No matter the sport, speed is a highly sought after quality in all athletes. This quality likely separates good athletes from the great. Speed training workouts are a type of rigorous exercise that can be used to increase speed and agility. Most great athletes have an intense speed training program. The purpose of any speed development session is to improve power, neuromuscular coordination, athleticism, and economy (increasing the body's efficiency by using less energy.)


Speed training involves the increase in muscle power through both speed in starting and stopping function. Each exercise becomes easier with an explosive force behind each repetition, making speed training ideal for power lifters and athletes who run and perform agile movements.

The form of exercise increases agility and speed in movement and exercise technique. The power and fast twitch muscle ability increase over time as well. Several exercises in speed training involve the addition of weighted resistance or speed enhancers to force fast twitch muscles into overdrive, past the normal point of exertion that normal exercises cause.

Speed training increases the athlete’s ability to perform as well. Through exercises like sprinting and agility drills involving jumping, skipping or hopping motions, athletes gain experience and muscle memory in motions and exercises that take place during game and practice situations.

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How does speed training work?

Speed training is designed to create muscles that can go faster for longer. Athlete speed training works by strengthening muscles and creating a better form at higher speeds. Without strengthening the muscles first, you likely won’t reach your full speed potential. The body’s muscles must first be capable of the power movements before they can perform them at a faster pace. Speedwork will make you uncomfortable, by forcing you to change your breathing, stride, and effort.

Three types of speed training:

Great athletes typically use a variety of these types of training for speed.

1. Quickness and acceleration/ deceleration training

Most sports rely on the athlete’s ability to stop and start quickly. Quickness and acceleration training is designed to amp up the speed of acceleration and footwork. Examples of this type of training would be short sprint bursts, quick feet ladder steps, and resistance training. Acceleration is the action of speeding up, while deceleration is the action of slowing down. Correctly incorporating both of them into your workouts to increase speed can help you achieve your goals faster.

2. Top-end speed training

Top-end speed is the body’s max velocity (or top speed). When you sprint your hardest, you will have met your top-end speed or maximal velocity. Top-end speed drills like lifting weights, running high mileage, and even sprint workouts can make a significant difference in your speed.

3. Speed endurance training

Speed endurance is the body’s ability to maintain top-end speed or maximal velocity for an extended amount of time. Lifting weights, variable sprints, and resistance training are great speed endurance training.


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