This week we will be covering the speed-strength portion of the force-velocity curve. This is yet again another hybrid type section, as with the strength-speed section. Speed-strength is defined as moving light loads at a high rate of speed. While athletes are still moving weight, the emphasis is on speed, hence speed-strength. Loading in this section of the curve usually needs to be between the 25-55% ranges. If an athlete is training with VBT protocols in place, the bar velocity should be between 1.0 and 1.3m/s. While total force in this section is lower speeds, are higher this section is great for translating weight room performance to on-field performance. Compound lifts can be utilized in this section however, they are not always optimal unless modified correctly. Olympic lifts can also be used but to maximize their effectiveness they should be modified slightly. Additionally, jumps, medicine balls, and other plyometric drills are a premium in this section.
Speed-strength is a great tool for having a carry-over effect on athletes' on-field performance. Thus, it is important to an athlete's training toolbox. Compound lifts should be modified to give more of a plyometric element to them. Squats and deadlifts can be transitioned into jump squats and trap bar jumps. A bench press can be utilized as a bench press throw or an oscillatory movement. Medicine balls can be used as generic movements such as scoop tosses or overhead backward throws. However, they can also be utilized in a sport-specific manner. For example, a baseball pitcher may perform drop step shot put throws or a full delivery with a medicine ball. These drills help train speed-strength through movements used in their everyday sports. This also allows athletes to enhance movement patterns without adding throwing volume or stress to their arms. Another example is a track and field athlete who uses a sled in their acceleration runs. This adds an outside force to enhance muscle recruitment, however, it also aids in building quality acceleration patterns. These are all ways that athletes can train speed-strength. Speed-strength is a vital section in maximizing training carry over, as well as improving movement capacity.
In conclusion, there are many different ways to train speed-strength. There are also a lot of goals that can be accomplished by training speed-strength. As with anything else a proper strength base should be in place before training speed-strength. Once this is in place speed-strength can allow an athlete to excel in their on-field performance. If you feel that speed-strength is something that you can benefit from as an athlete, get in touch by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
*King Performance is not a medical practice, everyone should check with their primary care physician before starting any exercise regime.