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Monday, July 16th, 2018



If you ever watch Track and Field or the Olympic games you might wonder how some of these sprinters would fare in the 40-yard dash, the beloved distance of NFL scouts and coaches. You also might question the legitimacy of the 40 times of these football players that we hear about from workouts or the combine. Well I found an article that answers some of those questions.

You hear these insane times throughout the years. Like Deion was supposed to have run a 4.17 in hightops. Hester ran a 4.4, or a 4.27, depending on who you ask. Urlacher was alleged to post a 4.4. But why not just look at the fastest time ever? Canadian Ben Johnson ran a 9.79 in the 100 at the 1988 games in Seoul. Later, he was stripped of his gold medal after failing a drug test. But that race was broken down and here’s what they found:

Timing officials have since broken down that famed race into 10-meter increments, and Johnson was so preposterously fast that he went through 50 meters in 5.52 seconds and 60 meters in 6.37 – both under the current world records at those distances. He went through 40 yards that day in 4.38 seconds.

He was running in spikes . . . on a warm afternoon perfectly suited for sprinting . . . with a slight tailwind . . . with years of training from arguably track’s top coach, Charlie Francis . . . with Carl Lewis and six others of the fastest men on the planet chasing him . . . with 69,000 people roaring at Seoul’s Olympic Stadium . . . with hundreds of millions of people watching on TV . . . with the ultimate prize in sports, an Olympic gold medal, at stake.

And, as we learned later, with muscles built with the assistance of the anabolic steroid stanazolol.

Four-point-three-eight seconds.

Then again, maybe Ben Johnson isn’t the fastest 40-yard man in the world.

Maybe half the NFL is faster.

So the next time you read about some guy running a 4.3? Probably not. Check out the rest of the article. Great stuff, sports fans.

  • http://allonthefield.blogspot.com Kevin

    Very nice find. It reminds me of the guys listed at 6’0 200 lbs. on a high school roster, and you look at them, and you look down at yourself, and you say, “No way.” Exaggeration happens at every level.

  • dhaab

    GREAT stuff, Zoner!

    But I have issues, so what do i know? ;)

  • Pingback: www.bodybuildingandexercises.info » THE MYTH OF 40 TIMES

  • HeyBuddy

    Hmm, interesting concept, but the writer of that article isn’t quite clear on how he gets that 40-yard time for Ben Johnson. According to him, timing officials broke the race down into 10-meter increments. He gives the 50-meter and 60-meter split times and then he gives a 40-yard split time? If it was broken down into 10-*meter* increments how would he get a 40-*yard* split time? His mixing of measurements causes ambiguity, at least to me.

  • joekidd

    He’s crazy!

    Deion ran that 4.17 in HIGH TOPS in the NFL Combined timed by many stop watches and filmed for all to see. Rocket Ismail ran a 4.16 in PADS for the Irish. Now are you calling Notre Dame a liar? Thats like calling a God a liar..:)

  • Kyle

    Here’s what we know. They guy ran 50meters in 5.52 seconds..

    To go from meters to yards we do 50 / .9144 = 54.68 yards.

    We then divide 54.68(y) / 5.52(s) = 9.9057 or 9.91 yps

    If we then multiply 9.91 x 4 just to get a flat 4.00000 second time we get, 39.62(y).

    So in exactly 4.00000 seconds this guy ran 39.62 yds.

    that leaves us with only .38(y) to go and we see that it can be quite easily containable to go 40(y) in under 4.17(s)

  • http://zonersports.com The Zoner

    Perhaps, but right after they quote those times they say this:

    He went through 40 yards that day in 4.38 seconds.

  • Wesley

    Ben Johnson was running for a distance of 100 meters which is slightly longer than 100 yards. This particular race is run in such a manner that the sprinter does not even reach FULL speed until they are somewhere around 60 – 70 meters.

    the 40 yard dash is run in such a way that the individual running reaches FULL speed at about 15 – 25 yards. With a strong emphasis on the first few steps…. there is a bit of a difference in races.

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