T Nation

Do Bigger Legs Slow You Down?

Today we were timed in the 40 I could do that in 4.5 then I built my hamstrings and took it down to 4.45. Now that I’ve worked my hole leg and focused on the quads since you can see it, it has gone up to 4.6 my first step seems slower. Does building your legs actually slow you down?

I guess you could say that if your overall body mass went up (ie your quads grew) and your ability to accelerate didn’t follow suit (maybe your hmastring strength hasn’t increased?) then a case could be made for it.

But in reality I don’t think it would.

You run a 4.6 ? Im not helping you out any more then God already has. Mr.Lucky

hand timed from his coach probably

Either heavy legs will slow you down, fat legs. But strong legs will make you faster

Train a muscle in slow motion, he will be slow. Train a muscle with a fast motion, he will be fast.

^ I havent seen to many guys around the gym training in slow-mo lately but thats just me.

[quote]shizen wrote:
hand timed from his coach probably

Either heavy legs will slow you down, fat legs. But strong legs will make you faster[/quote]

more then likely yes (the 40 speed being pretty decent) but then again I don’t know it was for our football team the recievers got to go to Ohio State football camp and first day in we had to run the 40, they have a bunch of fancy equipment like a clicker or something to time it, and I’m a sophmore now and that was my time this year. Squats, good mornings, hamstring curls and leg extensions I have a fast upward motion, followed by a slow downard so momentum doesn’t make the rep the legs do.

Thank you for the 40 time compliment though its probably not a big measuring system of speed just your first steps, god blessed genetics or maybe the wind was at my back idk. But I’ve heard of muscle bound, but also heard that was a rumor. And Bo Jackson has giant legs and he was a beast with a great 40 time and a 10 second 100 meter. So maybe your right my balance may be off. I’ll have to do those 7 exercises of pain and give hams there own day.

I think your problem may be your over-emphasis on muscles, as opposed to movements.

[quote]beau_zo_brehm wrote:
I think your problem may be your over-emphasis on muscles, as opposed to movements.[/quote]

good point

[quote]tnt2005 wrote:
Today we were timed in the 40 I could do that in 4.5 then I built my hamstrings and took it down to 4.45. Now that I’ve worked my hole leg and focused on the quads since you can see it, it has gone up to 4.6 my first step seems slower. Does building your legs actually slow you down?[/quote]

Yes. More weight will obviously slow you down.

[quote]tnt2005 wrote:
Today we were timed in the 40 I could do that in 4.5 then I built my hamstrings and took it down to 4.45. Now that I’ve worked my hole leg and focused on the quads since you can see it, it has gone up to 4.6 my first step seems slower. Does building your legs actually slow you down?[/quote]

You focused on quads. The glutes and hamstrings provide most of the power in running. You should’ve focused on them. The added weight from your quads won’t help.

Bottom line you want to get faster right ? How does a QB improve his arm, by doing bicep curls ? Hell Nah. He throws balls the only way to actually learn the movement. So to because a faster runner, run more sprints. Hello.

Focus on your Hams and glutes, and also do alot of speed drills.

Do some plyo’s with fast tempos.

Build those muscles but train them at the same time to fire fast.

In my best days I ran a 45.5 40 in full gear (hand timed). But I ran sprints for years, and did tons of plyo’s. Enjoy the bonus of youth and train hard now while you’ll recover quick and your muscles learn faster.

Also work on proper form for the start. A great start is a HUGE part of the 40.

Ever heard about SSC ?

I think I read somewhere (and it makes sense) that maximal lower body strength is highly positively correlated with decreased sprint times. That said, you’re over emphasizing your quads. The muscles that are gonna help you sprint faster are the glutes and hams. Hit them if you wanna run faster. Also, be sure you’re getting in your Oly lifting, as training these muscles explosively will help even more.

your training might be a little unbalanced. If your spend hours a week lifting weights, and minutes sprinting, then your ability to lift weights will get better then your sprinting. If your acceleration power stays the same and your legs are heavier then you will get slower. You should build muscle, but you should train the muscle to do what you want also.

It would help if we could see exactly what you’ve been doing.

I ran a 4.47 40 hand-timed during football season. Then tendonitis kicked in and it probably slowed me down a couple steps. Now I’m thinking about skipping my freshman year in football to let this stuff heal up.

But yea like the other guy said the ONLY way to sprint faster is to run sprints. Weights won’t help much when it comes to running speed especially when putting on mass. But weights do aid the process a little.

I also wouldn’t forget about calves. They may seem not as important as glutes and hams, but they do help in the intitial steps. Also, if you have stronger calves, then it would help you stay on your toes better. I may be wrong, but all the best sprinters had strong calves.

Good point about the calves, but to the original poster, don’t waste your time on calf raises. Barrier hops, box hops, plantar flexion jumps and the like will fit the bill.