Thursday, June 23, 2011

Speed Training Made Easy

Too busy with work and other commitments to train with us at Soar?

Do you have to design speed and agility workouts for a youth team but not sure where to start?

Here is a simple guide you can use at anytime.

First of all, let's go over Speed Training 101.

1. True speed drills are 2 - 8 seconds in length with at least a 5:1 rest to work ratio. If the drill is 5 seconds long, your rest should be at least 25 seconds long....probably a little longer.

2. All drills must be performed at the highest intensity possible. Sprinting at 80% speed will get you 80% as fast as you are capable of getting. Train fast to be fast!

3. At least one full day of rest is necessary between speed training sessions. Nobody gets faster training every day.

4.KISS.....KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID. Don't try to work on linear speed, lateral speed, reaction and conditioning at the same time. Focus on one aspect, maybe two per workout if you are on your own.

Now that we addressed that, lets set up the workout.

1. Full Dynamic Warmup. See my previous blogs for the Soar Warm Up. Just stretching and going for a jog will not cut it.

2. Perform some type of plyometric. Plyometrics excite the body's Central Nervous System and should have you prepared to run at high speeds. Box jump variations, box blasts and skips are a good place to start for any level of athlete. If you are training beginners, consult a proper plyometric progression. FYI - plyometric rules are different for big guys such as lineman.

3.High Speed Work. I usually alternate between linear speed days and lateral (change of direction) speed days. A good volume would be 2 - 4 sets of 3 - 6 reps.

Here is very simple linear workout.

10 yard sprints - 5 reps with 20 - 25 seconds rest between reps. Rest 2 minutes and repeat 1 - 3 more times. Maybe the following week, increase distance to 15yards in the last 2 sets.

Here is a very simple change of direction workout.

Shuffle 3 yards and back, 5 yards and back, then turn and sprint 10 yards up the line.

3 reps facing each way with 45seconds seconds rest between. After 6, rest 2 minutes. Repeat 1 - 2 more times. This drill can also be used to condition a group of athletes by keeping the rest periods to 20 - 30 seconds.

After the high speed work, you can add conditioning if it is necessary for you. This is where you might increase distance and decrease rest to a 2-3:1 ratio. If your drill takes 8 seconds long, keep the rest around 20 -25 seconds. Remember, if you play a multi-directional sport, you should condition in that manner with shuttles or other starting and stopping drills.

Speed training can go terribly wrong by just performing various drills around cones without any regard to rest, volume or intensity. Just because you did 30 sets of different cone drills does not mean you accomplished anything. I have said it many many times, LESS IS MORE and QUALITY OVER QUANTITY. This specifically applies to speed and agility training.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Football Speed Training 6/8

This week began our 5 day per week training model for football players who do all their training at Soar. The plan was to go out to the field and perform some position drills and then head to the hill for some conditioning. However, it was a scorching 97 degrees outside in Columbus yesterday so I decided to keep the guys inside and adapt the plans.

In the group was a RB, WR, Offensive Lineman and Defensive Lineman.

The workout started with full dynamic warm up followed by foot quickness drills on the agility ladder. After that, I had them perform some quick feet plyometrics in 5 second intervals.

The first agility drill we did was a lateral reaction drill over hurdles. It is a general speed drill that serves the needs of all football players. It involves foot quickness, lateral acceleration and deceleration and linear acceleration. Since I had a group of multiple positions, this was a good drill to start with. You can easily see what happens when you do not decelerate well - either out of poor body position or fatigue.

The next portion of the workout we focused on position specific drills. The RB and WR performed cutting drills with reaction. The O lineman pulled and the D lineman did some quick reaction drills. Although these drills might not be ideal, they provided an opportunity for the guys to condition with drills pretty specific to their position. The video you will see is the last 4 reps - 4 reps were performed earlier. We tried to keep rest to 30 seconds for each guy.

The session concluded with some shuttle intervals.

With the exception of it being too hot to train outside, I was very happy with the session. All work was multi - directional and we reached our goal of keeping rest periods to 30 seconds during the position agilities. All the guys had a chance to watch themselves in slow motion which is always effective feedback. Since movements like the offensive lineman pull are taught differently from coach to coach, I just have the athlete perform it the way their football coach teaches them.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Football Training Intro

Since its the first day of June, I thought I would give everyone a taste of what some of our football conditioning looks like. In the coming weeks, I will be posting footage of our various training days. For today, I am discussing our training philosophy and our training model. You will have to deal with watching me do the exercises. Sorry, I am a little past my prime!

If you didn't hear me say it in the video, having a stop watch is critical. Conditioning properly has everything to do with the duration of the exercise,intensity of the exericise and the duration of the rest period.

Behold the slosh pipe

After reading Dan John's book, "Never Let Go", I felt like I had to make a slosh pipe. It is a 10 foot piece of PVC pipe half filled with water.

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