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Weight training for speed and agility

Updated on March 23, 2010

How to get lightning fast and have awesome reflexes using strength training

Most people don’t realize that weight training can dramatically influence their speed and agility. This is not to say it is the only way to improve speed and agility, it just happens to be one of the best ways – if you know how to do it that is. This article will discuss how strength influences control and stability, why in your speed and agility training, weights can make the biggest difference, the elements of speed and agility training and a simple formula on how to train for these factors. The purpose of this article is to teach you how to go about using weights for your speed and agility training.

The first thing you should know is that control and stability – which are key factors in both speed and agility – are best developed through weight training. This is because weight training allows you to put a significant amount of strain – read pressure – on your desired joints and their affiliated muscles. As you probably know, the way to develop strength is by subjecting your muscles to the highest amounts of tensions they can sustain. This creates tears in the muscles which the body then fixes, this process makes the muscle stronger, so the next time you train you will be able to subject it to much more tension.

control and stability influences speed and agility
control and stability influences speed and agility

Control and stability

Basically, you have to ask yourself what gives you control and stability while running very fast, changing direction, jumping for height, tackling opponents or any other athletic endeavour you might be involve in, and the answer is obvious: your muscles and tendons. You can’t train your tendons very well, they just don’t respond that well to training, however, as freakishly huge body builders keep reminding us, the potential for functional muscle growth is quite extraordinary. Which brings us to our next point, which is that strength – properly trained for using weight training is the best way to improve your speed and agility. One thing I would like to point out is that speed doesn't exist in isolation. You can’t train specifically for speed. The question to ask is what are the factors that form the basis of speed? Great question, the answer is: high levels of force and high speed of force application. These thing are know by many names and many people have used many ways of describing them but the just of it is this: your level of force is the amount of force you deploy against a resistance. The speed of force application is how quickly do you develop that force. These two factors combined create your power output.

A short example

Let’s give a short example, in running your level of force is the number of newtons (the unit used to measure force) that is applied against the resistance of the cement or whatever else you are running on. The speed of force application is how quickly do you apply that force. You could for instance have a low level of force and so your stride will be small, but your could have a high speed of force application and you could get a lot of these relatively weak forces applied – ie take many small strides. Another runner could have a high level of force application, resulting and great strides, but a low speed of force application. Despite running very differently both these runners could have the same speed. Similarly, the power output is directly proportional to these two factors: your force application and how quickly you can apply that force. These two factors are also called maximum force and rate of force development. Maximum force can also be called maximum strength.

speed and agility training with weights
speed and agility training with weights

So, how do you train for maximum strength?

Use the highest weights for a maximum of 5 reps that are executed using perfect form.

And how do you train your rate of force development? You use 70% of the maximum weight you can exercise with and you attempt to move that weight at the highest speed possible.

And that’s it in a nutshell, this is how you use weights to train for speed and agility. Actually, it would be better stated that this is how you optimally train for speed and agility.

Another question you might ask yourself is: well what exercises do I use in my speed and agility training? Head on down to speed and agility training and find out.

OK, so where does weight training come into this and how can we use this information in your speed and agility training. Pay close attention: training for speed and agility is best done at around 70% of your maximum strength for the maximum number of repetitions that you can do using perfect form.

Let’s backtrack, now you know how to go about using weight training for your speed and agility. The next question is: what exercises are good for what? and of course I’m not gonna leave you bare ass-ed so here is the link for a site that focuses on exactly that.

Speed and agility quiz

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    • profile image

      Johnk542 2 years ago

      Really appreciate you sharing this post.Thanks Again. Really Great. kgkaeagceake

    • profile image

      Johnc83 2 years ago

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    • profile image

      Andrew 7 years ago

      Speed and Agility Training and Strength, sure. But the girl working out is smoking. I mean -- get that picture out of there if you want people to actually read the article. That little hottie is the only reason I stopped to comment on this.

    • Touch Screen profile image

      Touch Screen 7 years ago

      I agree completely. Higher degree of tissue breakdown simply means longer recovery times.

    • 3 Day-Detox profile image

      3 Day-Detox 7 years ago

      Good article. Glad to see you mention the 70% rule. To often people try to max out the weight thinking that is the fastest way to build strength.