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Just Fly Performance Podcast Episode #12: JB Morin

This week’s guest is JB Morin, a French researcher doing some of the best, and most applied work in the world in regards to sprinting and jumping.

JB has produced, and been involved with, some landmark studies that are helping track and speed coaches to understand more about what makes elite athletes so fast, and how we can train this type of athleticism.

Today, we’re going to talk about some awesome research and application on speed, acceleration and vertical jump training.   Topics include:

  • Force-Velocity profiling in jumping
  • Over-speed jumping
  • Training the ankles for jumping and sprinting
  • Acceleration efficiency
  • Heavy sled sprints
  • And more!

There were a few cool pieces that I picked up in this interview that I actually went and used myself immediately in the week following this podcast recording.  One of the things I did some heavy sled training in the weightroom, combined with the Freelap BLE timing system, and found an instant and noticeable improvement in my sprint acceleration ability 2 days later.  I am most definitely an athlete who lacks force in my acceleration, and if you listen to the interview, you’ll know why this is just the ticket for so many athletes.

Giving the CNS what it needs, when you do it right, has instant ramifications.

Just Fly Performance Podcast Episode 12: JB Morin


Today’s episode is brought to you by SimpliFaster, supplier of high-end athletic development tools, such as the Freelap timing system, kBox, Sprint 1080, and more.

Key Points:

  • Force/velocity profiles and jumping ability, as well as training recommendations for imbalance correction
  • How research has shown that overspeed jumping is a necessity for many athletes to improve their maximal jump
  • Optimal rates of force development in overspeed jumping
  • Upcoming app technology that will help coaches easily assess jumping and jump stiffness/force production
  • What makes the fastest sprints as good as they are in terms of horizontal and vertical force production
  • Ideas on the balance on ankle stiffness, and hip extension power in producing athletic speed
  • Ways athletes can approach training stiffness in the ankles and lower legs
  • JB’s work on the ratio of forces in acceleration and top-end speed
  • How efficient athletes can accelerate faster than their stronger counterparts
  • How ratio of force in sprinting can help coaches determine which way athletes need to train to improve speed
  • JB’s thoughts on weightlifting for sprinters
  • Heavy sled training as a viable acceleration training tool


“Jump height increased in all subjects of the experimental group (which trained athletes based on their force/velocity need), and it only increased in half of the subjects of the control group (which trained all athletes in a cookie cutter program)”

“If you need to improve your (jump) velocity, squat jump is not fast enough, you need assisted jumps”

“If you train athletes all the same, for some of them, you miss the point”

“30% faster lower limb extension compared to squat jump is very important in overspeed jump training”

“Before you want to run fast, you need to generate that speed” “To increase acceleration, you need to produce high amounts of horizontal force onto the ground” “Once you reach top end speed, then yes, the horizontally directed force onto the ground helps you to handle that speed”

“I see things as generating power, and then transmitting it effectively onto the ground” “If you have an imbalance, if you are able to transmit very well forces onto the ground because of ankle strength, but you don’t generate power, then you have something missing”,  “If you are able to generate a huge power with the hip extensors, but the transmission of the foot is weak, then it is useless as well”

“The higher an athletes power, the more difficult it is to transmit it (to the ground)”

“What’s interesting is to work on single leg stance (in ankle strength training for speed), because to me, double leg stance and rebounds is a little less specific. “

“(For ankle strength for athletic performance) See the physiotherapist, and see what exercises they use to rehabilitate an ankle, because, the objective is the same”

“The idea is that (ankle strength/stabilizer muscles) are less prone to fatigue vs. big muscles, and more used to work.  Just walking barefoot a lot is training for these muscles.  You can use a high number of reps, work until you cannot handle it.  The recovery will be pretty fast”

“Poor sprinters lose effectiveness twice as fast as elite sprinters in acceleration”

“If you take a weightlifter, you can have a crazy ground reaction force for the first steps, but the problem is, after 8 steps, the force is directed mainly vertically.  Beyond that they cannot direct force in the horizontal direction”

“At some point, the level of strength is enough, and you need to do something else”

“Very heavy sleds, 80% of bodyweight, you don’t run, you just pull something, is very good for this (acceleration) ratio of force… it is not sprint training, it is strength training!”

About JB Morin:

JB MorinJean-Benoit (JB) Morin is currently Full Professor at the Faculty of Sport Sciences of the University of Nice Sophia Antipolis (France). He is a member of the Laboratory of Human Motor Function, Education Sport and Health. He obtained a Track & Field Coach National Diploma in 1998 and graduated in Sport Science at the University of Besançon, France in 2000. He obtained his PhD in Human Locomotion and Performance in 2004 at the University of Saint-Etienne, France (Prof. Alain Belli), in collaboration with the University of Udine, Italy (Prof. Pietro diPrampero). He was an Assistant Professor at the Sport Science Department of the University of Saint-Etienne and member of the Laboratory of Exercise Physiology from 2005 to 2014.

JB’s field of research is mainly human locomotion and performance, with specific interest into running biomechanics and maximal power movements (sprint, jumps). He teaches locomotion and sports biomechanics, and strength training and assessment methods. He has published about 50 peer-review Journal articles since 2004. JB’s main collaborations are with French sprinter Christophe Lemaitre and his group/coach, and he is member of the French Soccer Federation research group, teaching professional coaches about sprint mechanics and training for acceleration. He also collaborates with New-Zealand professional and national rugby teams, and with professional soccer clubs in France and Spain. He practiced soccer in competition for 10 years, practiced and coached track and field (middle distance and 400m hurdles) for 8 years, and he is now enjoying trail running, road cycling and triathlon.

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