T Nation

Speed and Lifting


This might be a dumb question but My goals are to increase some power so i cna jump higher and run faster. Currently I do lots of gymanstics stuff and i deadlift and side press( thats aboout all for lifting, trying to get a planch so I mostly do bodyweight for now) anyways there seems to be a lot of conflicting info everywhere on how to become faster some same just lift heavy and youll be able to run faster, others say you must perform balistic movements like olympic lifts. I guess my question is can I become faster and get a better vertical by combining deadlifts with sprints? or should I start doing stuff like the olympic lifts


First increase your muscular strength in the muscularature that makes you run faster and jump higher. Posterior chain. Deadlifts are perfect. Slowly add in plyometrics. (Drop landings and then depth jumps). Understand what it is about o-lifts that makes you explosive. It is the ability to except force of a falling load which usually happens in a full snatch or clean. The power versions usually do not have youy accept this force stop it and reverse it enough to develop the kind of POWER you are looking to develop. The power versions will help to develop your Rate of force which will help you turn on faster which is important to increase power but remember you must be able to accept force stop its downward progression before you can project it in the other direction.



did you post something like this a few years ago on Francis' site? cuz that's the only time i heard anything like it.

so, what's up with the idea that explosiveness developement from OL is in the catch phase and not the pulling phase, specifically triple extension.

your post is not clear.


typhoon, you're really gonna hafta seek out your own info or hire somebody to train you. i (or somebody else) could try and explain it in a nutshell, but you would be left with more questions because it's just something that takes a bit more knowledge and experience.

check out Kelly Baggett's articles. here's a good one http://www.higher-faster-sports.com/power.html

P.S. there are no dumb questions, just dumb answers.


That sounds like DragonDoor to me i.e. Naked Warrior + Power to People.

Geek boy


yeah it is, well not the naked warrior part I just do gymnastics as as sport and was looking for some more usefull exercises to add so i added the side press and deadlift because all i have is a bar and plates no bench, no squat rack, i was thinking of adding olympic lifts but lots of people are saying that it isnt necessary to build power


Is that bad? should I add more weight lifting exercises if so what are my possible options?


What you are doing at the moment is not bad, but you might like to add in Oly lifts for variety and also to build more speed. You could try doing Dan John's One Lift a Day program using C&J, Snatch, Deadlift (or possibly Romanian deadlift), side press and maybe barbell hack squat. (I'm assuming that you don't have a squat rack). To find that program, go to the Articles tab on the left hand side of the screen, scroll down to Authors, then scroll down until you find Dan John. scroll down through his articles until you find the right one.


This is exactly what I mean some people say they are not useful because I will never get the technique down right unless I spend the next year practicing it the others say that oly's are a must. Oh well ill just keep up with my program now of gymanastics and deadlifts with military press and sprints then when i get a gym membership Ill try to add more stuff.


wow, Jsal, that's just wrong. power does not come from the catch and reaction phase. there's too much reaction involved and it's too slow for it to be "powerful." if this were the case then squats would be much better than OL in any way because they can have the same reactivity (and even better), and dont have the previous pull phase taking away from the reaction phase.

in OL pull phase, the bar does not decelerate until after all power has been applied to it. any deceleration beforehand comes from weakness at toe-off or triple extension. that's what OL strengthens well.

Korsfit is comparing so many apples and oranges with this article that i dont even feel justified in posting my two previous paragraphs.

Typhoon, try OL if you want. it's not any more technical or difficult to learn than PL (squat, dead, bench). BTW, people say a lot of things, most of which is wrong. that's why i said earlier that you're gonna hafta figure it out for yourself or hire somebody whom you trust.


It is the ability to accept force (eccentric phase) stop that phase effectively Isometric Portion (all lifts do consist of three phases Eccentric Isometric and miometric or concentric) and reverse or explode out of the hole. The more force that you can take in or accept then the more force you can put out.

Ex: While sprinting it is the ability to transfer force into the ground that propels you down the track. If on each foot strike your heel sinks to low you will not produce as much power out of that foot strike. If you have more strenght in your plantar flexors the heel will not sink therefore allowing the tendons to be the main producers .

It is this muscular "stiffness" or ability not to sink to far where strenght plays the big role in producing power. So first address any strength deficiencies an athlete may have then deal with reactive exercises. This will be a more complete approach to power development. Strenght is not the only part of the equation.

