Get Faster for Any Sport With This 12-Week Speed Workout

STACK Expert John Cissik offers a 12-week program to maximize your speed, training all three components of speed—acceleration, top-end speed and speed endurance.

If you believe doing a few sprints is the key to getting faster, you are sorely mistaken. Maximizing your speed requires you to train the three components of speed: acceleration, top-end speed and speed endurance.

You must increase the amount of force you can put into the ground. The more force you can produce, the faster you will run. Here's how to do it:

  • Get Stronger. Strength is the foundation of speed. If you're weak, you won't be able to drive into the ground.
  • Improve Your Posture. Having perfect posture allows you to run efficiently.
  • Get Powerful. Strength is the foundation, but you need to be able to express your strength quickly.
  • Refine Your Technique. Once you've mastered the previous three, refine your technique so you don't waste energy when sprinting.

That's not to say that sprints are useless. They are, in fact, a critical component of training for speed. But you need to train every speed component. You do this best when you perform specific workouts that focus on acceleration, top-end speed or speed endurance. It's not a good idea to mix up the three components in your training.

Here is a 12-week program that will help you get faster for any sport. The workouts include weight training, plyometrics, conditioning and sprint training—each geared toward making you faster.

Perform 5 minutes of Jump Rope or a 400-meter jog, 5 to 10 minutes of mobility exercises and 5 to 0 minutes of technique drills before every workout.

Weeks 1-4

Phase 1 develops your fitness base, teaches technique and gets you used to sprinting. Monday is an acceleration day, Wednesday is a top-speed day and Friday is a conditioning day.

Monday

  • Sprints: 3-5x10 yards
  • Standing Long Jump x 10
  • Back Squats: 3x8-12 @ 70-80%
  • Split Squats: 3x8-12 each leg
  • Romanian Deadlifts: 3x8-12
  • Reverse Hyperextensions: 3x12-15

Wednesday

  • Sprints: 3-5x40 yards
  • Bounds: 3x20 yards
  • Power Clean - 3x3-6 @ 60-70%
  • Clean Pulls - 3x3-6x @60-70%
  • Push Jerks - 3x3-6 @ 60-70%

Friday

Conditioning Circuit: Perform each exercise for 20 seconds with no rest. Repeat two times.

  • Jumping jacks
  • Sprint
  • Mountain Climbers
  • Sprint
  • Bear Crawls
  • Sprint
  • Push-Ups
  • Sprint
  • Squats
  • Sprint
  • Lunges
  • Sprint
  • Inchworms
  • Sprint
  • Plank
  • Sprint

Weeks 5-8

Phase 2 builds upon the base you developed in Phase 1.

Monday

  • Mini-Durdle Drill: 3x6 hurdles
  • Sprints: 3x5 yards, 3x10 yards
  • Standing Long Jump x10
  • Back Squats: 3x6-10 @ 75-85%
  • Split-Squats: 3x6-10 each leg
  • Romanian Deadlifts: 3x6-10
  • Reverse Hyperextensions: 3x12-15

Wednesday

  • Stride Frequency Drill x 3
  • Sprints: 5x50 yards
  • Bounds: 3x30 yards
  • Power Clean, 3x3-6 @ 60-70%
  • Clean Pulls, 3x3-6 @ 60-70%
  • Push Jerks, 3x3-6 @ 60-70%

Friday

Conditioning Circuit: Perform each exercise for 30 seconds with no rest. Repeat two times.

  • Jumping jacks
  • Sprint
  • Mountain climbers
  • Sprint
  • Bear crawls
  • Sprint
  • Push-Ups
  • Sprint
  • Squats
  • Sprint
  • Lunges
  • Sprint
  • Inchworms
  • Sprint
  • Plank
  • Sprint

Weeks 9-12

The final phase focuses on single-leg movements to develop eccentric and postural strength, which are critical for maintaing stride efficiency and decreasing the chance of injury,

Monday

  • Mini-Hurdle Drill: 3x6 hurdles
  • Sprints: 3x5 yards, 3x20 yards
  • Standing Long Jump x 10
  • Eccentric Back Squats: 3x3-6 @ 50-60% of Back Squat
  • Split-Squats: 3x4-8 each leg
  • Romanian Deadlifts: 3x6-10
  • Reverse Hyperextensions: 3x12-15

Wednesday

  • Stride Frequency Drill x3
  • Sprints: 5x60 yards
  • Bounds: 3x40 yards
  • Split Clean: 3x3-6 each leg @ 40-50% of Power Clean
  • Clean Pulls: 3x3-6 @ 60-70%
  • Split Jerk: 3x3-6 @ 60-70% each leg

Friday

  • Conditioning Circuit: Perform each exercise for 30 seconds with no rest. Repeat two times.
  • Jumping Jacks
  • Sprint
  • Mountain Climbers
  • Sprint
  • Bear Crawls
  • Sprint
  • Push-Ups
  • Sprint
  • Squats
  • Sprint
  • Lunges
  • Sprint
  • Inchworms
  • Sprint
  • Plank
  • Sprint

Drill Overviews

Mini-Hurdle Drill

  1. Set up four mini-hurdles in a straight line.
  2. Place the second hurdle 2 times the length of your foot from the first hurdle.
  3. Place the third hurdle 2.5 times the length of your foot from the second hurdle.
  4. Place the fourth hurdle 3 times the length of your foot from the third hurdle.
  5. Sprint through the hurdles, and continue until you reach the 20-yard line.

Stride Frequency Drill

  1. Place a hurdle 20 yards in front of the start line.
  2. Place the second hurdle at a distance equal to approximately 75 percent of your height from the first hurdle.
  3. Place the third hurdle at a distance equal to approximately 85% of your height from the second hurdle.
  4. Place the fourth hurdle at a distance equal to approximately 95% of your height from the third hurdle.
  5. Sprint through the hurdles, and continue until you reach the 40-yard line.

Eccentric Back Squats

This exercise is performed exactly like a regular Back Squat, with one important exception: Take 10 seconds to descend into the bottom position. Then stand up and repeat.

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Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock

Topics: POWER CLEAN | WORKOUT PLAN | SPEED WORKOUTS | WORKOUTS | POWER | EXERCISE | TRAIN | CLEAN | SPRINT | STRIDE | DRILL | FASTER | JUMPING | JUMPING JACKS