8 Tips for Including Speed Training into Your Strength Training Routine
Remember, muscles have two distinct fiber types – fast twitch for muscle speed and slow twitch for muscle strength.
These different fiber types cannot be separated apart from each other and trained individually. Depending on your training methods, you either end up training the entire muscle for better strength or for better speed, but never for better strength and speed at the same time.
Therefore, in order to maximize your sports performance, beat out your competition, and advance your athletic career… you will need at least two methods of training your muscles. One to train for speed and another for strength – using different techniques and at different times.
Here is how I recommend athletes schedule their workouts when they need to be both strong and fast – based on whether you are in mid-season or off-season.
Both in-season and off-season training:
Tip #1: Make sure you do our isometric speed training programs last and try to schedule your speed training session at least 6-8 hours after your strength training session. Doing speed training last in a given day will make good use of your muscles memory, allowing the entire muscle to remain in a quickened state for as long as possible. If you do speed training first, it is very likely that your strength programs will wipe out the stored fast twitch response within your muscles leaving your muscles tired and heavy for extended periods of time.
Tip #2: Schedule the speed training exercises the same time each day. Your muscles will respond best if you choose the same time each day to train.
Tip #3: Try to coordinate the days that you strength train a muscle group (that is, with weights or plyometrics) so that they do not overlap with identical muscles to be trained later that evening for speed training.
In other words, if you are going to weight train your hamstrings by doing stiff leg deadlifts on a Tuesday, for example, make sure that you are not also scheduled to speed train (isometric training with the resistance band) those same hamstrings later that evening.
Upper body weight training will not affect lower body speed training and vice versa. Feel free to do both on the same day without any negative effects.
Off-season training only:
Tip #5: If you are several months away from the first game of the season, let’s say football for example, the best recommendation during this time period is to train each muscle group for speed with the resistance band three times a week. Continue on with all other strength training workouts as well. Don’t eliminate them. You need to be both strong and fast and the off-season is the best time to work on improving both.
Tip #6: At some point in your off-season training, you are probably going to want to measure your progress, usually in the 40 yard dash if training for running speed for example. When this time comes, you will need to eliminate all lower body strength training for at least 7 days and speed training for at least 3 days prior. Recovery time is just as important to a good training program as the actual programs themselves and this rest period will help insure that your muscles will be ready to perform when you want them to.
In-season training only:
Tip #7: Unlike off-season training, it is highly doubtful that time will permit you to speed train each muscle group three times a week. Therefore, the best way to speed train here is to do each muscle group two times a week – allowing at least 2 days of rest before a game.
Tip #8: It is very important not to over-train during the season. There simply is not enough time to recover from too hard of a workout (both strength and speed) and return to your peak performance in time for the game. Again, rest is just as important as the actual training sessions. If at all possible allow yourself at least 2 days of rest before any competition by just doing some light stretching/warm-ups the day before a game.
To maximize speed, try and get all of your heavy weight lifting workouts as far away from game time as possible. For example, if you have games on Friday nights and are required to lift weights throughout the week, try and convince your coaches to let you do your workouts on Sundays, Mondays and definitely no later than Tuesday. You can still do speed training isometrics with the resistance band up until Wednesday (2 days before the game) but absolutely no workouts of any kind on Thursdays (or the day before a game).
Hope this helps..
Secrets of Speed and Quickness Training
by Dr. Larry Van Such – Vol. 13