Usain Bolt’s Workouts and Diet

Usain Bolt at the Anniversary Games in London 2013

Usain Bolt is currently the reigning Olympic champion over 100m and holds both world and Olympic 100m records with a time of 9.58 seconds. He is also World Record holder for the 200m, running at 19.19 seconds in Berlin on 20th August 2009.

Bolt is also the world junior record holder in the 200 meters (19.93 seconds), and Jamaican national record holder in the 200m (19.67 seconds). His name and achievements in sprinting have earned him the media nickname “Lightning Bolt“.

In 2009 Usain Bolt was named sportsman of the year. He is one of the most charismatic athletes that have hit the world stage in a long time.

He maintains his 6ft 4in, 196 pound frame (193cm, 13st 8lb / 86kg) in peak condition with a simple but perfectly balanced diet.

Usain Bolt Stats

  • Born 21 Aug ’86 in Trelawny, Jamaica
  • Height: 193 cm / 6 ft 4
  • Weight: 86 kg
  • 100 m in 9.58 (WR)
  • 200 m in 19.19 (WR)
  • 400 m in 45.28

Usain Bolt’s Training Program:

Bolt uses a combination of plyometric training and weight training to build functional strength. The core exercises for improving performance over 100m and 200m are:

  • Weighted Lunges with heavy dumbbells
  • Weighted Squats
  • Cable Leg Drives
  • Explosive step ups with weighted barbell
  • Bunny Hops / Box Jumps
  • Frog Leaps
  • Ankle Rolls
  • High-knee Skips
  • Strides

Lunges and squats are the core weight training exercises to build strength. Ideally performed with free weights, and go heavy. Sets of 8-12 reps are ideal. The bunny hops and frog leaps build explosive strength. See our plyometric workout for boxers to get more information on plyometric training. Circuit training is also an essential part to all round athletic fitness.

In addition to building core functional strength, Usain Bolt’s workout plan includes a lot of flexibility training and sprint drills. Bolt trains for about 3 hours a day, but this is intensive training, followed by rest, massage and relaxation to ensure full recovery before the next session.

Usain Bolt’s Diet and Nutrition

Usain Bolt is one of the few professional athletes who does not take supplements. He admits to taking vitamin C, but nothing else. Instead, Bolt opts for a high-energy diet to maintain his engine, ensuring that each of his six daily meals contain 60% protein, 30% carbs and 10% fats. Sprinters should consume one gram of protein per pound of bodyweight to build and maintain muscle. So at approx. 14-stone, Bolt needs to consume 196 grams of muscle-building protein every day. He alleges to achieve this by eating a lot of chicken fillets, pork and fish. On the day that he beat the world 100m record, he described his preparation as:

“I woke around 11am and decided to watch some TV and had some nuggets.” – Usain Bolt

Bolt also loves his yams, which are an excellent source of energy-transporting carbohydrates, digestion-aiding fiber and vitamins C and A. Yams are a tropical root vegetable, but can often be purchased from shops in Caribbean communities. Usain Bolt is currently sponsored by Puma. An Usain Bolt diet will not suit all athletes, and many believe that supplements play a vital role in obtaining peak performance.

Personal bests and World Records

Date Event Venue Time (seconds)
17 August 2009 100 meters
Berlin 9.58 – World Record
20 August 2009 200 meters
Berlin, Germany 19.19 – World Record
5 May 2007 400 meters
Kingston, Jamaica 45.28

Usain Bolt Running Training and Sprint Workouts

(the previous video is no longer available, so here is a new one from YouTube showing him doing some basic sprint training.

Now take a look at Tyson Gay’s training and diet regime.

Web Resources

female sprinter on the blocks
The Gun and the Tape provides some further insights into Usain Bolt’s training and race preparations.

The information is provided by Usain’s coach, Glen Mills. Glen talks about Usain’s strength training and specifically how they try to increase his strength each season. He may time also give more insights into Usain Bolt’s diet and workouts. You can learn more here: .

New Studies in Athletics (NSA) interviewed Glen Mills and from this we can learn a lot about the training methods used to get Usain Bolt into world-class shape.

NSA Interview: Glen Mills” by Lenford Levy, 2009, Column 24, Issue 1.

If you want to keep track of what Usain Bolt is up to then follow his Twitter page:!/usainbolt

Photo of Usain Bolt by Phil McElhinney.


