Walk into a “Bro Gym” and one of the first things you might notice is a group of guys who seem to get lazy on their designated leg day.
That’s the joke, anyway. T-shirts and bumper stickers have even been designed to read: “Friends don’t let friends skip leg day.”
The same could be said for runners and some athletes, but in more specific terms. In extreme cases: “Coaches don’t let athletes skip weight day.”
A frequent misconception is that strength training will immediately create more muscle mass, and that mass will slow down the athlete. Another is the idea that strength training simply isn’t necessary to get faster – all you need to do is run.
When it comes to speed, and particularly acceleration, power equals quickness. And without strength, there will be no power.
Take the top sprinters in the world, for example. What do they all have in common? They are big, powerful athletes that are able to produce so much force, they seemingly breeze past their opponents. They have perfected the art of what speed coach Lee Taft harps: “Get your mass moving!”
True, not all athletes want to be world-class sprinters, but all successful athletes want to be faster.
Quickness is not so much about fast feet or fast legs as it is the ability for the athlete to control his or her body, and ultimately maximize the amount of force the athlete is able to create against the ground.
Hang around a speed agility session in The PIT for even a few minutes, and you are likely to hear coaches cue the athletes to, “Push the floor down and away.”
What the coach is getting the athlete to do is generate more power by driving down and back, effectively propelling the athlete forward. The more powerful an athlete becomes, the more force he or she will be able to generate, and in turn become quicker on the field or court.
Whether using bands or weights, strength training is essential in becoming a faster and more powerful athlete. Skipping out on strength training means missing out on the opportunity to become faster and more successful against your competition.
Come check us out to make sure that you get the opportunity to get more powerful and stronger so that you can get silly fast!
Aaron Patterson, NSCA-CPT, CTPS, CSAC
PIT Coach; Certified Personal Trainer