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How Exactly To Train For Speed?


How exactly would one go about training for speed? Other than the lifting heavy and getting big numbers on squats, deads, and oly lifts. On the field, what set/reps would one do, timing, on hills, etc etc.

Also, should types of plyometrics should be included? Thanks a lot guys, I'm a 14 year old basketball player with an INCREDIBLY slow 100m, probably like 17 seconds or something ridiculous like that, along with a high amount of body fat and little muscle at 5'9 and 160 lbs. I'm probably the exact opposite of a physical specimen lol.

Anyway guys please explain how I should go about, cuz my athleticism is just ridiculous right now and not in a good way. I've done programs before and my CNS is pretty well trained, I have a 25" vert on a measely 185 squat and 155 dead. Need lots of help, guys. I know you're all pros but after reading the stuff here I get real confused.

Thanks in advance.


Try this one, mate:
"Get Strong, Get Fast, Get Vertical!" http://www.T-Nation.com/findArticle.do?article=05-206-training


sorry,but i have to be brutaly honest.
you dont have athletic talent.you are young enough to excel in some other fields other than sports.
maybe you are better suited for endurance sports like marathon running,cycling,triathlon,long distance swimming,etc.best of luck!



First sciencewolverine, completely disregard anything that Balbos wrote. You are only 14 years old, and we don't know how much you've matured yet. You have plenty of time to get bigger and faster.

First thing you need to do is start running. Don't make it too complicated, just start running. And do as many sports as you can. Don't skip a sport because you don't like it, do it to get in better shape. Google stuff on running. I know everyone on this site is obsessed with 400 meter training, but they are all pretty misinformed.

In fact, I'd go even far enough to say their pretty stupid when it comes to track. If you want to know about running fast, go to elitetrack.com. If you want to know about getting big and strong, come here to T-Nation.


Lol I might've put myself down just a little bit. First off, my 17 sec 100m was just a joke. It's around 14-15 seconds. I know I'm still pretty young, but just confused. Not sure about my maturation, just know that my dad and grandpas and cousins are super buff compared to me.

I've learned a couple of things, just need you guys to help me sort out this mess. I've learned that the reason my bench # doesn't increase is due to lack of mass which makes it hard for me to gain (no chest whatsoever). My legs, however, seem to gain super easily. I went from a 95 squat to a 185 squat in around 2 months.

I'm just wondering how I should proceed from here. Of course I'll start running and working on size but what about plyos and RFDs and whatnot?


This guy is an idiot.

When I was 14 I ran the 100 yards in 14.6 (hand timed - probably would have been 15 FAT). I heard other kids snickering when they heard my time. I went on to be a NCAA division 1 track athlete. I won meets and scored points in conference championships.

It's possible to go from slug to fast.. The key is to train for speed the same way you would train for strength. That is... all quality and not too much quantity.


I don't think you need to worry about focusing on "speed traning" at this time. Listen to some of the previous posts and work on getting in shape (i.e. lose the extra bodyfat) and continue to get stronger. You will be able to improve your speed without plyos, etc. at this time.

Play basketball or any other sport to get into shape and do your sprinting. Then as you lose bodyfat and increase strength, you should notice that your sprint times and vertical jump will increase. After you have a solid strength base, then you can begin to add in plyos and other exrecises to work on your weaknesses.


If you're interested in getting faster, you might as well check out one of the best.



register for thier forums and buy charlie francis training for speed. Great stuff to learn for any athlete.


I second that.

Kelly is l337.

lollerskates and roflcopters.



lots of good advice on here so far except for that pessimistic nitwit who said you don't have what it takes.

speed comes with strength, not just weight room strength, absolute, but also relative. a lot of younger guys such as yourself have a hard time holding proper sprint position for any length of time.

focus on the core lifts, no need to worry about plyos until you are stronger and can absorb those forces. also, the planning of your training program is important as well. Take all athletic factors you are training into account and integrate them together. for you it will probably be as follows...

strength, speed, flexibility, restorative/gpp/capacity work, and of course proper nutrition which on here is easy to get enough info on.

although young and probably have a great CNS tolerance not a reason to thrash yourself day in and day out.

a sample split could be...