80 Comments on “Usain Bolt’s Workouts and Diet”

  1. I hadn’t heard of Bolt until these Olympics but I have enjoyed watching him immensely. He did cruise to victory in his 200m heat and it looks like he can still go a lot faster. Thanks for the sprint workout video, I’ve been looking to get back to some sprint training for a while now and this was the exact thing I needed. (great soundtrack as well ;) ) Thanks. Jessica

  2. MotleyHealth says:

    It is hardly a surprise to report that Usain Bolt has won the Beijing 2008 Olympics 200m final. He finished way ahead of the field, in fact as he crossed the line it looked like he was running alone. He finished in 19.30sec which is 0.02sec faster than Michael Johnson’s world record time from 1996. American defending champion Shawn Crawford took silver with team-mate Walter Dix getting the bronze.

    Once again Bolt made the victory look easy. He shot out of the blocks and was ahead by the bend leading into the home straight at the Birds Nest Stadium in Beijing. His pace did not falter, and he stormed to an amazing victory.

    Bolt is now a rival for the Michael Phelps’ crown of Olympic Hero. Like Phelps, Bolt has genetic advantages. Whereas Phelps has disproportionately long arms and short legs, Bolt is the opposite, with long legs, and a short than average torso. He stands at 6ft 5in, and is in excellent shape.

    Bolt, who will celebrate his 22nd birthday in Beijing on Thursday, could win a third gold medal when he competes in the 4x100m relay.

    “I have been dreaming about winning the 200m since I was yay high. It means a lot to me – more than the 100m because I have loved this event since I was 15 and I became the youngest ever winner of the world junior championships. Since that day it was dear to my heart.” Usain Bolt

    Usain Bolt has proved that records can always be broken, and that mankind can continue to push harder and grow stronger.

  3. Usain Bolt is a supreme athlete…an icon for anyone! He is extremely well built and prepared! Proper legend…..

  4. MotleyHealth says:

    Usain Bolt, the Olympic 100m and 200m champion Usain Bolt wins a third gold in the men’s 4x100m as Jamaica storm home in a new world record. In every race that Usain has competed, he has won, and also broken all previous records. Surely Usain Bolt must be crowned the greatest Olympian of Beijing 2008. He was criticised yesterday for “showing off” after winning the 100m – apparently he should show more respect to his fellow competitors. Frankly, such a superman deserves the right to show off a little.

    Before today, Usain Bolt won medals for himself only, but today’s Gold medal was a team effort, and one that the Jamaican’s truely deserve. The Jamaican women’s team crashed out of the relay after an error with a baton change over, as did the British women, and the British and American men. The Jamaican men ran superbly, and with the Usain Bol, Asafa Powell, Nesta Carter and Michael Frater.

    The Jamaica four smashed the previous world record time of 37.40 seconds, which was set by the USA in the 1992 Olympics, by a relatively massive 0.30 seconds, to win in 37.10 seconds. In the Jamaican team Nesta Carter ran a very strong first leg before passing the baton to Michael Frater, who handed on to Bolt before Asafa Powell brought it home. Asafa Powell held the world record in the 100m between June 2005 and May 2008, with times of 9.77 and 9.74 seconds. Usain Bolt ran 100m in 9.69 seconds during the Beijing games.

    Michael Frater ran the 100m final in 9.97 seconds, finishing sixth place, and making a new personal best time for himself.

    Defending champions Great Britain failed to reach the final after Craig Pickering failed to receive the baton from Marlon Devonish. A disastrous handover between Darvis Patton and Tyson Gay also denied the USA a place in the final.

  5. Bolt is amzing, he was so cool to watch in the Olympics! Way to go BOLT!

  6. MotleyHealth says:

    Well done Usain for winning the BBC Overseas Sports Personality of the year. Usain managed to win more votes than Michael Phelps. He is certainly the coolest athlete around at the moment. If he was not so chilled, then he will probably smash his own records!

  7. MotleyHealth says:

    Today Usain Bolt revealed his secret to attaining great speed. He explained to Andy Jones from that the secret is to remain relaxed. There should be no tension in the body, as clenching fists or gritting teeth is enough to slow you down. This actually reminds me of something I read in Chi Running once. Maybe Bruce Lee explained it best – flow like water my friend!

    Also, for those interested in Bolt’s diet, he enjoys chicken nuggets, fried chicken and dumplings before a race. Probably best to follow his advice on relaxation, but not the dietary tips.

  8. Oneil Dobson says:

    Yow BOLT is the real BIG man and there no doubt about that…..1000% the REAL deal……no preservatives or additives……

  9. Why is his weight listed in stones? Come on, use a unit of measure that is normally used world wide. It’s bad enough to see American list in pounds, but stones…really!

