T Nation

Muscle mass and speed

I don’t understand how increased muscle mass would help a sprinter. Could someone explain the science behind this?

I don’t mean to use an over simplified analogy, but think of it this way: muscle is like the engine of a car, if you put a bigger engine in the car, the car will go faster. This is true even if by adding the larger engine you increased the weight of the vehicle. Remember that most of your body weight is not muscle, so when you add muscle, you increase the ratio of muscle to other tissues on your body. In other words if you increase your muscle mass from 20% to 25% you reduce how much non-muscle weight each pound of muscle has to move.

That first explanation was good but here is another one…Quick twitch muscle fibers grow more than slow twitch muscle fibers. So, increased size translates to increased quickness…In theory, obviously there is a point of diminishing returns but if you are Renegade training for speed you likely won’t reach that point. When training properly the bigger you get the quicker you will be.

If you want to know anything about sprinting, including the role of strength training and muscle mass, check out Charliefrancis.com.

who’s saying increased muscle mass helps sprint speed? by itself, it will slow you down; if it is coupled with an improvement in neuromuscular efficiency, then yes, the athlete will run faster, but the increased speed is due to increased neuromuscular efficiency, not muscle hypertrophy.