Training for Power and Speed

BikiCrumbs: Training for Power and Speed

From Biki


Effects of training on the anaerobic energy system

  • Anaerobic system: enables energy production in the absence of oxygen, used during explosive activities, white muscle fibres predominantly used
  • Hypertrophy: enlargement of muscle fibres in response to resistance raining, occurs in fast twitch fibres after resistance training
  • Fast twitch fibres respond better to resistance training than slow twitch fibres
  • Physiological changes after anaerobic training: muscular strength, increases ATP/PC stores, improved power output, higher lactate threshold
  • Resistance training has positive effects on anaerobic energy supply

Power and Speed Development

  • Power: explosive aspect of strength, = force (strength) x distance


  • Speed: greatest velocity at which a movement (eg a limb being moved, object projected) occurs
  • Starting strength: ability to extend the ‘turned on’ period of explosiveness
  • Power is improved by:
    • Improving muscular strength
    • Improving speed of coordinated muscle contractions
  • A training program would include resistance training and plyometrics
  • When heavy loads are lifted in training, speed develops automatically
  • Power is usually more important in sports than strength
  • Speed is needed in 1) achieving and maintaining maximal speed 2) reaction time 3) acceleration
  • Speed depends on: muscle type/elasticity, willpower, nervous system response, equipment
  • Power is needed for shot put, javelin, high jump

Resistance Training for Power and Speed Events

  • Seeks to enhance fast twitch fibres
  • Resistance training for:


  • Plyometrics: exercises where a muscle is stretched (lengthened) using an eccentric contraction and this is then followed by a rapid concentric contraction. Called the stretch-shortening cycle
  • Because if a muscle is stretched (pre-loaded) before it is shortened, it will contract more forcefully. Eg a highjumper lowers their centre of gravity before jumping
  • Eg a combination of hops and steps, bounding over obstacles, lateral bounding, depth jumps
  • Specificity is important

This page is a stub and is incomplete.
Why not add to it? Don't be intimidated - we welcome all contributions!