Tag Archives: weight room

Speed Development Starts in the Weight Room

26 Aug

squats-strength-training[1]Every summer, I get scores of calls and emails from athletes (and parents of athletes) asking me if I can help with speed development in preparation for fall and winter sports.  Invariably, they all want me to focus on the same thing — running form, mechanics, and technique.  They feel that if I can correct and improve mechanical shortcomings, speed will improve.

I don’t dispute that running form is important, but it should be viewed as the “fine-tuning” and not the main area of focus.  I train some very fast athletes whose technique isn’t exactly “textbook” perfect.  Same goes for my highest vertical jumpers and quickest, most agile athletes.  But all the fastest athletes I train have something in common: Strong, powerful hips and legs.  They all have the ability to generate a lot of force against the ground to propel themselves forward (upward, laterally, etc.).

In his article, Why Power Development Must Come Before Speed Work, strength coach Rick Scarpulla asserts that “Power can overcome a lack of technique to an extent, but technique cannot overcome a lack of power.”

If you want to lay the groundwork for speed development, start in the weight room.  Once you have built a solid foundation of functional strength and power with exercises like squats, deadlifts, Romanian deadlifts, glute-ham raises, and plyometrics, then it’s time to break out the cones, hurdles, and ladders, and hit the track or turf for your field work.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

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Speed Development Starts in the Weight Room

1 Jul

squats-strength-training[1]Every summer, I get scores of calls and emails from athletes (and parents of athletes) asking me if I can help with speed development in preparation for fall and winter sports.  Invariably, they all want me to focus on the same thing — running form, mechanics, and technique.  They feel that if I can correct and improve mechanical shortcomings, speed will improve.

I don’t dispute that running form is important, but it should be viewed as the “fine-tuning” and not the main area of focus.  I train some very fast athletes whose technique isn’t exactly “textbook” perfect.  Same goes for my highest vertical jumpers and quickest, most agile athletes.  But all the fastest athletes I train have something in common: Strong, powerful hips and legs.  They all have the ability to generate a lot of force against the ground to propel themselves forward (upward, laterally, etc.).

In his article, Why Power Development Must Come Before Speed Work, strength coach Rick Scarpulla asserts that “Power can overcome a lack of technique to an extent, but technique cannot overcome a lack of power.”

If you want to lay the groundwork for speed development, start in the weight room.  Once you have built a solid foundation of functional strength and power with exercises like squats, deadlifts, Romanian deadlifts, glute-ham raises, and plyometrics, then it’s time to break out the cones, hurdles, and ladders, and hit the track or turf for your field work.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

4 Keys to Success in the Weight Room

2 Nov

Want to improve your athletic performance?  Practice your sport-specific skills, eat right, and get in the weight room (see 3 Pillars of Athletic Performance).  Developing your strength, speed, agility, and athleticism can help you create a competitive advantage.  Get STRONGER, Get FASTER isn’t just a tag line; it’s a requisite component of your preparation for your sport(s) of choice.

Don’t waste time in the weight room.  As the saying goes, “plan your work and work your plan.”  Be productive, challenge yourself, and strive for quality and efficiency.  Follow these 4 keys to achieve success in the weight room:

Accountability

It’s on you.  You are responsible for your development.  No one can do it for you.  What you achieve (or fail to achieve) is largely a matter of choice.  Showing up is half the battle.  Get in, do work, get out, repeat.

Discipline

Your actions should be consistent with your goals.  Consistency is the key.  Do what needs to be done, as well as it can be done, and do it that way consistently.

Competitiveness

It’s you vs. you.  There’s no need to compare yourself with anyone else.  Be internally competitive.  Strive to be 1% better today than you were yesterday.  Same goes for tomorrow.  The results, over time, will be impressive.

Motivation

Refer to your goals frequently.  Reflect upon your inspiration.  Think about why you’re doing what you’re doing every time you train.  Dedication.  Determination.  Desire.  You gotta want it.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

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