Develop Speed Without Leaving the Weight Room

May 2, 2011

Opportunities abound to enhance your speed, even beyond regularly scheduled training days. For the Alabama Crimson Tide, speed and agility work takes place in the weight room, during the same training sessions that have players like running back Trent Richardson crushing inordinate volumes of weight.

Performing drills between sets of lifts not only develops speed, it also helps produce “a totally conditioned athlete”—one who is “in better shape than the opposition in the fourth quarter,” says Scott Cochran, director of strength and conditioning for the Crimson Tide.

Alabama's speed, strength and endurance are manifest in a recent espn.com article, “Top 10 Strongest Men in College Football.” As much as senior writer Bruce Feldman “tried to avoid having two guys from the same program on the list,” he just couldn’t help himself, and a pair of  Crimson Tide players were honored for their incredible feats of strength in the weight room.

The weight room numbers of Richardson and Josh Chapman, the two Tide players named to the strong man team, are jaw-dropping. Chapman, weighing in at just over 300 pounds, benched 580 pounds and squatted 630. Richardson, a 220-pound running back, “benched 450 to go with a 600-pound Squat, a 365-pound Power Clean and a 4.4 40-Yard Dash,” Feldman writes.

Freak-of-nature totals, indeed. But Richardson’s gaudy weight-room numbers are not what make him one of the top running backs in the country. It's his ability to transfer that strength and power to the field.

Simply put, you can bench and squat all day long, but it won't improve your football performance. “Today’s athletes want to be bigger, but the most important thing is speed,” Cochran says. “You have to spend time on speed development.” His advice is simple: “Jump rope for 30 seconds or do ladder drills between sets. There are a million things you can do for speed in the weight room.”

A plethora of jump rope and ladder drills and variations are waiting for you between sets, which is why this is the first of three posts highlighting some of them. [Check back in the days ahead for the second and third posts.]

Here are several jump rope variations  you can use between sets of power and Olympic lifts:

Shawn Horcoff, Center, Edmonton Oilers

In the video above, Horcoff performs his jump rope routine for 60 seconds. Follow his routine but do each pattern for 10 seconds.

  • Begin with two feet
  • After 10 seconds, switch to jogging in place
  • After 10 seconds, switch to side-to-side

Drew Brees, Quarterback, New Orleans Saints

  • Jump rope for 30 seconds, alternating foot patterns from one foot, two feet and double hops between ground contacts.

Virginia Tech Football's Jump Rope Drills With Movement

Perform any of the following patterns for 30 seconds, making sure you have sufficient space in front and to sides.

  • Running Forward
  • Two-Leg Forward Hop
  • Single-Leg Forward Hop
  • Two-Leg Right/Left

Source:  espn.com

Zac Clark
- Zac Clark is STACK Media's Custom Content Manager. Prior to joining STACK in September 2008, he served as an editorial assistant for USA Hockey Magazine...
Zac Clark
- Zac Clark is STACK Media's Custom Content Manager. Prior to joining STACK in September 2008, he served as an editorial assistant for USA Hockey Magazine...

Featured Videos

Path to the Pros 2015: Devin Smith Path to the Pros 2015: Devin Smith Views: 182,224
Path to the Pros 2015: Marcus Mariota Path to the Pros 2015: Marcus Mariota Views: 1,271,129
Path to the Pros 2015: Trae Waynes Path to the Pros 2015: Trae Waynes Views: 81,017
Load More

Resources

STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be fitter than ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers

Magazine

Latest issues of STACK Magazine

STACK 4W

Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice

Gamer

Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes

News

Find the latest news relevant to athletes

Most Popular Videos

Colin Kaepernick's Core Workout Colin Kaepernick's Core Workout
Views: 896,781
Drew Brees Will Not Be Denied Drew Brees Will Not Be Denied
Views: 12,195,981
Robert Griffin III Pocket Presence QB Drill Robert Griffin III Pocket Presence QB Drill
Views: 6,866,321
Ohio State Football Open Field Plyo Drill Ohio State Football Open Field Plyo Drill
Views: 9,501,467
Dustin Pedroia on Training Dustin Pedroia on Training
Views: 10,921,007

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like
Sprinting Tips from Olympic Gold Medalist Michael Johnson

Sprinting Tips from Olympic Gold Medalist Michael Johnson

One thing that might be slowing you down is your sprinting technique. We see it all the time. Athletes don't learn the fundamentals early on in their...

Why Youth Athletes Need to Focus On Strength to Improve Speed

Why Youth Athletes Need to Focus On Strength to Improve Speed

Why Agility Is Critical for Soccer Players

Why Agility Is Critical for Soccer Players

Resisted Sprints: Use the Right Weight to Get Faster

Resisted Sprints: Use the Right Weight to Get Faster

Increase Your Ankle Mobility to Sprint Faster

Increase Your Ankle Mobility to Sprint Faster

Le'Veon Bell Tweets Some Impressive Off-Season Workouts

Le'Veon Bell Tweets Some Impressive Off-Season Workouts

Speed Drill of the Day: Get More Explosive with Ankle Hops

Speed Drill of the Day: Get More Explosive with Ankle Hops

King of the Hill: 5 Hill Run Exercises to Supercharge Your Speed

King of the Hill: 5 Hill Run Exercises to Supercharge Your Speed

3 Ways to Build Sprint Speed (No Sprinting Required)

3 Ways to Build Sprint Speed (No Sprinting Required)

What Is Fast in Soccer?

What Is Fast in Soccer?

NFL RB Zac Stacy Works to Get Faster for the 2015 Season

NFL RB Zac Stacy Works to Get Faster for the 2015 Season

5 Stretches That Can Instantly Make You Faster

5 Stretches That Can Instantly Make You Faster

These 5 Drills Will Increase Your Baseball-Specific Speed

These 5 Drills Will Increase Your Baseball-Specific Speed

Get Faster With These Hamstring Exercises

Get Faster With These Hamstring Exercises

A Linear Speed Progression for Increasing In-Game Speed

A Linear Speed Progression for Increasing In-Game Speed

Todd Durkin's 5 Exercises to Increase Your Agility

Todd Durkin's 5 Exercises to Increase Your Agility

Soccer Players: Get Quick on the Pitch

Soccer Players: Get Quick on the Pitch

Increase Your Speed with Horizontal Force Training

Increase Your Speed with Horizontal Force Training

5 Movements You Should Be Doing to Gain Football Speed

5 Movements You Should Be Doing to Gain Football Speed

Fine-Tuning Soccer Sprint Speed

Fine-Tuning Soccer Sprint Speed

Get Even More Out of Your Hill Sprints With These Variations

Get Even More Out of Your Hill Sprints With These Variations

Developing Soccer-Specific Speed

Developing Soccer-Specific Speed

Six-Pack for Speed: 5 Core Exercises That Can Make You Faster

Six-Pack for Speed: 5 Core Exercises That Can Make You Faster

Get Faster with High-Speed Treadmill Training

Get Faster with High-Speed Treadmill Training

NBA All-Star Paul Millsap's Quick Feet Drill

NBA All-Star Paul Millsap's Quick Feet Drill

Building Sprint Speed for Soccer Players

Building Sprint Speed for Soccer Players

3 Acceleration Drills to Get Faster

3 Acceleration Drills to Get Faster

YardBarker