Lets move on to the second way to begin to see improvements in your speed, whether your an athlete or a weekend warrior.
I hear guys often talk about how they want to try out a speed program at a nearby speed facility, but when I ask what all they will be doing there they name off a dozen cool ladder and hurdle drills along with working on running technique. These are all well and good, but it does not attempt to improve the main problem that prevents an athlete from achieving top end speed. Having a STRONG body all over is what allows a 200lb running back to accelerate and reach top speed fast, not by being able to perform a ladder drill with quick “looking” feet.
Why is it important to lift heavy when all you really want is to run fast? The reason is this… when an athlete’s body is not capable of handling vast amounts of force that a body is put under during a sprint, it will lose form and running mechanics, along with moving slowly. Running puts the body under forces that are over 4 times the weight of the body while running at top speeds. It is crucial that the person have adequate strength to handle the stress and propel the body forward quickly.
Based on research and personal knowledge, an athlete should be able to squat 1.5 times their body weight if not more as a starting point for determining if you are strong enough to sprint and perform plyometrics. When you chose to begin a strength program to help develop your speed, you must lift the heaviest weight that is safely possible. If you do not put your body and muscles under enough stress, it will not strengthen and improve. The Overload Principle states that a greater than normal stress or load on the body is required for training adaptation to take place. The body will adapt to this stimulus. Once the body has adapted then a different stimulus is required to continue the change. Pushing yourself each week on the key lifts such as deadlifts, squats, bench press, single leg squats etc. by increasing weight each week will help accomplish this goal.
For more information on our programs at Sculpt Fitness go to http://www.sculptfitnesstraining.com to see more information.