Lifting Speed

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Lifting weights is by far the best thing you can do to gain power, strength and speed. But note this: the way you lift is more important than the amount you lift.

Jesse Ackerman, assistant strength and conditioning coach for the University of Texas football team, says athletes sometimes forget to focus on the rate and speed at which they lift. "The biggest thing is being explosive," says Ackerman. "If you lift slow, you're going to be slow."

To exert explosiveness on the gridiron, the Longhorns use lifting percentages of their max effort to work their fast twitch muscles. Depending on where they're at in their training cycle, players will lift between 70 to 90 percent of their maximum amounts, allowing them to weightlift faster and with more power, which translates to improved strength and speed. And Ackerman makes sure his athletes fully reap the benefits with a work to rest ratio for each lift.

Since 2005, this fast, controlled lifting method has allowed the Longhorns to explode on the field and claim a National Championship while producing 10 All-Americans and a Heisman Trophy candidate.

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