i bet carl feared weight training would hurt his last 10-20m too much

the way i see it:

squats = help acceleration, but can hurt endurance if speed endurance isn’t emphasized. They can also tighten you up. Thats probably why some of those naturally gifted guys (at all levels) sometimes feel they are better off not utilizing strength work

too much straight track guys. Did all the weights for Olympic 100m sprinter from Ghana for a few years. He was brutally strong and built like a truck. Lower body was huge, upper was well developed, but more lithe. I mostly train football guys, and they don’t have the endurance work involved, so I am more oriented to that sport. Got a lot of explosively quick guys. That’s how I like em. Speed is great, but rarely used flat out in football.

Speedcoach I would disagree with your last statement about flat out speed not being used in football. Aside from the obvious that certain positions will not encounter such speeds, I would say that speed is the single most important fitness quality to develop in skill players, and even many semi skill players…sorry for hijack

Speedcoach is talking about training Max V. Rarely does an athlete have a 60m straight run that will allow him to reach his Max V. I would bet if 60 players touch the field, only one or two will reach his terminal Max V during a game. However acceleration is another matter. Improving a players ability to reach 90-95% of Max V quicker is more important. If player 1 improves his acceleration and can reach 95% of Max V quicker than before, but his Max V doesn’t change, he’s made significant progress that will contribute to his success on field. If player 2 improves his 100% Max V but his acceleration curve remains unchanged (only extended), he will have made little impact on his onfield performance.

is there a better way to improve acceleration than to improve the squat?

Practice accelerating.

It’s somewhere on these boards but Charlie once said he was giving a seminar and posed the question “how do you improve a vertical jump?”. He said people were throwing out all kinds ideas like squats, box squat, plyos, depth jumps, single leg work, stretching hip flexors, etc. After they were done with suggestions he told them not a single person mentioned actually practicing the vertical jump.

Lewis also had the long jump to consider. Any added weight would have to be carried 29 feet through the air.

Yes, I misinterpreted his statement. However, aside from the differences between maximal and operational outputs, I would say players reach their highest operational speeds more often than people think in Football. Also, in consideration of the varying levels of athletes, only elite ethletes are entering maxV at or around 60 meters. The vast majority of athletes that most of us will deal with enter it much sooner, making it that much more important to develop. Most high school athletes will have reached their top speed by 30 yards, college slightly further, and NFL further as well.

I agree with what you are saying I just thought it was important to point out these differences.

Fair enough. One important thing to keep in mind is that it is much easier to improve the first 20m of a 40m sprint than the last 20m.

though in scope for 100m i remember reading that the tenths at the end are easier to cut then the hundreths at the beginning (though i can see peak speed being even harder to develop, i assume the 100m statement is based off maintaing peak speed better??)

Max V is obviously much more important in the 100m than it is football, basketball, baseball, soccer, etc. Even so, I think the statement is speaking to Speed Endurance. IMHO, most of a novice sprinter’s improvement is probably going to come in the first 30m (accel) and last 40m (SE), at least in the first year or two. Its seems that its much harder to improve Max V, the middle 20-30m, than it is to improve the beginning and the end of the race. But that’s just my take on it.

Just because I don’t focus on Max V doesn’t mean my players don’t have it. I feel for football that acceleration is far more important than Max V. I have players who can out accelerate and therefore run by 95% of defenders. Barry Sanders was a prime example. If he and the defender were both stopped, defender was done. Emmitt Smith was another. Never broke 4.6 but was obviously successful. Obviously, DB’s and WR are a little different, but I will still take the guy who accelerates out of a cut over a speed merchant. Not disagreeing with you guys, just giving some insight into my philosophy.

From my experience, improving explosive power in the hip flexors, decreasing BW & incorporating specific core targeting exercises did more for my acceleration/leg speed & improving my 40 than doing squats ever did.

But compound exercises are certainly important.

For what reason(s) star61?.

What changes 20m onwards?.

The difference lies in the ground contact time. The longer the foot is in contact with the ground the more time the for the muscles to develop maximal force. This relationship can be seen on the Force/Time curve. Because the gct in the start and accel is longer there is more time develop these forces, thus making maximal strength of primary importance especially within the first 10 meters. As the speed progresses the time to develop this force is less, therefore an increase in strength will have less transfer to distances near or around Max V.

With that said, strength is one of the easist fitness qualities to develop versus elastic or reactive power which is seen in Max V, which is why it tends to be easier to improve acceleration.

But, although it is easier to improve the earlier stages of acceleration, the improvement itself is relatively small as the distance is short. As Charlie would say, why waste so much time on the start to try and cut hundredths off your time, when you can take tenths or a whole second off concentrating on the latter portion of your race. (or something along those lines, but you get the point)

Things like squat, plyos, sleds, hills, have all shown to help in the first 20m or so, but do very little to improve Max V. For most running the forty, they are approaching Max V at 40. I was thinking of high schoolers, so for them, most of he improvement will come in the first 20m by using the methods I list above.

Very good points.

would you consider plyometrics the best way to improve Max V? Other than perhaps sprinting itself.

Not sure you’re addressing me, but I would love to hear others opinions on this. It seems that the best tools for Max V are…

  • max velocity sprints such as flying 20’s, e-f-e etc.
  • bounds (we’re doing bounds with weighted vest)

Elasticity, which you may develop with plyometrics (still aspecifically though), is just one part of the equation.
Correct form and relaxation are often more important to improve max V. Learning to relax is the most difficult thing of all. I don’t know any particular exercise that teaches this instantly. Unless you’re gifted it may take years of practice.

Charlie spoke about “frequency drills” he would have his athletes do before max speed sessions.
I asked about these a while ago, check it out: