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Heavy weight training won’t make you slow when programmed correctly. Some say you need to move lighter weights quickly to improve speed performance since muscle contraction times during sprinting are less than 250ms ย ADDIN ZOTERO_ITEM CSL_CITATION {"citationID":"eEAlSpwV","properties":{"formattedCitation":"(1)","plainCitation":"(1)","noteIndex":0},"citationItems":[{"id":3441,"uris":["http://zotero.org/users/4266905/items/XLA5TTVR"%5D,"uri&quot;:["http://zotero.org/users/4266905/items/XLA5TTVR"%5D,"itemData&quot;:{"id":3441,"type":"article-journal","abstract":"The maximal rate of rise in muscle force [rate of force development (RFD)] has important functional consequences as it determines the force that can be generated in the early phase of muscle contraction (0โ€“200 ms). The present study examined the effect of resistance training on contractile RFD and efferent motor outflow (โ€œneural driveโ€) during maximal muscle contraction. Contractile RFD (slope of force-time curve), impulse (time-integrated force), electromyography (EMG) signal amplitude (mean average voltage), and rate of EMG rise (slope of EMG-time curve) were determined (1-kHz sampling rate) during maximal isometric muscle contraction (quadriceps femoris) in 15 male subjects before and after 14 wk of heavy-resistance strength training (38 sessions). Maximal isometric muscle strength [maximal voluntary contraction (MVC)] increased from 291.1 ยฑ 9.8 to 339.0 ยฑ 10.2 N ยท m after training. Contractile RFD determined within time intervals of 30, 50, 100, and 200 ms relative to onset of contraction increased from 1,601 ยฑ 117 to 2,020 ยฑ 119 (P < 0.05), 1,802 ยฑ 121 to 2,201 ยฑ 106 (P < 0.01), 1,543 ยฑ 83 to 1,806 ยฑ 69 (P < 0.01), and 1,141 ยฑ 45 to 1,363 ยฑ 44 N ยท m ยท sโˆ’1 (P < 0.01), respectively. Corresponding increases were observed in contractile impulse (P < 0.01โ€“0.05). When normalized relative to MVC, contractile RFD increased 15% after training (at zero to one-sixth MVC; P < 0.05). Furthermore, muscle EMG increased (P < 0.01โ€“0.05) 22โ€“143% (mean average voltage) and 41โ€“106% (rate of EMG rise) in the early contraction phase (0โ€“200 ms). In conclusion, increases in explosive muscle strength (contractile RFD and impulse) were observed after heavy-resistance strength training. These findings could be explained by an enhanced neural drive, as evidenced by marked increases in EMG signal amplitude and rate of EMG rise in the early phase of muscle contraction.","container-title":"Journal of Applied Physiology","DOI":"10.1152/japplphysiol.00283.2002","ISSN":"8750-7587","issue":"4","journalAbbreviation":"Journal of Applied Physiology","page":"1318-1326","source":"www-physiology-org.stmarys.idm.oclc.org (Atypon)","title":"Increased rate of force development and neural driveย  of human skeletal muscle following resistance training","volume":"93","author":[{"family":"Aagaard","given":"Per"},{"family":"Simonsen","given":"Erik B."},{"family":"Andersen","given":"Jesper L."