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The Need for Speed: How and Why to Improve Your Speed


Definition:

Speed is the rate at which someone is able to move from point A to point B. This means the ratio of the distance to the time in which the distance was covered. Your power and endurance will play a big role in the speed one is able to generate.

Your capacity for speed is largely determined by having genetic predispositions to stronger and shorter muscles, tendons, ligaments, and more. However, you can significantly improve your speed with a consistent power and speed training regimen.


Why is Speed Important?

In sports, the importance of speed training is more readily apparent. Beating opponents to the mark, having quick reaction times, and developing fast sport-specific skills are all paramount for high-level athletic performance.

What if you are not an athlete though, how important is speed training? Speed training goes hand in hand with power training. Moving from point A to point B in shorter amounts of time, can translate to improvements in your overall quality of life by improving your gate speed, balance, and power output overall. Power is highly predictive of longevity and well-being, but without speed training, you may be missing out on some of it's practical applications. Training power in the gym helps you develop the capacity, but training speed outside of the gym helps you use and apply the skill to real-world situations.



How to Improve Speed Using CA Fitness Plans:

The CA App measures your speed and power by assessing 20 and 40-yard dash running times. Simply try out the necessary tests at a track or field and enter your scores on the app. The CA App takes your scores and compares them to other individuals your age and gender to see how you stack up.

These scores ultimately help you understand if your current training program lacks speed and power training. The easiest way to ensure you are getting speed training into your workout routine is to follow one of our pre-programmed fitness plans found on the app. Simply navigate to your fitness score page and click “Add a Program and fill out the questionnaire to get started.


How to Improve Speed Using the Custom Build Feature:


While speed training, it’s important to know your personal limits. First, you should consider your current limitations such as age, medical conditions, and fitness level. After you have self-assessed, you can begin developing your personal speed plan.

Speed training should not be done every single day, in fact, you won’t see any progress training this way. If you are not currently competing in a competitive, high-intensity sport, you may only need to focus on speed training once every or every other week. Novel exercisers should aim to start simple and slower than more experienced exercisers. If you are a competitive, high-intensity athlete, consider adding some speed training into your routine 1-2 days/week.

Consider adding in a variety of different speed training styles like:

  • Shuttle runs

  • Agility cones

  • Ladder drills

  • Fast band-work

  • Short sprints

  • Quick footwork drills

  • Fast hand movement drills

These are unique exercises to spice up your workout routine in an intense, yet fun way that will also help improve your speed, power, and balance.

It is recommended to perform any speed movements after an intense warm-up and before any weighted strength or power workouts.

It is also helpful to train your 1RM consistently to track your progress over time. Consider testing your 20 and 4-yard dash times once every other month after regularly training speed and power throughout the month.



 

Sources and further reading opportunities:


Dictionary.com. (n.d.). Speed definition & meaning. Dictionary.com. https://www.dictionary.com/browse/speed

Factors affecting speed (GCSE physics). Study Mind. (2023, February 17). https://studymind.co.uk/notes/factors-affecting-speed/#:~:text=There%20are%20several%20factors%20that,friction%20or%20other%20resistive%20forces.


Herrick, J. (2016, November 10). 8 things you should know about speed training. Athletes Acceleration Sports Performance Training. https://athletesacceleration.com/8-things-know-speed-training/


How often should you do speed and agility training. Kbands Training. (2019, December 9). https://kbandstraining.com/training-blog/how-often-should-you-do-speed-and-agility-training/#:~:text=So%2C%20speed%20and%20agility%20training,is%20enough%20for%20youth%20athletes.&text=The%20purpose%20of%20speed%20and,agility%20in%20his%20respective%20sport.


Magill, P. (2022, June 28). 10 major benefits of speed training (that aren’t just faster times). Runner’s World. https://www.runnersworld.com/training/a20716909/speed-training-health-benefits/


Stewart, J., & Macrae, B. (2021, December 8). Speed vs power: 4 reasons why speed wins every time. Warrior Punch. https://warriorpunch.com/speed-vs-power/?utm_content=cmp-true



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