Train like champions

Last week Ian Mellis sent me an email regarding UK Sports Train Like Champions search. You can read the entire article here. They have all the top scores listed as well for various tests…some of the tests I’m going to have to find out the protocols for but we might have to have a go at bettering some of the results posted.

Bench Press (1RM) (kg) Men: 130 Women: 70 – This one we can definitely better.
Squat (3RM) (kg) Men: 240 Women: 95 – This one we can also better. (Just realised I should of had Louise do 95kg this evening.)
40m sprint (sec) Men: 4.92 Women: 5.64 – This one I’m not sure about but I’d love to find out about…time to get the timing gates out.
Medicine Ball Throw (m) Men: 7.2 Women: 5.5 – I need to find out how heavy this medicine ball is.
Press Ups – 60 sec Men: 104 Women: 68 – …and here I was thinking 100 push ups in 60 seconds was physiologically impossible.
Standing Long Jump (m) Men: 3.07 Women: 2.32 – I think we’d get close to this as well.
Standing Triple Jump (m) Men: 8.24 Women: 7.06 – This is another one that I have no idea about.
Cycle – 3 min (average W) Men: 476 Women: 323 – This is another I’ve no idea but intend to find out result.
Row – 2 km (min:sec) Men: 06:34 Women: 07:20 – I’m confident that we can better this.
Run – Cooper Test (m) Men: 3700 Women: 3300 – These results seem very dodgy to me…as I remember scoring 3765m or something around that in testing when I was competing. I doubt that a man and women both coincidentally finished their 12 minutes efforts on exactly 3700m and 3300m respectively.

I wonder how many of the athletes that set any of these marks could equal or better any of the others? I think we’d have more than a few athletes in the gym that could match and or better several of these ‘bests’ in the same testing session. We’ll definitely have to have a crack at some of them anyhow.


17 thoughts on “Train like champions

  1. My thoughts:

    Most scores are fairly average, indicative of “trained” (in the strict scientific sense) but not particularly well-trained individuals considering these are the best scores of the whole group. Not sure really how much these values are worth, without knowing sample size (I suspect the total number of athletes you train may be similar or greater) and background of athletes (sprinters vs rugby vs football vs hockey vs strength sports vs endurance sports etc). I’m sure many athletes could better multiple scores as they aren’t too extreme.

    The bench press score is low, not much more to say there.

    The squat obviously depends greatly on depth, technique etc, though I have to say 95kg for women vs 240kg for men is a disproportionate disparity.

    For the 40metres the times are ok, nothing special on the track (article says testing at indoor track), procedures in terms of starting technique, whether gates were used and where athletes started in relation to gates will influence testing a lot, might be difficult to replicate.

    For the cycling, not really my area, giving performance as a an absolute value i.e. average power output is interesting as it gives bigger athletes an improved standing vs an over land time trial where weight bearing comes into play and smaller guys will dominate a test of that length. I know individual pursuit lasts about mid 4 minutes for the guys (4km) and mid 3 minutes for the ladies (3km), I’m sure the stats are out there for Avg PO at elite level, though this might be skewed by turning and technical stuff on velodrome vs stationary bike where position is more controlled and you can really rev it.

    My guess on the med ball weight is >10kg at least, which is a pretty heavy medicine ball, also not sure how big this ball would have to be at that weight vs throwing a shot or smaller ball.

    Press ups also low scores.

    Standing long jump is ok, not outstanding for men, women’s seems low.

    Standing Triple Jump is just odd, people can usually go 3X Standing long jump distance at the very least, women’s score looks low but about right, for the men I would suggeest the guy that got 3.07 didn’t do this test, if he did then 8.24 must be a misprint, I doubt anyone has that little elasticity.

    Rowing, no idea.

    Cooper test is fair enough for average athletes, obviously no runners turned up, there are 537 guys in the UK that went under 16:12.97 for 5000 metres in 2008 (same pace needed to run 3700 metres in 12 minutes, but held it for an extra 1.3km) according to


    92 women under 18:10.98 for 5000metres (pace for 3300 metres in 12 min but extra 1.7km) according to

    as well as plenty of others who could run that but didn’t compete at 5000 metres last year.

    I suspect scores were rounded down to nearest 100 metres, which is pretty stupid if true.

