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Secrets of Speed and Quickness Training
A collection of articles
by Dr. Larry Van Such - Vol. 5

The little known secret behind “no pain no gain” - and getting faster 40 times.


Indianapolis, Indiana.  The home of the annual NFL combine that takes place once a year where the best of college football players display their skills in front of coaches, trainers and scouts.

NFL hopefuls use top athletic trainers available

Most of these prospects have already hired an agent, who then introduces them to some of the best athletic trainers in the business.  These experts promise the athletes that their conditioning routine is the very best.   They tell the athletes they are going to make them bigger and stronger and how to improve their 40 yard dash and shuttle times.  Athletes are eager to follow their instructions because, after all, they represent the NFL.

Yes, these NFL hopefuls actually do get bigger and stronger.  You rarely hear a scout criticize an athlete who, for some unknown reason, doesn't put up one of his best set of bench presses ever; No, to their credit, physical strength is rarely a weakness when these athletes show up to the combine.  I've never heard of any athlete getting criticized for there lack of physical strength.  Have you?

Best college athletes in the country routinely disappoint in speed tests

However, what I do hear every year is that a certain running back didn’t run even close to their 40 yard dash time that was advertised by their college.  Or a certain player just wasn't quite as fast enough in their shuttle times.

Every year, same old story:  great strength but just doesn't have the speed to compete at the NFL level.  You've probably heard about this too.  Perhaps, maybe it even happened to you.  Why? 

Why do the very best athletes in our country who hire the very best trainers in the business just plain blow their 40 yard dash time?

What went wrong?  They did all the training.  They put in all the hours of practice.   But, quite often they actually run  much slower than when they were in college.  Why, then, is their strength never affected, just their speed?

Could it be that the phrase "no pain no gain" doesn’t
apply to speed?


That's a great mantra for those desiring to get bigger and stronger.  I certainly recommend it.  But being bigger and stronger doesn’t always translate into being faster.  Why is that?

Training for speed in sprints such as the 40 yard dash cannot be accomplished in the same way as training for strength and endurance.  However, most speed training routines are not much different than strength training routines when you compare the two.

Weight training, body weight exercises, running down a field with a parachute or weight sled strapped around your waistline are all excellent exercises to perform, yet there is very little difference between them upon comparison. 

All of these routines involve two of the three basic types of muscle contractions: 1) concentric contractions (muscle shortening under tension) and 2) eccentric contractions (muscle lengthening under tension).   A third type of contraction, isometric contractions, are typically not part of these exercises, however isometrics contractions performed the old fashioned way involving weights wouldn’t help you here either.

Weight training is great for strength and endurance but typically the exercises you do in the gym don’t simulate the athletic movements you will encounter during an athletic event, where changes in direction and perhaps working off of one leg or foot are commonplace.  This is where body weight exercises can help refine some of the more specific athletic movements without too much risk of injury, providing only your body weight is used. 

Exercises that involve concentric and eccentric contractions primary goal is to build muscle size and strength.  You certainly have experienced this for yourself if, like most, you closely monitor your physique.  But again you may be wondering why size and strength don’t always translate into muscle speed.

To say that muscle size and strength don’t always translate into speed may not be a completely accurate, since the chances are that they do, or at one time they did, except that now you may no longer be able to perceive any more additional increases in your speed by using the same training methods. 

In other words, some athletes are probably already maxed out regarding their speed with their weightlifting and other training strategies and more of the same is likely to only add additional body weight to their frame that may not be suitable to running faster.  And this in all likelihood is one of the main reasons many athletes lose some of their speed in the sprint events at the NFL combine or other venues due to overtraining with methods such as these.

What, then, is the answer for faster times in the 40?

At least one possible solution would be to find a strategy to complement your existing routines.  An ideal routine to help you get faster would be one where you could add strength to your frame without adding mass; one where you could train your muscles to consistently react to an ever changing stimulus while being placed in unconventional and challenging body positions; one that creates profoundly new neuro-pathways in your muscles to complement those exercises that constantly reinforce pre-existing ones.

The most efficient way to do this these days is using a resistance band with an isometric training strategy.  The resistance bands, if strong enough and used with unique angles to the body, provide the variable resistance necessary to force your muscles into an immediate state of over-stimulation. Forcing your muscles to fight and maintain new positions allows for strength and coordination to develop in entirely new and different planes.
By using a resistance band with an isometric training strategy for just a few minutes a day, the mass of the muscle isn’t likely to increase. Developing strength and coordination within your muscles without adding mass to them is a huge benefit to your athletic performance.

Now, there may be other training routines out there that can help you, but for the limited amount of time (typically 15 minutes a day or less) and effort you expend with our training strategies and the results that many have already achieved (Athletic Quickness Reviews), you probably won’t find anything better. 

So if you find yourself presently looking for ways to improve your running speed and overall athletic speed, isometric training using the resistance band, as outlined in all of our training manuals, might be just what you are looking for. It will also complete your existing training routine that probably already involves the other two types of muscle contractions, eccentric and concentric. So you can be sure you are doing everything possible to improve.

Just think, something as unique and simple as this just might make the difference in you getting noticed in the combine for the right reasons.

Dr. Larry Van Such


Speed Training For All Sports
Speed Training Exercises For Faster Muscles

Other Articles...

24 - Slow 40 Times? Football Coaches, Are you the Problem?

23 - Secrets of Speed Training to Make You Faster in Days - 4 part Series

22 - Pop Warner Football Player Scoring More Touchdowns!

21 - The glutes are often underdeveloped for 'pulling'

20 - Is Running Steps a Good Idea or a Bad Idea?

19 - Developing Speed and Power in the Tennis Serve - 3 Part Series

18 - Developing Bat Speed and Power in the Baseball Swing - 4 Part Series

17-4 - Becoming An All-Star Athlete.

17 - Why Isometric Training with Resistance Bands Differs From Isometric Training With Weights - 4 Part Series

16 - Muscle Confusion - What is the more complete definition?

15 - Improve your sports performance by training with all 3 muscle contractions - Part 1 of 2

14 - Bruce Lee - One of the fastest and quickest athletes ever

13 - 8 Tips to Incorporate Speed Training into Your Strength Routine

12 - Why You Must Train For Speed and Strength Separately

11 - When It Comes To Speed, Even The Best Machines Will Disappoint You

10 - Why Most 'Speed Training' Programs Do Not Deliver As Advertised

09 - Start speed training midseason and still see results in days

08 - Why the smallest guy on the team is getting credit for having the strongest leg.

07 - Golf - Golf Swing Muscles to Exercise for Swing Speed

06 - Todays' isometrics with resistance bands conditions muscles for speed, strength and coordination in ways static weights can not.

05 - The little known secret behind 'No Pain No Gain'.

04 - Not All Exercise Resistance Bands Are Created Equal.

03 - Baseball Players: An Exercise That Will Increase Bat Speed and Generate Power - Part 1

02 - To jump higher train your hip flexor muscles to contract quicker

01 - Isometric exercises with the resistance band  - The single most effective way to increase the speed of muscular contraction.

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