Friday, November 20, 2009

Speed Development through strenghth training

I interviewed Luke a few months ago.


Jim Purdy said...

The video says it's important to "intend" to exercise.

Shucks, I'm already half-way there. For years, I've been intending to start a new diet "tomorrow."

Now I'm adding a new exercise routine.

I intend to exercise tomorrow.

Serious;y, though, it is an interesting video. Thanks!

Chris said...

Nice one Jim


Steven Low said...

Ever read this article?

For the most part, the same thing except actually applied:

Bryce said...

I initially believed that fast lifting was necessery to strengthen the fast twitch muscle fibers.

While guys like Doug McGuff have convinced me that speed isn't necessary to develop the fast twitch musculature, I think overspeed training and and explosive training can contribute greatly to reinforcing and improving your central nervous system's ability to innervate and activate more muscle fibers.

No one person will ever be able to fire every single one of the muscle fibers at one time (a safety mechanism), but while we can make those muscle fibers strongest with slower training, isn't it possible that faster training may help us to reach our fullest potential for gross muscle fiber activation?


theorytopractice said...

2 things that were left off the table, here: actual power output per rep and cns stimulation. Luke's argument sounds plausible, in theory; the playing fields, however, are littered with the carcasses of athletes thusly trained. Really, isn't this just the old, Weider, pre-exhaust principle - in a more intellectual wrapping? I do agree with the intent to move a load as fast as possible - however, imho, that must be balanced with an actual,sizable power output.

Just my opinion, of course :)

Steven Low said...



Obviouly you have to get faster you have to get strong (or rather at least have the CNS + musculature in place), THEN train it through actual sprinting and plyometrics to improve output.

Chris said...

@Steven - thanks. I've Read Ross' Bear powered stuff before - I think I have his book somewhere. His arguments are indeed similar, although some might argue with the use of plyometrics. From what I have seen, the case is not fully made for using them to develop strength. As skill training maybe

@Keith - CNS I do wonder if this is application of strength, skill training if you like. Similarly with force development.

I know a guy who is a competitive sprinter and trains with members of the British squad. They do weights but most of the training is skill based - form drills, actual running. Plus some plyometrics - bounding etc. Incidentally, like most sprinters he seems to be injured about 70% of the time with pulls, hernias and tears.

Steven Low said...

Yeah, the plyos are for speed development, not specifically strength.

Although most of the Parkour guys who get strong are doing most of their stuff plyometrically from just practicing. However, I would not advocate this style of development... leads to too many injuries, and is much slower than strength training.

dangoldberg33 said...

I would believe Luke's argument more if he wasn't demonstrating on such a horrible machine. I know a few orthopedists who believe that knee extensions aren't only a worthless exercise with respect to performance but that they are actually detrimental to the knee.

Also, Olympic lifters traditionally have some of the highest vertical leaps recorded and they do mostly explosive movements. It would seem that Luke has an opinion that is not supported by much of the industry when he says that cleans are actually sending the body a signal to go slower to something like that. Everything I have read about explosive movements says that they help the body recruit more motor units and increase rate coding.

Chris said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chris said...


this is where it gets interesting.

Leg extension is useless for performance? - the argument that we are proposing is that all exercises are directly in some ways useless for performance. They are only good at making you stronger. Performance is about skill, applying the strength.

RE Olympic lifters. Yes they are explosive and jump high. I wonder which comes first? There may of course be a big selection bias. Maybe the good olympic lifters are those who are naturally explosive and would be that way irrespective of their training. Perhaps it is not their training that makes them explosive but their explosiveness that is what makes them suited for lifting?

I have read about explosive movements too and it is not as straightforward as you make out.

It is interesting.....and complex

Chris said...

the debate continues in the next post...