    • Great post. Sorry it took so long to appear…I just found it in the spam folder…I have my settings tweaked to put anything intelligent or insightful straight into ‘spam’ as nothing like this usually appears on this blog.

  2. The 3rm on the squat is pretty good at 240kg(528lbs) the bench press seem ridiculously low. Is the med ball throw for height over a bar?

    • I agree. I can’t believe the best that anyone who turned up they weren’t able to do more than 130kg on the bench. I don’t have that many monsters so the 240kg for 3 reps might be difficult. Johnny could do that one for us though.

      • Find out the depth of the squat. It makes a massive differnece if it’s powerlifting rules, weightlifting squat (ass to grass) or parallel box touch.

    • Maybe I will after I get you a dictionary.

      You’d beat the bench score…you’d be crushed by the 240kg for 3 reps squat…I’d like to know what you’d do the 40m in…would old man Flaps still be the fastest…the standing long jump, bike and the row I think you could manage as well…but we all know that 100 push ups in 60 seconds is impossible.

      • Fanj has absolutely no pace so you can out your timing gates away for him=s efforts. I reckon people interested should have to beat Sextoy in a race just to get a chance with the gates (some will do this hopping backwards!!)

        Think they do the 30m test still for rugby testing instead of 40m but Ian O’Neill will beat that time for ya no bother.

  3. Hugh Hogan said
    Find out the depth of the squat. It makes a massive differnece if it’s powerlifting rules, weightlifting squat (ass to grass) or parallel box touch.
    Absolutely. I was even wondering if the row for example is from a standing or a rolling ‘start’…need to find out what surface the sprint was done on. The jumps need clarification…are the landings stuck…doing a horizontal broad jump for example I only allow jumps where the landing is stuck…as in the feet don’t move after landing.

  4. Tried to post last night, doesn’t seem to have worked, so heres a shorter version of what I had written:

    Athletes appear to be “trained” (in strict sense) but not particularly well trained considering these were the highest scores of the whole group, though sample size is unknown, which also makes it hard to know background of athletes, and if all of them did every test (this doesn’t seem to be the case as discussed below).

    Bench scores – crap, surely the guy squatting 240kg could do more than 130kg, suggests squat was of questionable form or he didn’t do both tests.

    Squat – Men’s not bad, women’s low. As Hugh Hogan said technique has big influence .

    40 metres – Assuming run on track, given testing done at indoor track, times ok but would obviously depend on start technique (3 point vs standing vs crouched vs blocks) and start position in relation to gates, not sure if gates were even used, I would assume indoor track facility could have gun/beep connected to timing system.

    Med Ball throw – agreed that this is probably a vertical throw, otherwise ball would be very heavy (8kg+) and very big in size and hard to throw properly.

    Press Ups scores are low, would increase greatly with practise I’m sure.

    Standing Long Jump – Men’s score ok, women’s slightly low.

    Standing Triple Jump – Men’s score is most likely a misprint, anyone with decent elasticity can get over 3X standing long jump score, either the guy that did 3.07 didn’t do the test or its a misprint, either way 8.24 is not so great. Women’s is closer to the mark compared to 2.32 for standing long jump, though still a bit lower than I’d expect to see. Quite a few of your athletes should beat 8.24, 8.24/3 = 2.74m, those with better elasticity could probably jump lower than this in the SLJ and still better 8.24.

    3 minute Cycle – An interesting test as it gives absolute wattage so gives the big guys a chance vs a 3 miute cycle over land where lighter guys would dominate. For some reference maybe check out individual pursuit average wattage as this race lasts 4.5 min for men (probably need to add 10% or so) and 3.5 min for women (probably add a little bit), these are probably lower than these riders would get on a stationary bike vs a velodrome (more controlled position and can just rev it) but might give something to aim at for the bigger guys, obviously those at a similar weight to elite cyclists won’t have same power output in this test.

    Row – I have no idea.

    Run – Scores are pretty average,

    For the men: running that pace for 5km (an extra 1.3km) would rank you outside the top 500 in the UK who ran an official 5000 in 2008, there are probably plenty of triathletes as well as football and hockey players who could beat this score also.

    For the women: a similar story, the same pace for 5km (an extra 1.7km) would rank well down the list, again there are probably triathletes and field sport players who could beat this score.

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