Get Faster - Get Quicker
Professional or High School Athlete, Everyone Must Train the Same Way.
You Can Get Quick & Get Fast Through Training
Depending upon your situation, your goal to run faster, jump higher or
be quicker is easily obtainable. Most people we talk to about this
topic are athletes of all ages who want to stand out on their teams, or
improve their skills so they have a better chance at making a High
School squad, or a college or pro team. The training is no different for a
pro than a High School athlete. First, you've probably already made a
decision that you want to be faster or you wouldn't be researching it
now. You want to know how to start running faster or start a running
program. Whether you're in Track and Field or you play Basketball
and want to know how to slam dunk better, you can train using
routines, tips and tricks that work for the pros and learn how to run
faster, to increase your quickness and speed. Research has shown
conclusively that contrary to popular belief, even if you're slower than a
pond turtle, you can change all of that with easy training techniques
used by professional trainers.
"Nothing will work unless you do"
Slow twitch muscles are very efficient at contracting continuously for an extended period of time, say in a marathon or swimming
competition. These muscles not only generate fuel much more efficiently using oxygen, but they twitch slower than fast twitch
muscles (hence the names) and therefore don't wear out as quickly. Fast twitch muscles, on the other hand, use anaerobic
metabolism to create energy, and as such are they are better able provide that quick, short burst of strength or speed that people
look for in sports such as sprinting and activities that involve jumping. For example, a wide receiver in a football game who has to run
a route at full speed for a few seconds, repeatedly, would be much better served by working to condition his fast twitch muscles.
Even though each contraction of the two muscle types produces a relatively equal amount of energy, the combination of their rapid
contractions and less effective means at producing fuel means that fast twitch muscles tire out much more quickly. Slow twitch fibers
produce 10 to 30 contractions per second while Fast twitch fibers produce 30 to 70 contractions per second.
If you just have to know more about muscle fibers and the technical side of it, this great article from MIT (Massachusetts Institute of
Technology) will help (http://web.mit.edu/tkd/stretch/stretching_2.html). And you can learn more from the "Muscle Anatomy" page
linked above. But for most of us we don't care to know that the body has over 215 pairs of skeletal muscles, and that the thumb alone
is controlled by nine separate muscles. We just know we want to jump higher, sprint faster, and be much quicker at what we do. We
want to know what to do to get faster.
But all this information does little to answer the question of whether or not an athlete (or anyone looking to increase their quickness
for whatever reason) can really increase the performance of their fast twitch muscles through training. And the answer, as it turns
out, is yes they can. There is considerable clinical research showing that training can have a positive correlation with fast twitch
muscle activity. That is to say, more training equals more or better fast twitch muscle fibers, which means you can get quicker or get
faster than you are now. Christopher P. Ingalls, in his paper titled "Nature vs. nurture: can exercise really alter fiber type composition
in human skeletal muscle?", cites clinical research which was published in the Journal of Applied Physiology in which muscle
fiber type distribution was examined before and after long-term, high-intensity endurance training, and in discussing the results he
clearly states that "Today, it is generally accepted that exercise training can promote changes within the population of fast-twitch
fibers..." In a 2010 article by Renee Twombly at Georgetown University Medical Center, the author cites Dr. J. P. Hyatt when she
writes: "Hyatt says that genetics play a big part in whether a person has predominantly fast or slow twitch muscles, although training
is obviously important because muscle can adapt to where it is pushed." Need even more research based evidence? In an article that
appeared in the European Journal of Applied Physiology and Occupational Physiology, titled "Human skeletal muscle fiber type
alteration with high-intensity intermittent training", the authors stated that the results of their study show that high-intensity
intermittent training in humans may alter the area of type I and IIb fibers and in consequence that fiber type composition in human
vastus lateralis muscle is not determined solely by genetic factors. As you may know, Type IIb fast twitch fibers use anaerobic
metabolism to create energy and are the "classic" fast twitch muscle fibers that excel at producing quick, powerful bursts of speed.
This muscle fiber has the highest rate of contraction (rapid firing) of all the muscle fiber types, but it also has a much faster rate of
fatigue and can't last as long before it needs rest.