},{"family":"Magnusson","given":"Peter"},{"family":"Dyhre-Poulsen","given":"Poul"}],"issued":{"date-parts":[["2002",10,1]]}}}],"schema":"https://github.com/citation-style-language/schema/raw/master/csl-citation.json&quot;} (1), the main issue with velocity only exercises is the lack of ability to produce large amounts of force, which is also a key determinant of the acceleration phase of a sprint ย ADDIN ZOTERO_ITEM CSL_CITATION {"citationID":"XaCVilcW","properties":{"formattedCitation":"(2)","plainCitation":"(2)","noteIndex":0},"citationItems":[{"id":691,"uris":["http://zotero.org/users/4266905/items/M2TA6DS3"%5D,"uri&quot;:["http://zotero.org/users/4266905/items/M2TA6DS3"%5D,"itemData&quot;:{"id":691,"type":"article-journal","abstract":"Lockie, RG, Murphy, AJ, Schultz, AB, Knight, TJ, and Janse de Jonge, XAK. The effects of different speed training protocols on sprint acceleration kinematics and muscle strength and power in field sport athletes. J Strength Cond Res 26(6): 1539โ€“1550, 2012โ€”A variety of resistance training interventions are used to improve field sport acceleration (e.g., free sprinting, weights, plyometrics, resisted sprinting). The effects these protocols have on acceleration performance and components of sprint technique have not been clearly defined in the literature. This study assessed 4 common protocols (free sprint training [FST], weight training [WT], plyometric training [PT], and resisted sprint training [RST]) for changes in acceleration kinematics, power, and strength in field sport athletes. Thirty-five men were divided into 4 groups (FST: n = 9; WT: n = 8; PT: n = 9; RST: n = 9) matched for 10-m velocity. Training involved two 60-minute sessions per week for 6 weeks. After the interventions, paired-sample t-tests identified significant (p โ‰ค 0.05) within-group changes. All the groups increased the 0- to 5-m and 0- to 10-m velocity by 9โ€“10%. The WT and PT groups increased the 5- to 10-m velocity by approximately 10%. All the groups increased step length for all distance intervals. The FST group decreased 0- to 5-m flight time and step frequency in all intervals and increased 0- to 5-m and 0- to 10-m contact time. Power and strength adaptations were protocol specific. The FST group improved horizontal power as measured by a 5-bound test. The FST, PT, and RST groups all improved reactive strength index derived from a 40-cm drop jump, indicating enhanced muscle stretch-shortening capacity during rebound from impacts. The WT group increased absolute and relative strength measured by a 3-repetition maximum squat by approximately 15%. Step length was the major limiting sprint performance factor for the athletes in this study. Correctly administered, each training protocol can be effective in improving acceleration. To increase step length and improve acceleration, field sport athletes should develop specific horizontal and reactive power.","container-title":"The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research","DOI":"10.1519/JSC.0b013e318234e8a0","ISSN":"1064-8011","issue":"6","language":"en-US","page":"1539","source":"journals.lww.com","title":"The Effects of Different Speed Training Protocols on Sprint Acceleration Kinematics and Muscle Strength and Power in Field Sport Athletes","volume":"26","author":[{"family":"Lockie","given":"Robert G."},{"family":"Murphy","given":"Aron J."},{"family":"Schultz","given":"Adrian B."},{"family":"Knight","given":"Timothy J."},{"family":"Janse de Jonge","given":"Xanne A. K."}],"issued":{"date-parts":[["2012",6]]}}}],"schema":"https://github.com/citation-style-language/schema/raw/master/csl-citation.json&quot;} (2).ย 

