Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Can weight training make you slow?

Can weight training make you slow?

As mentioned before, the application of force in a movement like the vertical jump occurs very quickly, somewhere around 200 milliseconds (2 tenths of a seconds). It generally takes around 400-700 milliseconds (4 to7 tenths of a second) to apply max
force. Therefore the body must not only be able to apply a lot of force, but also be able to apply it quickly.

One problem with weight training is that bodybuilding programs have dominated the programs of athletes everywhere and many athletes are trying to make “athletic gains by following weight-training methods designed for bodybuilders. Not that I have a single thing against bodybuilding but bodybuilders should train for bodybuilding and athletes should train for athletic performance. Training programs based upon bodybuilding methods often include a high number of repetitions performed to exhaustion with a focus on keeping the muscle under tension for prolonged periods of time. Such programs mainly develop muscle size rather than improved force or rate of force development. Over time such programs can indeed make you slower by negatively impacting your ability to apply force at high speeds. Our goal is to become stronger while directly increasing transferable strength into power and increasing the speed at which we utilize
our strength. In fact, we actually want to become stronger and faster at the same time! To do this requires strength training designed for athletic performance.

When you lift weights, you must use fairly heavy loads and apply force against the resistance quickly so that your body learns to generate maximum force quickly.  This recruits more fast twitch muscle fibers and trains the nervous system to engage more muscle fibers.  This makes the strength derived from the program directly transferable to our goal, which is to get you up in the air!


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Baechle, T. R., R. W. Earle, and R. W. Earle. Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning. 3rd. 3. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics Publishers, 2008. Print.