  10. DENNIS OKEYO says:

    Bolt is a legend

  11. Way to go Bolt! Keep it up and the world will stand with you.

  12. MotleyHealth says:

    JC, weights have been updated.

  13. the great

  14. Usain Bolt is a natural! The guy is a true hero! His performance is amazing and I wish him everlasting success in his career. i admire the fact that he doesnt use anything much to boost his performance… but chicken and dumplings!!!- Great to finally have a dominant winner from elsewhere other than the USA!!!

  15. Bolt is amazing, all respect to him, he is the greatest sprinter ever! I’m a licensed dietician and I felt the need to step in and correct a few things:

    He is not eating almost 200g of protein per day! No body can process that much, it will cause serious kidney damage, something a world class sprinter do not have time to deal with! Also, he could never workout as hard as he does on only 30% carbs, 92% of the energy we use to move our bodies comes from carbs, he would need plenty more!

    And finally, if he eats 200g protein per day and has a daily diet of 60% protein, 30% carbs, and 10% fat, that would mean that he eats about 333g of fat, carbs and protein all added together, thats 200g protein, 33g fat and 100 grams of carbs per day, which adds up to about 1500 calories per day, and that is not even enough for a 160 pound girl who doesn’t work out, and no athlete in tho world could improve on such a diet. An athlete of Bolt’s caliber would need almost 4000 calories per day, and absolutely no less than 3000calories per day! If any one wonders how I came up with these numbers I just used the approx 200g protein, and the 60%, 30% 10% distribution and used simple math. 1g of fat equals 9 calories, 1 g of protein equals 4 calories and 1g of carbohydrates equals 4 calories. Just for facts, your body has to have at least 130g of carbohydrates per day to function properly, that’s the main problem with diets like Atkins.

    Enjoy the fantastic career of Usain Bolt!!

  16. MotleyHealth says:

    Luke, not all forms of protein carry the same percentage of fat. Fish, poultry and pulses contain much less fat than red meat. By keeping carb levels low this helps to keep body fat low too, this reducing bodyweight, making him a leaner, stronger runner. This method is used by many athletes.

    As for 200g protein a day causing kidney damage, the jury is still out on this one. Several studies have suggested that the problem is overweight and obese people with diets high in red meat containing saturate fat, plus a genetic prevalence to develop a kidney problem. Bolt certainly does not fall into the first group!

  17. shaddy baayby says:

    bolt your performance is great

  18. Bolt is the greatest every……….2 di world

  19. go bolt u are doing the caribbean proud…we love u…………da man leave out the rest ah ppl in dat last race…go….

    All the way from TRINIDAD

  20. Ok you misunderstood me, my problem wasn’t how much fat is in the meats he eats, but your numbers and calculations are all wrong. Let me explain.

    You claim that he eats 196 grams of protein per day, let’s call it 200grams just to make things easier, you also write that he eats six times per day, that’s about 33 grams of protein per meal.
    You write that of his meals 60% is protein, 30% is carbohydrates and 10% is fat. Using very simple math this means that since 33grams equals 60%, his entire meal consists of 33g protein, 16.5 grams of carbohydrates and 5.5 grams of fat, that results in a 55gram meal. Using just as simple calorie calculations which you can find on Wikipedia or any nutrition book, this means that he eats 132 calories of protein, 66 calories of carbohydrates, and 50 calories of fat. In one of his six meals, this adds up to 248 calories in this meal. Times six (because you said he eats six meals) this equals 1488 calories, which (like I have stated before) is not even enough for a 160 pound average height girl who doesn’t work out!
    Now if a pro athlete, or super athlete like Bolt would try to work out on such a high level as he is, his body would collapse if it didn’t get sufficient amount of calories, he would need at least 3000 calories, but on the level he works out and competes I expect he eats almost 4000 calories!
    As for the “one gram of protein per pound of bodyweight” you have just missed a small detail there, it is one gram of protein per kg of bodyweight! In Bolts case that ends up being about 86 grams of protein per day, which is still a lot, but his body will be able to process it!
    Even protein in excess will be stored as fat, but too much protein also causes liver and kidney damage (because of the disease Ketosis, look it up if you don’t believe me).
    And as for carbohydrates, carbs that you don’t use will be stored as glycogen and later on as fat, but the ones that you use are your primary source of energy.
    In bolts case, working out so hard as he does, he would need at leas 65% carbohydrates in his diet too have sufficient energy to stay on top! The only times he would eat less is either if he would be injured and not working out, or if he is going to do a carboload before a big competition such as the world championships, the he would start by starving the carbs out of his body using a high protein diet.
    Please don’t take a defensive stance when you read this, these are simple facts and simple and correct calculations, they are easy to find on google, Wikipedia or any well written nutrition book. I just came across your article and noticed that it was all wrong so I just wanted to correct it before some poor young athlete starves themselves while following this in an attempt to become the next Usain Bolt.
    Thank you

  21. MotleyHealth says:

    Usain Bolt has done it again. In the 200m final in Berlin, Bolt stormed away from the other competitors, crossing the line almost 10 meters ahead of the pack in a lightning like 19.19 seconds.

