Jul 14, 2003

Dear StrongerAthletes: Speed Training

July 14 "Be wise with speed. A fool at forty is a fool indeed." -Edward Young (1683 - 1765)

Dear StrongerAthletes: Speed Training


Coach Rody, What are your thoughts on speed development? Specifically, all of the devices that are intended to provide "over speed" training. Thanks for your time, Scott Monson

Mr. Monson,

We are not advocates of devices such as harnesses, parachutes, down hill running, sled work, etc... To develop speed, the athlete should not only be on a good strength training program but they should concentrate on the following:

Improving reaction time. This can greatly improve an athletes speed. Running with good form: Arm swings, foot placement, head movement, landing etc... Practicing running the distance the athlete is going to compete in.  If it is the 100 meter dash then practice running the 100.  If it is football then practice sprinting varying distances from the athletes' stance.  Flexibility training should also be considered.

When combining strength training and speed work, one must be careful not to overtrain. Doing too much of one of the activities could affect the other. The bottom line is in order to perfect a skill at maximum speed, practice that skill at maximum speed taking in consideration the above info and you will become more neuromuscularly efficient at that skill which will enhance your ability.  Hope this helps.

Coach Rody StrongerAthletes.com

Coach Rody, My name is James Dockray. I'm a Semi Professional Soccer player that will be turning professional very soon and hoping to play in the Premiership in England... You won't believe how much info I have researched on the internet and how many articles I have saved relating to both cardio, strength & power to my computer. I researched a lot about "acceleration" and this is why I was asking you about the article "Can jumping with weights improve your first step?" (Acceleration)....

James,

Before I give you our take I think you should first be aware of the dangers of "internet research". Kind of ironic since we have an informational website on the internet! Much of what we try to educate coaches about is based on scientific principles of strength development, not new gimmicks. I would recommend 2 books for you to get your hands on: "A Practical Approach to Strength Training" by Matt Brzycki and "Maximize Your Training" which is a series of articles by various strength coaches and edited by Matt Brzycki. In short, no, jumping or moving fast with weights in your hand will not improve your speed.

You can improve your speed in a variety of ways two of which:

1) Practice your starts/sprints
2) Develop your strength.

We simply feel that performing quick movements in the weight room does not transfer to quick movements on the field. Hope this helps and good luck with your training.

StrongerAthletes.com

Matt Brzycki's Operational Tactics


Matt Brzycki has teamed up with Stuart Meyers to write about fitness training directed at "fitness standards for SWAT team personnel." Dan Riley, Head Strength Coach with the Houston Texans says,"SWAT Fitness by Matt Brzycki and Stuart Meyers has been added to my list of references for reliable strength and conditioning information. It is must read for anyone interested in obtaining an elite level of physical fitness."

Matt's books are the first we recommend to people who inquire about safe, productive and efficient training. We encourage you to take a closer look at SWAT Fitness.

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