sprint)
5x40m (sprint)
5x60m (sprint)
100 Pole Plants
4x4 Step PV
3x6 Step PV
10x Full Step PV
Abdominal workout (100+300+150)
Lifting (Legs)
Thursday
3x40 High Knees
3x40 Butt Kicks
4x60 Stride Bounds
4x100 Tire Pulls
3x100 Lunges (100 lb)
6x100 Striders
Arm+ Knee-Drive 90
4x50m Left Leg Hop
4x50m Right Leg Hop
100 Pole Plants
Abdominal workout (100+300+150)
Lifting (Upper Body)
Friday*
3x40 High Knees
3x40 Butt Kicks
3x100 Accelerations
100 Pole Plants
4x 6 Step PV
Max Full RunPV
Armpower 90 sec
2x2x Hip-flexor drills
2x2x Knee-Drive drills
10x Pole Run-throughs (full run)
Abdominal workout (100+300+150)
Lifting (Legs)

March
Vault (Indoor) Peak (practice vault 2x week)


Monday
3x40 High Knees
3x40 Butt Kicks
3x100 Accelerations
100 Pole Plants
4x 4 Step PV
3x 6 Step PV
3x 8 Step PV
15x Full Step PV
10x100m Accelerate.
6x Pole Run-throughs (full run)
Abdominal workout (100+300+150)
Lifting (Legs)
Tuesday
3x40 High Knees
3x40 Butt Kicks
4x50 Striders
6x20m (sprint)
6x40m (sprint)
6x60m (sprint)
Armpower 2 min
2x2x Hip-flexor drills
2x2x Knee-Drive drills
100 Pole Plants
Abdominal workout (100+300+150)
Lifting (Upper Body)
Wednesday
3x40 High Knees
3x40 Butt Kicks
3x100 Accelerations
5x20m (sprint)
5x40m (sprint)
5x60m (sprint)
Armpower 2 min
2x2x Hip-flexor drills
2x2x Knee-Drive drills
10x 100m Striders
Abdominal workout (100+300+150)
Lifting (Legs)
Thursday
3x40 High Knees
3x40 Butt Kicks
3x100 Accelerations
100 Pole Plants
4x 6 Step PV
Max Full RunPV
Armpower 2 min
2x2x Hip-flexor drills
2x2x Knee-Drive drills
100 Pole Plants
Abdominal workout (100+300+150)
Lifting (Upper Body)
Friday*
3x40 High Knees
3x40 Butt Kicks
3x100 Accelerations
8x20m (sprint)
6x40m (sprint)
4x60m (sprint)
Armpower 2 min
2x2x Hip-flexor drills
2x2x Knee-Drive drills
10x Pole Run-throughs (full run)
Abdominal workout (100+300+150)
Lifting (Legs)

April
Begin Outdoor Vaulting (practice vault 3x week)


Monday
3x40 High Knees
3x40 Butt Kicks
3x100 Accelerations
100 Pole Plants
4x 4 Step PV
3x 6 Step PV
3x 8 Step PV
10x Full Step PV
10x100m Accelerate.
10x Pole Run-throughs (full run)
Abdominal workout (100+300+150)
Lifting (Legs)
Tuesday
3x40 High Knees
3x40 Butt Kicks
4x50 Striders
8x Flying 150s
6x100 Striders
Armpower 2 min
2x2x Hip-flexor drills
2x2x Knee-Drive drills
100 Pole Plants
Abdominal workout (100+300+150)
Lifting (Upper Body)
Wednesday
3x40 High Knees
3x40 Butt Kicks
3x100 Accelerations
5x20m (sprint)
5x40m (sprint)
5x60m (sprint)
100 Pole Plants
4x4 Step PV
3x6 Step PV
10x Full Step PV
Abdominal workout (100+300+150)
Lifting (Legs)
Thursday
3x40 High Knees
3x40 Butt Kicks
4x60 Stride Bounds
8x Full Sprint 100
6x100 Striders
Armpower 2 min
2x2x Hip-flexor drills
2x2x Knee-Drive drills
100 Pole Plants
Abdominal workout (100+300+150)
Lifting (Upper Body)
Friday*
3x40 High Knees
3x40 Butt Kicks
3x100 Accelerations
100 Pole Plants
4x 6 Step PV
Max Full RunPV
Armpower 2 min
2x2x Hip-flexor drills
2x2x Knee-Drive drills
10x Pole Run-throughs (full run)
Abdominal workout (100+300+150)
Lifting (Legs)

May
Vault (Outdoor) Peak (practice vault 2x week)


