Charlie-Usefulness of DE method?

Hi Charlie,

Sorry if this isn’t correct and please correct me if I’m wrong but I believe you have said that weightlifting exercises with max speed (e.g Dynamic Effort) are not very useful to sprinters since the speed of movement is no where near to what occurs in sprinting.

I’m absolutely no expert so I may be completely wrong but I have recently come across a couple of studies that have stated that the intended velocity is what counts…not the actual velocity. So even though the bar may be moving slowly, the training effect (if intended max speed takes place) is desirable with regards to ability to accelarate loads.

One such study is this one by David Behm:

I think another was conducted Jones et al.

Therefore is there a possibility that gains are not velocity specific but are infact motor unit activation specific?

I was just wondering what your thoughts on this are. I may be completely out of context here though.

Many thanks.

When athletes lift, they should always attempt to move it quickly. Heavy weights will not move fast but intent is important.

Charlie’s comments about ‘speed lifting’ (e.g. Bompas ideas about conversion to power) are that the speed acheivable in teh weight room are about 1/10-1/20th of what happens in real sport.

So if youre moving fast on a squat you might finish the concentric in 0.5 seconds. A sprinter is in contact with the ground what, 0.1 sec or so?

Expecting carryover is silly: get strong in the weight room, get fast on the track/pitch/field.


I have to agree with Lyle. Nothing beats sprinting for building speed. Add brute strength to speed and you have a good combo.

If you want a lifting exercise that might help explosiveness use cleans or snatches or better yet explosive medball throws…

What about plyometrics, would they be useful too?

Hey guys,

Thanks for your replies. I agree with you…I was just wondering if no matter what the actual velocity of an exercise is, if the high threshold fibres are activated (whether with low intensity and high velocity or high intensity but low velocity with intent to accelerate as fast as possible) does this translate into speed gains or do you believe adaptations are velocity specific?

Glimpse, yes plyometrics are useful for numerous reasons. CFTS discusses plyometrics in detail.

Thanks all.

DE method is very useful!! Go for it in your power phase.

Depth jumps
Jump squats
Band speed squats
Speed calve raises

Most sprinters do jumps of some sorts.

So yes they’re useful but probably not for the reason you think. Sprinting is very reactive, that means being able to generate force after impact very quickly. that’s what plyometrics teach teh nervous system to do. I also suspect that long-term plyometrics generate some adaptations to specific protein structures in skeletal muscle (namely titin) that contribute to long-term improvements in performance. But it’s only speculation.


The data on this is mixed, some shows vel. specific adaptations some shows carryover between different speeds. the problem being that they invariably train and test on Isokinetic stuff and there’s no telling how it carries over to real performance.

Just think of it this way: at best increased strength gives you POTENTIAL for increased speed expression. But you gotta do the speed work for it to have a chance of happening. See also other threads about hte role of max. strength is speed activities. Or the fact that many current sprinters aren’t that strong in terms of poundages.

Basically, chasing weights is a mistake. Because you can see all kinds of niftythings and improvements in the weight room and S&C coaches love to talk about their big numbers under the bar. If it doens’t make you perform better, it doesn’t matter unless you’re a weighlifter. Because sprints aren’t determined by who can half squat the most.


Every 4th week. Light loads 40-50% max. From my experience with it, it’s a good way to force athletes to deload. As for it’s efficacy in sports, you are likely right Lyle.