Acceleration is force divided by mass, so increasing the amount of force you produce and maintaining mass is one way to get faster over the first few steps to win that ball. Also losing some mass will be more helpful.ย 

Heavy squats require maximum activation of a lot of muscles (core, lower body, upper body etc) to produce large amounts of force to lift the weight.ย In addition, proliferation in neural drive will increase the
number of muscle fibres recruited, with the aim of recruiting the largest type IIx fibres. Adaptations following heavy resistance training include increased neural drive and increased early rate of force development (0 โ€“ 200ms), as evidenced from increased EMG signal amplitude in the early phase of muscle contraction ย ADDIN ZOTERO_ITEM CSL_CITATION {"citationID":"yGMkFjaa","properties":{"formattedCitation":"(1)","plainCitation":"(1)","noteIndex":0},"citationItems":[{"id":3441,"uris":["http://zotero.org/users/4266905/items/XLA5TTVR"%5D,"uri&quot;:["http://zotero.org/users/4266905/items/XLA5TTVR"%5D,"itemData&quot;:{"id":3441,"type":"article-journal","abstract":"The maximal rate of rise in muscle force [rate of force development (RFD)] has important functional consequences as it determines the force that can be generated in the early phase of muscle contraction (0โ€“200 ms). The present study examined the effect of resistance training on contractile RFD and efferent motor outflow (โ€œneural driveโ€) during maximal muscle contraction. Contractile RFD (slope of force-time curve), impulse (time-integrated force), electromyography (EMG) signal amplitude (mean average voltage), and rate of EMG rise (slope of EMG-time curve) were determined (1-kHz sampling rate) during maximal isometric muscle contraction (quadriceps femoris) in 15 male subjects before and after 14 wk of heavy-resistance strength training (38 sessions). Maximal isometric muscle strength [maximal voluntary contraction (MVC)] increased from 291.1 ยฑ 9.8 to 339.0 ยฑ 10.2 N ยท m after training. Contractile RFD determined within time intervals of 30, 50, 100, and 200 ms relative to onset of contraction increased from 1,601 ยฑ 117 to 2,020 ยฑ 119 (P < 0.05), 1,802 ยฑ 121 to 2,201 ยฑ 106 (P < 0.01), 1,543 ยฑ 83 to 1,806 ยฑ 69 (P < 0.01), and 1,141 ยฑ 45 to 1,363 ยฑ 44 N ยท m ยท sโˆ’1 (P < 0.01), respectively. Corresponding increases were observed in contractile impulse (P < 0.01โ€“0.05). When normalized relative to MVC, contractile RFD increased 15% after training (at zero to one-sixth MVC; P < 0.05). Furthermore, muscle EMG increased (P < 0.01โ€“0.05) 22โ€“143% (mean average voltage) and 41โ€“106% (rate of EMG rise) in the early contraction phase (0โ€“200 ms). In conclusion, increases in explosive muscle strength (contractile RFD and impulse) were observed after heavy-resistance strength training. These findings could be explained by an enhanced neural drive, as evidenced by marked increases in EMG signal amplitude and rate of EMG rise in the early phase of muscle contraction.","container-title":"Journal of Applied Physiology","DOI":"10.1152/japplphysiol.00283.2002","ISSN":"8750-7587","issue":"4","journalAbbreviation":"Journal of Applied Physiology","page":"1318-1326","source":"www-physiology-org.stmarys.idm.oclc.org (Atypon)","title":"Increased rate of force development and neural driveย  of human skeletal muscle following resistance training","volume":"93","author":[{"family":"Aagaard","given":"Per"},{"family":"Simonsen","given":"Erik B."},{"family":"Andersen","given":"Jesper L."},{"family":"Magnusson","given":"Peter"},{"family":"Dyhre-Poulsen","given":"Poul"}],"issued":{"date-parts":[["2002",10,1]]}}}],"schema":"https://github.com/citation-style-language/schema/raw/master/csl-citation.json&quot;} (1), likely the result of the increased neural drive to the muscles.