Ex: great squatters do not always have great verticals.By the way I was not saying that calf muscles are the main producers of sprinting speed only trying to make a point about strenght and muscular stiffness. So o-lifts are tremendous as power builders but I maintain that the full versions are where its at and the power versions do not address the issue of force acceptance as well.

Therefore my recomendations stand. Build strength then progerss to reactivity


I checked out some of your earlier posts. Actually I was referring to the one in the strenght section on for the nfl fans. Read that again and read what jumanji says about about dropped heel in sprinting. Remember if you sink to low you will not explode out of that hole as well.


Did you get my pm about heel drop If you did Great if you did not then that last post will be confusing. I thought I posted it but I may have messed up.



i agree with most of what you say. it's jsut that you've been saying that the real benefit from OL is in the catch and reaction phase, and i just can't understand how somebody could believe that if they've ever gone high intensity/intensiveness with OL.

yes, the catch/reaction phase is hard and some people even fail there if they're weak in the area. but to say that OL power movements are less effective than OL full movements is misunderstanding the way the lifts work.

in sport, reactivity is a must, but there is also need for producing power despite reactivity; powerOL focuses on this. when doing fullOL the power necessities dont drop by much (if at all) and reaction and strength necessities rise. but i can think of much better ways to address reactivity than fullOL.

for the most part, OL is a non-reactive movement, yet it is still a very high power movement. i mean, i've watched a lot of vids of world class OLers training or maxing out in comp and the ones i remember do a shitload of power movements, and when in comp the catching of the bar in the hole sometimes takes a few seconds.

oftentimes it's not a "hoist the bar, rack it, then immediately squat it" situation. ive seen these guys spend time trying to rack the bar while they're bottomed out in the hole and when they finally rack it and squat it it seems all reactivity was lost.

now, it could be said that if they were reactively stronger then they wouldn't have issues racking the weight, but i dont think so. if they're able to squat the weight without help from the stretch-shortening cycle then the problem was more of a transition from pull to catch than from catch to squat.


I think it matters less which movements you do than how those movements end up effecting your body!

The fastest people on earth seem to have a few things in common:

  1. Low body fat

  2. Great body strength to body weight ratio.

  3. Proper mechanics

  4. Proper leverage (genetic)

  5. Far more fast twitch than slow twitch muscle fibers (mostly genetic, but...)

  6. They spend an inordinate amount of time actually performing their event, or parts of their event.

These are the things that I am focusing in on with my son who at the age of 12 has just run a 5.3 40yd dash.


I have a friend who competes in Olifting AND gymnastics. I've been thinking about doing the same thing, but MMA is too appealing. Regardless I use a lot of olympic movements and gymnastic skills in my training as well.

My only warning regarding olifting for you is that your legs are going to get a LOT bigger and that fucks up your leverages for gymnastics.

So you're going to need to get a LOT stronger in your upper body than you normally would as a gymnast

That said gymnast do all sorts of explosive lower body exercises.

Pistols, jumping pistols, weighted jumping pistols, various jumps w/ boxes, jumping rope, pit crawls (no hands), and the simple act of rebounding after a movement (say a roundoff backhandspring) is extremely plyometric by itself.

Those movements alone should allow you to raise your vertical leap.

Keep in mind that you're going to want to not add too much weight to your lower body.

But regardless, olympic lifts are a great idea, bulgarian squats, stepups, weighted jumping squats, weighted jumping lunges, dumbbell swings etc.

Depending how explosive you are already, you made just need to add to your absolute strength. So maximal work with Squat and Good morning variations would skyrocket your vertical leap as well.

It's really hard to be able to help you without you detailing what you do as far as training (and i mean DETAIL-the #'s you put up, and the speed you move at, etc), and seeing you in action performing your skills.

The higherfastersports link is a GREAT place to learn about that stuff... Brad Cardoza has a website (pinnaclefitness), check that out as well. Along with Joe Defranco, he specializes in jumping etc.

Spend a few hours on Google.com too you can usually find some pretty decent info (or at least learn what NOT to do)- any confusion you report back here :-p



your son's going to be a monster

I envy that kid! Good luck with him, I know you'll have him on the right track.


Thanks for the kind words Xen!


i didn't get your PM. i PMd you a coupla days ago.



Leverage now is questionable. With Michael Johnson and some others that are out it seems that "what is proper leverage" or joint and limb proportions?

Michael Johnson blew some records out that where held with some with "correct" joint and limb proportions and did it with "incorrect technique" - or perhaps "correct technique" for his body type.

I question a lot now, and really think that the science of sport is still holds alot of unknowns and has a lot of growth...