by: Brandon Richey
There are many elements to developing a complete strength and conditioning program and the element of speed is certainly an ingredient that you can’t afford to ignore within the recipe of your own strength and conditioning program. Today’s blogisode is all about speed my friend so buckle up and learn how to move fast!
The Element Of Speed…
Speed development is an interesting physical trait because in order to obtain it one must elicit a training response to fire the neuromuscular system like a piston inside the engine of a Shelby Cobra Mustang racing engine. By the way that happens to be my dream car if you are entertaining any super generous Christmas ideas! Oh and here’s an example of what one of those bad boys can do. If this doesn’t get your heart pumping then nothing will!
Now you see I’m serious when it comes to speed! Ok, back to the subject of human speed development. The fact is that speed is crucial for you if you are an athlete looking to compete at a high level, but even if you aren’t it’s a great method of training to keep your body sharp in terms of movement while also significantly contributing to your fitness level in ways you may never thought possible.
As I stated earlier there are many elements to speed and a few concrete variables that you must include in order to develop this much desired athletic trait. Some things to note when it comes to speed is that speed has different components consisting of the following…
- Acceleration: From stop to go.
- Deceleration: From go to stop.
- Linear Speed: Straight ahead speed.
- Lateral Speed: Side to side speed.
These traits are all necessary in the development of speed and can be scaled to “fit” the needs of the athlete/trainee and their respective sport or training goals. When developing speed it’s my goal to provide a specific training stimulus to get the athlete to react in a rapid manner. In other words, if you want to be fast then you must train fast within the parameters of the given model of a speed program. Remember the first step to mastery is being able to follow instructions my friend.
There are several key elements that play a part in building speed and I’m going to list them out for you. Keep in mind that these can be tweaked in a number of different ways to suit your goals and the needs of your sport. I don’t know if the Road Runner trained this way, but then again I know these work!
- Mastering Running Mechanics: Applying proper movement of the arms and legs for running efficiently.
- Strength And Speed Strength Development: Total strength and strength that develops speed.
- Power Development: The development of rapid muscular contraction as with plyometrics.
- Resisted Speed Training: Using resistance to foster speed. (As pictured with me at the beginning of this article.)
- Assisted Speed Training: Assisting the body in moving faster than it’s capable to produce speed.
- Speed Conditioning: Being able to perform speed movements over and over.
- Mobilization: Making sure the body through the shoulders, hips, hamstrings, and calves are mobile for running.
Yes, these would help you to escape any Wile E Coyote, or defensive back trying to catch up to you to bring you to the ground. The fact is that speed is a trait that you just can’t afford NOT to have. I know that was a double negative, but then again it just sounded good as I was hammering away on this keyboard.
Look the biggest thing to remember when developing speed is that it can require some complex programming in order to be “optimal,” however you can achieve a great deal of speed development on your own by addressing the list that I’ve provided for you above. The beauty is that if you are innovative enough it is also possible to pull off developing your own performance and speed program with tools right out of your garage (refer to my ebook, Brandon Richey’s Unconventional Conventional Method Of Strength) if necessary.
One of the things I do to work on getting a simple start in sprinting is teaching my athletes to master the proper running form by having them to apply this on the agility ladder. Because of the shape of the ladder it provides great striking points for the feet further making it easier for me to encourage proper arm and leg action during the act of developing sprinting power. Here’s a nice side view of me performing some lateral high knee runs to demonstrate that very point.
If you took notice my focus during that particular drill wasn’t trying to get from one end of the ladder to the other quickly, but rather to work on emphasizing the speed at which I got my feet to and from the ground. The striking and rebounding affect of doing this is what elicits more of a speed reaction. Of course this is just a single drill, but this process can be progressed further the more I get better at doing this by administering additional resistance in the form of resistance bands or a weighted vest. You can quickly see how progressing this can start to become a real creative process.
The bottom line is that speed kills, and if you don’t have it and your opponent does then chances are it’s going to be a very long day for you. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather not be on the receiving end of a scenario such as that.
By the way if you are truly interested in learning more about this and how to really advance your fitness level I fairly recently got an email from my good friend and retired Navy SEAL Brad McLeod about the Kettlebell Speed And Power Formula ebook that we did together. He emailed me asking me to write up 20 additional workouts within that ebook taking the total number of strength and speed workouts for the beginner program up to 30! So naturally I answered the call and added the workouts while Brad also added an interview at the end that puts you inside the head of a hardened Navy SEAL warrior!
If you are interested in this I’m also running a limited time discounted special on the ebook. Check out the newly revised product right here. Also feel free to leave your questions and comments in the comment box below this article. Remember that most anyone can train hard, but only the best train smart my friend.