    And today is Bolt’s birthday – what a great present for himself! Usain joked afterwards that he now feels that he should be knighted!

    “It would be a great thing for Queen Elizabeth to knight me and for me to get the title Sir Usain Bolt”

  22. MotleyHealth says:

    Just like in Beijing at the Olympics one year ago, Usain Bolt got his third gold medal and helped take Jamaica’s relay team home to victory. However there was no new World record on this occasion, which was almost a disappointment. Jamaica continue to dominate sprinting.

    The Jamaicans finished in 37.31 seconds, which was a championship record, but 0.21 seconds slower than the. Trinidad and Tobago took silver and Britain got bronze.

    Jamaican Team (37.31 seconds): Steve Mullings, Michael Frater, Usain Bolt and Asafa Powell
    Trinidad and Tobago Team (37.62 seconds): Darrel Brown. Marc Burns, Emmanuel Callander and Richard Thompson
    British Team (38.02 seconds): Simeon Williamson, Tyrone Edgar, Marlon Devonish and Harry Aikines-Aryeetey

  23. rahul rathi says:

    bolt is the best

  24. way to go Bolt, i had the pleasure of watching u set the world record time for 100m, i was soooo impressed, and the factu dont take drugs or anythin is great, natural talent is the best way to go, it proves your greatness!!!

  25. akshay aryan jha says:

    Hi bolt this is akshay, I am deeply impressed by your performance. I promise that you will have an excellent time in New Delhi 3rd to 14th oct

  26. Usain Bolt u really surprise every body at Berlin 2009,bolt you are great see u soon at Dechi

  27. the greatest man in history (i love u Bolt !!!!!!)

  28. Does anyone know the drills he does they removed the video. Just anything he does in regular training email me [email protected]

  29. MotleyHealth says:

    We will look in to it, had not realized the video was removed, thanks for letting us know!

  30. my name is kavosha. I am 15 and a track star at my school.usain bolt is my hero!i want to meet him sooo bad!!! watching him run gives me chills and butterflys! one day i hope to b just lik him!!!

  31. Usain bolt the machine. You are a hero to everyone. How do you do it?

  32. MotleyHealth says:

    Usain Bolt will open the 2010 athletics season with an appearance at the Camperdown Classic, scheduled for Saturday, February 13 in Kingston. Bolt is down to compete in the 400 meters open event.

    Bolt holds the World records for 100m and 200m, and is now having a go at the 400m. Can his long powerful legs cope with the additional endurance requirements for a full lap of the running track?

    Well, last year he did win two 400 meters tests in a week, running 45.54 and 46.35 seconds at Kingston’s National Stadium in February 2009. The World record is currently held by Michael Johnson, with a time of 43.18 seconds. Can Bolt beat Michael Johnson over 400m and become the Worlds greatest all round sprinter? We think he can, and will dominate men’s sprinting for years to come.

  33. Usain Bolts diet is actually very hard on his body. Protein is harder on the body to break down to use as an energy source. Protein is great for muscle synthesis and athletes should consume anywhere from 0.8 to 1.8 grams of protein per pound body weight. A proper diet should consist of 60% Carbs – Main energy source, easiest form of glucose and bodies main energy source, 15% Protein, and 35% fat. Fat is the second best source of energy for our bodies. I do not believe that Usain Bolt consumes 60% protein in his diet and only intakes 196 grams of Protein. 1 gram of protein equals 4 calories so that equals 784 calories that means he is intaking less than 1500 calories daily.

  34. MotleyHealth says:

    Looks like we need to review our source of information on this one. Thanks for the heads up!

  35. Hi this is Sahid Her. I am a 100mtrs sprinter to. But I do not practise under any coach. Please help me out. I love u dude. God makes your more records.

  36. Bolt I’m coming for you, can’t wait to meet you at the next games.

    Much love bro

  37. Job Moturi says:

    He is a good person when it comes to sport. He knows how to do it. Though i am not convinced that he does not take any supplements.