Monday
3x40 High Knees
3x40 Butt Kicks
3x100 Accelerations
100 Pole Plants
4x 4 Step PV
3x 6 Step PV
3x 8 Step PV
15x Full Step PV
10x100m Accelerate.
6x Pole Run-throughs (full run)
Abdominal workout (100+300+150)
Lifting (Legs)
Tuesday
3x40 High Knees
3x40 Butt Kicks
4x50 Striders
8x Flying 150s
6x100 Striders
Armpower 2 min
2x2x Hip-flexor drills
2x2x Knee-Drive drills
100 Pole Plants
Abdominal workout (100+300+150)
Lifting (Upper Body)
Wednesday
3x40 High Knees
3x40 Butt Kicks
3x100 Accelerations
5x20m (sprint)
5x40m (sprint)
5x60m (sprint)
Armpower 2 min
2x2x Hip-flexor drills
2x2x Knee-Drive drills
10x 100m Striders
Abdominal workout (100+300+150)
Lifting (Legs)
Thursday
3x40 High Knees
3x40 Butt Kicks
3x100 Accelerations
8x Full Sprint 100
6x100 Striders
Armpower 2 min
2x2x Hip-flexor drills
2x2x Knee-Drive drills
100 Pole Plants
Abdominal workout (100+300+150)
Lifting (Upper Body)
Friday*
3x40 High Knees
3x40 Butt Kicks
3x100 Accelerations
8x20m (sprint)
6x40m (sprint)
4x60m (sprint)
Armpower 2 min
2x2x Hip-flexor drills
2x2x Knee-Drive drills
10x Pole Run-throughs (full run)
Abdominal workout (100+300+150)
Lifting (Legs)

June
Win Vault Championships

Definitions (by request)

Abs: Think of your abdominals as being divided into 3 sets: lower, middle, and upper.  To work the lower, you also have to work the middle and upper.  To work the middle abs, you also need the uppers.  You can work the uppers by themselves.  Therefore, you need to work them in that order, lowers, middles, then uppers, otherwise you would tire out the uppers and you wouldn't have them there to support the rest of the workout.

So, if the workout says 100+200+100, that means 100 Lowers, 200 Middles, and 100 Uppers:
Lower Abs - leg lifts initially, flat on the ground, heels go from 12" to 24" from ground. Once you can do 100 leg lifts, it is time to move up to "knee-ups".  Holding on to a chin-up bar - knee lifts, lifting knees to the chest.  Once you can do 100 of these, move to "leg-ups".  On the chin-up bar - leg lifts, lifting stiff legs up until knees come to face.
Middle Abs - Crunches -- lay flat on back, slight curl upward & inward, keep feet flat on ground, knees up in the air with about a 60-degree angle in the
knees.
Upper Abs - 1/4 sit-ups -- lay flat like crunches, but feet in the air with the calves parallel to the ground -- short motion, very quick.

Bounding: Think of this exercise as a "freeze-frame" running drill. Run about 1/3 speed, but freeze-frame yourself with the knee-drive at it's maximum. You should project yourself upward at approximately a 60-degree angle - so most of your momentum is upward (instead of forward like in stride-bounding). Caution, while this exercise is excellent for building tremendous spring, it takes about 8 weeks for your legs to fully recover -- therefore this exercise should only be done during early pre-season. This exercise is also very popular and helpful for Long and Triple Jumpers.

Butt Kicks: Run with a strong emphasis on keeping your body in-line down to your knees - straight up and down - only flexing at the knees, bringing the feet up behind you to your butt. The body should have a slight forward lean and the feet should come up to the butt as quickly as possible. Concentrate on SPEED and minimize forward momentum in this drill.

Froggies: like a broad jump, but 10x in a row.  As soon as you land, you jump again, feet together, reaching out as far as you can each jump.

High Knees: Running almost in place, with only slight forward momentum -- with an emphasis on bringing the knees as high up in front of you as possible. Keep the Knee/Shin/Foot perpendicular to the ground at all times. The thigh should come significantly past parallel to the ground and the knee should almost come to the chest.

Hip-Flexor Drills (link), Knee-Drive Drills (link)

Lifting: lower body & upper body go together.  We have refined our lifting to be very fast, quick-reflex oriented lifts.  The Olympic lifts: Power Clean, Clean & Jerk, Snatch -- all very "fast-twitch" oriented.  Early in the season we do some dreadfully difficult leg curl & leg extensions -- usually 4 sets of 60 reps with 60-70 pounds.  yes, a lot of reps. Lifting is highly specific to the athlete though - so that is why we don't go into more detail. Some athletes need MUCH more power in their legs, so more squats, leg presses, etc., others only need to focus on the speed since they already have plenty of power.

Lunge-Walk: Take long strides (as long as possible), letting the torso dip down as low as possible. The thigh should touch the calves. Be careful with this drill - especially in the beginning, until you strengthen these muscles. Later, you can add a barbell weight on your shoulders (we do it with up to 300 lbs).

Stride Bound: Think of this exercise as a "freeze-frame" running drill. Run about 2/3 speed, but freeze-frame yourself with the knee-drive at it's maximum. You should project yourself forward at approximately a 30-degree angle - so most of your momentum is forward (instead of up like in bounding).

Striders: Easy accelerations where an emphasis is on running form, not top speed.

Tire Pull: We tie a rope to an old tire (that has a 40-lb bag of sand in it) and tie the rope to our weight-lifting belt. Then we run as fast as we can for the entire length of that run. Excellent for building up leg strength.

Pole Plants: 3-step drill that starts with the pole by the vaulters side in the carrying position. The vaulter walks forward and smoothly brings the pole up to the overhead plant position (with both arms fully extended before the pole hits the back of the box). This drill can be done against almost any surface (side of a brick wall, etc.).