Every pro athlete, like Dwayne Okantey here, works in one way or another to improve their fast twitch muscle capabilities. And you
can, too. If you're not happy with your current level of conditioning, if you would like to jump higher or run faster, or just know how to
start running better, now you know you can do it. It's important because you can have a huge advantage in all areas of your life, like
throwing, running, kicking, jumping, swinging (golf, baseball, tennis), and any other sport that uses fast twitch muscles. No one can
teach you what you need to know in a web page, and most of us can't afford a personal trainer. And the truth is that most of the time
the training options that you have are either unreliable, ineffective, or just too expensive.
Develop a Plan
Before you even begin to consider what training option you'll go with, whether it be an online e-training program or with a local fitness
center, you have to decide for yourself exactly what you goals are (jump higher, sprint quicker, etc...) and you must commit. If you
are not willing to give it your all then you can hardly expect great results, from any training program. But to keep you motivated in
your pursuit of excellence there's another research study that shows not only that you CAN improve your physical ability, but outlines
the training they tested, so theoretically you can do this same 6 week training program on your own.
In a study reported in the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2006) 5, 459-465 titled "THE EFFECTS OF A 6-WEEK
PLYOMETRIC TRAINING PROGRAM ON AGILITY," it was once again, as previously reported in other studies, shown that proper
training can have a major impact on physical ability. Here's the study abstract:
"The purpose of the study was to determine if six weeks of plyometric training can improve an athlete’s agility. Subjects were divided
into two groups, a plyometric training and a control group. The plyometric training group performed in a six week plyometric training
program and the control group did not perform any plyometric training techniques. All subjects participated in two agility tests: T-test
and Illinois Agility Test, and a force plate test for ground reaction times both pre and post testing. Univariate ANCOVAs were
conducted to analyze the change scores (post – pre) in the independent variables by group (training or control) with pre scores as
covariates. The Univariate ANCOVA revealed a significant group effect F2,26 = 25.42, p=0.0000 for the T-test agility measure. For the
Illinois Agility test, a significant group effect F2,26 = 27.24, p = 0.000 was also found. The plyometric training group had quicker
posttest times compared to the control group for the agility tests. A significant group effect F2,26 = 7.81, p = 0.002 was found for the
Force Plate test. The plyometric training group reduced time on the ground on the posttest compared to the control group. The
results of this study show that plyometric training can be an effective training technique to improve an athlete’s agility."
There are essentially two major types of muscle fibers, slow twitch and fast twitch. Depending upon your body's composition you
may be a better marathon runner than sprinter, you may be a great basketball player but not know how to jump high. I'm not about to
go into the unnecessary detail of explaining the makeup of myocytes (muscle fibers) or the strands of proteins (myofibrils) that make
up those fibers. Instead I want to focus on the simple understanding of these two primary muscle types, what it means for athletes
and non-athletes alike, and then look at whether or not training can influence these muscle fibers to change from one type to another;
can you get better at speed running, for example. Are there answers to your question of how to be faster?
From BodyBuilding.com, here is a page with good information and a starting point for those looking to build their own training
program. It also further shows the effect plyometrics and training can have on performance:
Over time, plyometric training increases the amount of force you can produce and therefore plyometrics are effective in making you
more explosive. This leads to improved sports performance, a higher vertical leap, and faster sprinting times. A study proved that
lifting weights (squatting) in addition to plyometrics caused the greatest increases in vertical jump height.
Squats + Plyometrics
Vertical Jump Increase
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©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2006) 5, 459-465 http://www.wmich.edu/hper-esp/files/research/13-Miller-JSSM-5-2006.pdf
By now there should be little doubt that you can make a change and get faster, get quicker or jump higher. What you need to do is
make a decision on how committed you are to this change. If you can truly answer that you want it then start today. Don't be the
person that says "tomorrow;" tomorrow isn't any easier than today. If you have to, then try and develop your own training program. If
you can afford an e-training program (which is considerably cheaper than a local gym and personal trainer), then do it; it is by far the
most affordable route. But no matter what, you have to do before you can get. Our motto here is that "Nothing Will Work Unless You
Do." No coach, no program and no advice can take you from here to there; only your will and determination can do that. On the
following pages you'll have an opportunity to learn a lot more about Muscles, Training Myths, Training Options and Training
Resources. We're sure you'll find them to be of great help on your journey, and above all we wish you success. Stick with it, because
while champions may lose from time to time, quitters never win.
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