Performing exercises that extend the knees and hips under load (heavy squats for example) can transfer to the first few steps during a sprint ย ADDIN ZOTERO_ITEM CSL_CITATION {"citationID":"q7Ob3LHc","properties":{"formattedCitation":"(2)","plainCitation":"(2)","noteIndex":0},"citationItems":[{"id":691,"uris":["http://zotero.org/users/4266905/items/M2TA6DS3"%5D,"uri&quot;:["http://zotero.org/users/4266905/items/M2TA6DS3"%5D,"itemData&quot;:{"id":691,"type":"article-journal","abstract":"Lockie, RG, Murphy, AJ, Schultz, AB, Knight, TJ, and Janse de Jonge, XAK. The effects of different speed training protocols on sprint acceleration kinematics and muscle strength and power in field sport athletes. J Strength Cond Res 26(6): 1539โ€“1550, 2012โ€”A variety of resistance training interventions are used to improve field sport acceleration (e.g., free sprinting, weights, plyometrics, resisted sprinting). The effects these protocols have on acceleration performance and components of sprint technique have not been clearly defined in the literature. This study assessed 4 common protocols (free sprint training [FST], weight training [WT], plyometric training [PT], and resisted sprint training [RST]) for changes in acceleration kinematics, power, and strength in field sport athletes. Thirty-five men were divided into 4 groups (FST: n = 9; WT: n = 8; PT: n = 9; RST: n = 9) matched for 10-m velocity. Training involved two 60-minute sessions per week for 6 weeks. After the interventions, paired-sample t-tests identified significant (p โ‰ค 0.05) within-group changes. All the groups increased the 0- to 5-m and 0- to 10-m velocity by 9โ€“10%. The WT and PT groups increased the 5- to 10-m velocity by approximately 10%. All the groups increased step length for all distance intervals. The FST group decreased 0- to 5-m flight time and step frequency in all intervals and increased 0- to 5-m and 0- to 10-m contact time. Power and strength adaptations were protocol specific. The FST group improved horizontal power as measured by a 5-bound test. The FST, PT, and RST groups all improved reactive strength index derived from a 40-cm drop jump, indicating enhanced muscle stretch-shortening capacity during rebound from impacts. The WT group increased absolute and relative strength measured by a 3-repetition maximum squat by approximately 15%. Step length was the major limiting sprint performance factor for the athletes in this study. Correctly administered, each training protocol can be effective in improving acceleration. To increase step length and improve acceleration, field sport athletes should develop specific horizontal and reactive power.","container-title":"The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research","DOI":"10.1519/JSC.0b013e318234e8a0","ISSN":"1064-8011","issue":"6","language":"en-US","page":"1539","source":"journals.lww.com","title":"The Effects of Different Speed Training Protocols on Sprint Acceleration Kinematics and Muscle Strength and Power in Field Sport Athletes","volume":"26","author":[{"family":"Lockie","given":"Robert G."},{"family":"Murphy","given":"Aron J."},{"family":"Schultz","given":"Adrian B."},{"family":"Knight","given":"Timothy J."},{"family":"Janse de Jonge","given":"Xanne A. K."}],"issued":{"date-parts":[["2012",6]]}}}],"schema":"https://github.com/citation-style-language/schema/raw/master/csl-citation.json&quot;} (2).ย 

I always recommend performing some velocity-based training to maximise the benefits. It is not as important during the GAA off-season but something I still program, usually 1-2 exercises to maintain muscle contraction velocities ย ADDIN ZOTERO_ITEM CSL_CITATION {"citationID":"UDJhePVT","properties":{"formattedCitation":"(3)","plainCitation":"(3)","noteIndex":0},"citationItems":[{"id":5868,"uris":["http://zotero.org/users/4266905/items/BBD5MLEU"%5D,"uri&quot;:["http://zotero.org/users/4266905/items/BBD5MLEU"%5D,"itemData&quot;:{"id":5868,"type":"article-journal","issue":"1","language":"en","page":"12","source":"Zotero","title":"RESEARCHED APPLICATIONS OF VELOCITY BASED STRENGTH TRAINING","volume":"21","author":[{"family":"Jovanoviฤ‡","given":"Mladen"},{"family":"Flanagan","given":"Dr Eamonn P"}],"issued":{"date-parts":[["2014"]]}}}],"schema":"https://github.com/citation-style-language/schema/raw/master/csl-citation.json&quot;} (3).ย 

Is your program aimed at making you both strong and fast or just focusing on 1 or the other? Follow the link to join my strength and performance training program to ensure you are training correctly.ย Or if you need specific training on an individual basis you can complete the application here.

References:

1. ย ย ย ย ย ย ย  Aagaard P, Simonsen EB, Andersen JL, Magnusson P, Dyhre-Poulsen P. Increased rate of force development and neural driveย  of human skeletal muscle following resistance training. J Appl Physiol. 2002 Oct 1;93(4):1318โ€“26.

2. ย ย ย ย ย ย ย  Lockie RG, Murphy AJ, Schultz AB, Knight TJ, Janse de Jonge XAK. The Effects of Different Speed Training Protocols on Sprint Acceleration Kinematics and Muscle Strength and Power in Field Sport Athletes. J Strength Cond Res. 2012 Jun;26(6):1539.

3. ย ย ย ย ย ย ย  Jovanoviฤ‡ M, Flanagan dep. Researched applications of velocity based strength training. Journal of Australian Strength and Conditioning. 2014;21(1):12.

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