Speed is affected by multiple factors and Running mechanics can be a monster. Most athletes have no clue how you’re supposed to run, and what’s more, coaches constantly tell kids you’re born fast or slow.
While it’s true athletes are born with varying percentages and proportions of fast twice fiber and slow twitch, ANY athlete CAN get drastically faster then they are naturally with correct development in the weight room and on the turf or track
If they couldn’t why would Olympic sprinters like Usain bolt have the best strength and speed coaches in the world at their disposals?
Case in point this kid Kyle Kramer has taken over 4 Tenths off his 60 yard and continues to gain weight while getting incrementally faster because we focus on two primary factors: stride length (strength) and Stride Frequency (CNS Development)
In addition – honing of mechanics and the development of stabilizers, joint integrity and elasticity of the major muscle groups are imperative to producing the correct angles and posture allowing the athlete to be capable of optimal speed and acceleration. But the real ground is gained (no pun intended) because of the increase in strength that Kyle is Experiencing.
We have a very direct approach when attacking an athletes speed, and that approach boils down to this simple equation:
Body Weight to Dead Lift Ratio.
Now most parents and uneducated coaches are instantly in an uproar over this term “dead-lift” because they have heard from a friend or colleague or they themselves, experienced an absolutely terribly executed “dead lift” while having zero development in the posterior chain or understanding of biomechanics and injured themselves or someone else.
That is for another article though. The fact is, as the ratio between bodyweight and deadlift strength increases, speed & power output and overall athletic ability increases dramatically.
This is because the primary mechanics of the dead lift and the affected muscle groupings involved in the dead-lift are the SAME EXACT muscles called upon by the body when requiring an explosive jump in any direction, a powerful first step and even in decelerating and changing directions from high speeds in a split second.
to put this in layman terms, Movement by our body in any direction is resisted by the earth gravitational hold on us. Basically a rate of one times our body weight. So a 225 pound athlete, must be able to produce more than 225 pounds of force to move in a given direction.
However, as the rate of speed the athlete moves increases, the g-forces (gravitational pull) on the athlete increase – so – to accelerate, the athlete must now produce a force greater than the percentage of gravity resisting the athletes movement.
Because the deadlift is the most pure form of removing weight from the earths surface in an explosive factor, it translates into the athletes ability to separate him or herself from the ground in an athletic situation. Most simply, in a sprint.