Day 1: AM: strength PM: speed
Day 2: AM: GPP, pickup basketball, flexibility
Day 3: AM: strength PM: speed
Day 4: AM: GPP/tempo, etc, flexibility
Day 5: AM: strength PM: speed or capacity work
Day 6: rest
Day 7: rest

*on rest days could do light, low intensity work to facilitate recovery and some more flexibility.

That is a basic outline. and remember with speed training, less is probably best cos you ain't doing a marathon for shit sake.

Good luck. Also, if you know anyone who is a good technical sprint coach get some tips cos learning how to sprint properly when young will carryover to all other sports.

Train Smart, Train Hard and Prosper.


one more thing...the reason i put strength first is become you would probably need to prioritize that first for now. when you get to be a bit stronger and it has transferred to your speed flip flop the two and do strength directly after or in the afternoon.


100m is not a 40 yard dash. 100m is somewhat technical with the different phases and whatnot.

Sprint short distances and build up to 60m. There's no way you should be accelerating past 60m. You actually start to slow down.

How much running did you do as a child? When I was young I raced everybody I knew as often as I could. I became and still am very fast because of this.

If you weren't doing a lot of sprinting in grade school, your running technique is probably fucked up because of neglect compounded with the effects of modern day shoe technology (it's criminal what they've done to destroy posture and proper runnning form). Buy some flat soled shoes and run on the balls of your feet.


Can't say I ran much when I was younger. I started playing football and basketball at age 11 or 10, and was on the track team as a long distance runner last year. I really wanted to be a sprinter. So anyway, I'm guessing I should do the following:

Phase 1 - Get fit first, lower body fat percentage and then put on some muscle using hypertrophy methods.

Phase 2 - Get squat and deadlift up to 1.5x-2x, and get bench up to 1x.

Phase 3 - Do sprint work, plyometric, RFD stuff.

I'm guessing I could accomplish all this before September 2006?


No, learn to run as your 1st priority. doesn't matter how fit or strong you are if you don't know how to run. Second priority is to do all that other stuff concurrently not as sepparate phases..


No. Be patient.


definitely concentrate on your absolute strength and relative strength. Check out Joe Defranco's website, www.defrancotraining.com, maybe even look into his forty yard dash dvd. Definitely stay away from plyos until you've jacked up your strength numbers. As far as bodyfat percentage goes don't really worry about that too much at all, eat as much as you can (clean food that is). As poreviously mentioned work on improving your sprint technique and focus on short distance like under 60meters. At first i would say just work on your starting speed by doing like 10meter sprints and work your way up from there. Good luck man and be patient!!!


when you're young, there isn't a real need to get all scientific with training and sports. Really. Don't overcomplicate shit quite yet. The act of trying to reach top speed in your first couple of steps off of the blocks when you're sprinting is enough to train your muscles for explosive starts. I'm 28. When I was 25, I started trying to sprint fast. The mere act of trying to break the sound barrier pushing off of the concrete at the start was enough to get me faster. I don't time myself, so I don't know how fast I really am. I just know the people are trying to catch me, and I weight well over 220 lbs right now.

Just drill your sprints if you want to be a fast sprinter. Drill your jumps if you want to jump high. The rest of the sports training will round you out and you'll be set for now.


Don't let anyone tell you you don't have athletic potential- it's FAR too early to tell. Your goal right now is to get strong on key movemnts like squats, O-Lifts, bench presses, chins, dips, etc.

Nothing fancy here, just lift 3-4 days a week, 3-5 exercises per workout, 3-5 sets of 3-5 reps per set.


Joe Defranco
Martin Rooney
Charlie Francis
Kelley Bagget