I received a call from a past baseball client recently and he was telling me that he had four months to take his 60-yard spring from 7.1 seconds to 6.9, if possible. I asked what he was currently doing to make that happen and he told me he was doing four to five sets of 12 reps for squats, high-rep lunges, calves and a few other leg exercises, and he planned on continuing that for 4 months. I stopped him right there.
I told him that plan is going to make him slower instead of faster. Here’s why:
When it comes to training, there is something called periodization “” which consists of the phases you go through when training to “peak” at a specific time. Although it’s never an exact science, there are very good ways to predict how to build up to your desired goal. This is how Olympians train. Most have a four-year periodized training program leading up to the Olympics.
While there are MANY to choose from, here is the most basic strategy you can apply to your training if you want to increase your athletic speed. It’s called linear periodization.
>> STAGE 1: Hypertrophy “” Build up muscle mass because you can’t flex bone. You’ll initially be slow, but this is the mass you need to develop strength with later on.
>> STAGE 2: Strength “” Get stronger so you can increase your power output later.
>> STAGE 3: Power “” Power is the end goal if you want speed.
>> STAGE 4: Power endurance “” Be able to repeatedly output force without dying.
Focus on these four stages correctly (1 each month), and you’ll see the results.
Anthony Trucks is an IYCA-certified trainer who covers weight training for SportStars.