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Train Like an Athlete – Speed and Power

We’ve discussed that strength training and conditioning outside of sports benefit the athlete, but what exactly does that look like? When we say training for speed and power for the athlete, what does that look like in practice?

We’ve discussed the importance of speed for an athlete – a faster athlete is better. But where does power training fit into training athletes (and how is that different from speed training)?

Generally, you can break strength and conditioning for speed down into three categories: strength, power, and speed. Strength is moving heavy weights relatively slowly.

Power is moving lighter weights (or even body weight) relatively fast. Speed is moving the body as fast as possible (aka sprinting). To train these different aspects, we have to do all of them.

As mentioned, we can train in two different ways within the realm of power. We can move weights quickly through things like barbell cleans and weighted jumps.

With bodyweight jumps and hops, we can move our bodies even more quicker. This is all done to get the body to produce force quickly (pretty important for an athlete).

When training speed, the name of the game is moving fast. So, we’re going to sprint. But within sprinting, there is acceleration (get up to max speed as fast as possible) and max speed (top MPH). Getting a good mix of training on both ends of that speed spectrum is important.

Let’s get an athlete strong. But let’s also get them to move weights and themselves fast. Then let’s train them to get faster and get up to top speed faster. The eternal quest for bigger, faster, and stronger has to include speed and power training for the athlete.

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