  38. MotleyHealth says:

    I am sure he takes lots of supplements, all athletes do. I guess you mean the banned supplements and medications that enhance performance. Those would have been picked up if he did take them, as athletes get tested all the time. He is just superhuman. Although he is no longer the fastest man over a straight 200m, as Tyson Gay took that record in Manchester the other day.

  39. MotleyHealth says:

    Today Usain Bolt lost to Tyson Gay in the 100m final in Stockholm. Usain took it in his stride, and made this statement:

    “I got beat today by an athlete who was in better form and shape than I was. It was one of those days…I got a great start, but there was no power and I came in second. There is no excuse!”

    This was his Facebook update. Wow, the power of social media. He addressed his fans, and he has many adoring fans now, and explained what happened, and came across as confident that he would one day be the fastest man on earth again.
    Tyson Gay beat Usain Bolt with a pretty good time of 9.84 seconds today. Well done Tyson Gay.

  40. Prince-Andy Andenum says:

    Usain Bolt is my Icon.
    I’m a Sprinter 100 meter race. I ran 100 meters in 10.16seconds without any coach or nutritional knowledge.
    I’m 25 year now, I weigh 75kg and I’m 1.82 meters tall (approx. 6ft). How will be my chnces with a coach and diet, and how will age affect my performance?

  41. MotleyHealth says:

    Prince-Andy, you really should get along to your nearest athletics club and speak with them. They will be able to put you in contact with a coach. Do not leave it any longer. Only working with a real coach for a while on the track will determine how good you are and what your potential is. Please do not leave it any longer.

  42. MotleyHealth says:

    Great news, Usain Bolt has announced that he has started training again in his home country, Jamaica. He updated his Facebook Fans with the following message:

    As you may have heard, I have restarted training in Jamaica (Monday, October 4) and so far so good. I am now in full preparation mode for the 13th IAAF World Championship, Daegu, South Korea (August 27 to September 4, 2011). Of course I will keep you all posted.

    Usain developed a back injury earlier in the year that impacted severely on his performance. Although the back injury itself was not too bad, training hard with such an injury would put too much strain on his calves and hamstrings.

    Total rest was prescribed, which mean he missed out on the Commonwealth Games. But his sights have been firmly set on the 2011 World Championships and the 2012 London Olympics.

    We are certainly pleased to see that Usain is back in training.

  43. tough mannnnnnnnn ever everrrrrrrrrrrrr

  44. Hannah Davies says:

    Bolt! you are the real Big man, with speed! x

  45. rebecca doanghy says:

    OMG you are AMAZING wish i was as fast as you. are you going to be in the 2012 Olympics ??
    love you bolt :) xx

  46. MotleyHealth says:

    Latest from Usain’s FB page:

    “Dear Fans, I am scheduled to be part of the 50th jubilee edition of the top Czech one day meeting, part of IAAF World Challenge series on May 31 in OSTRAVA. I have done the 100, 200 and 300 metres before, but I have not yet decided which event I am doing this year. Will let you know that soon.
    One Love”

    Go on Usain, break the World 300m record!

    Currently the World 300m record is 30.85 seconds, and was set by Michael Johnson in Pretoria in 2000.

  47. zachary bowden says:

    Usain bolt got GOD speed. Nobody can beat him in a race. Not Tyson Gay or anybody. And soon he is about to own Asafa Powell.

  48. i don’t believe that a body of 85kg can’t handle over 200g of protein per day… protein is not only for energy, but is also needed to fix all the broken muscle tissues, and sprints and weight-training create a lot of these… i’m not sure about the 60% protein rate in a day, but more than 200g/day. and he’s the world’s fastest man, so i don’t understand why should anybody try to say, that his diet is bad? if he ate too much protein (or too little carbs and fats), i am very sure that this would have shown negative results for a long time ago…

  49. MotleyHealth says:

    Usain Bolt has just run 100m in 9.58 seconds, another new World record. He is unstoppable. He is like lightning. How can anyone ever get close?

    It was almost exactly 1 year ago that he ran 9.69 seconds in the Beijing Olympics. Can he knock another 0.10 seconds off his time in the forthcoming year? If any man is ever going to run 100m in less than 9.50 seconds, it has to be Usain Bolt!

    Usain was joined by American Tyson Gay who came second and his countryman Asafa Powell who came in third. Also running were Darvis Patton (USA), Daniel Bailey (ANT), Marc Burns (TRI), Richard Thompson (TRI), Dwain Chambers (GBR).

  50. Sheldon Francois A,J says:

    never heard of a man running and this time, however it is the fastest man on earth today and always will be.

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