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Posts Tagged ‘Barry Ross’

Does jogging make you slow?

Yes and no.

If you only jog for a number of months then you will get considerably slower. I experienced this myself first hand lately. I started playing soccer again after years and years of not playing, aside from maybe one game per year.

I was still speedy in those intermittent games (so long as I wasn’t socialising the night before), no pace had been lost. My stamina had been very poor though, because I’d only been strength training, playing golf and watching my diet.

This year I wanted to also get great cardiovascular fitness as well. So I added jogging three times per week to my regime.

I’m starting to play soccer regularly now. Stamina has improved considerably on the pitch, but I can’t believe how much pace and speed I’ve lost. I can keep on going and going, but my ability to keep up intense work (work capacity) and speed are almost non-existent.

So I’ve learned from this and have added sprinting and interval work into my regime. My speed is coming back and the better work capacity should follow soon as well.

To be honest, it’s not a bad idea to build an aerobic base of stamina first, because first and foremost you need to be able to keep going and also it helps your recovery from hard sessions.

As disappointed as I was with my loss of speed, the fact is I probably gave a better overall performance than the days when I had the speed, but lacked stamina.

Even when slow, I’d arrive in goalscoring positions and get back to defend a lot more, and this gives you more chance to use your hopefully decent skills and finishing. I also had more in the tank than other players as the game wore on, and started to influence the game more and score more.

It’s not easy to go straight into a full fitness regime so maybe this was a decent approach. However, I’m happy the speed is coming back. It’s a great thing to have, not just for running, but it also hugely helps your ability in having quick feet for skills and tackling.

The plan I have now is to play two 1.5-2 hour five a side games per week and do one tempo interval session as well, to cover aerobic fitness. All other sessions will be based on skills, strength, speed, agility and flexibility.

I’m replacing all jogging with the games and a tempo interval session, which is running repeats at 75% of max for 10 seconds and resting a minute or until heart rate goes to 130 bpm, and doing this for 15 to 30 minutes depending on if it is a light or full session. This is basically aerobic training done by easier sprints and work capacity training. It’s not full out intervals, which are great for work capacity, and it’s not jogging either. It’s intervals for aerobic capacity and some work capacity.

This is what sprinters do for conditioning. They are afraid of jogging causing a loss of speed and so am I now!
However, I’m not sure jogging would have any effect on speed so long as you maintain your sprint and speed work. Some boxers and mma fighters maintain blinding speed with regular jogging on top of their speed routines, so that suggests it isn’t a problem if not done in isolation.

But it may be better for athletes that need maximum speed to stick to games and tempo intervals. It is something to consider, it may be more specific to the needs of certain types of sports. In soccer for example, it is all bursts and recovery, which is more suited to tempo intervals and outright speed training on top of games and regular training.

All in all this is something that needs consideration. If you want to build an aerobic base from scratch you are probably better starting with walking alternating with jogging and building up to jogging. However, if you also need or want speed, then beware that this cardio work alone will take all speed away (over a period of months).
Have speed work as part of your routine as well, if so required.

The best heavy resistance exercise for running speed

First of all, heavy resistance training helps speed. Every sprint trainer will know this. The stronger your sprinters, all things being equal, the faster they will be.

But what’s the best way to do it?

For pure sprinting you probably want to focus on deadlifts.

You need strength in certain areas, and you want no more bodyweight than is necessary.

So if you do strength without size training you are going to build a lot of ability to produce force, without extra bodyweight reducing your speed.

With regard to running it is the force you can put into the ground that will make a huge difference. This is proven to have a direct effect on stride turnover and even stride length, which is how speed is created.

Of course there are ballistic, agility, bodyweight, cardio conditioning, flexibility etc that each play a part as well, but in terms of strength and resistance, the force you can put in the ground is king.

And the best exercise for that is half deadlifts in low rep ranges with lots of rest between sets. Half deadlifts are where you pick the barbell off the ground, lift it to knee height and then drop it onto a cushioned mat or grass.

You want to be doing 3-5 reps per set with a weight that you could lift for a few more reps (if you had to) and have 4 minutes rest between sets.

One of the best speed trainers in the world, Barry Ross, swears by this type of training. It is the gold standard. It hits all the right muscles for producing force into the ground and thus running fast. Progressively lifting more weight with this exercise over months and years will make you a LOT faster.