I got a nice guest blog post by my boy John Cortese outta Napa, CA.

This guy knows a thing or two about speed training.

If you don’t know by now, SPEED KILLS….

Read up and leave your comments! 

What Everyone Ought to Know About Speed Training

By: John Cortese, CSCS


To get faster, you should be doing a few things on a regular basis:

  • Strength training at least twice a week.
  • Sprinting at least twice a week.
  • Some form of explosive exercise at least once a week.
  • General Fitness/Work Capacity Training to handle more volume and improve recovery.

Simple enough, right? Unfortunately, you can f*ck it all up by programming your exercises wrong,

placing them in the wrong order, picking the wrong exercises, sprinting too far when you aren’t ready,

placing WAY too much volume early on in the program – or a classic combination of all of the above.

Here are a couple tips to make sure you are doing things the right way and ultimately help you become a

stronger, faster athlete.

1.) Plan Ahead – Nothing makes me more frustrated than seeing someone walk into a training

session with zero clue or plan on what they will be doing that day. How can you possibly hope

to get better without knowing where you’re going or where you were at the previous session?

With most of my athletes, the farthest I will plan out is 8 weeks. Most of the time though, you

can get by with taking a 4 week planning approach. That way, you can adjust accordingly based

on how you performed on that given day or week. 9 out of 10 times, the plan is going to change.

You have to be able to adapt and adjust. This is why having a coach is vitally important to your

success as an athlete. Even the best athletes hire coaches!

2.) Structure Your Training (The Right Way)- You can have the greatest intentions in the world to

get better, but you have to understand that training for speed the right way requires a logical

and structured approach. I’m not saying my way is the right way, but I’ll give you a couple ideas

on what has worked for me and my athletes.

a. Place the most explosive or CNS demanding exercises first in the workout. This means

all sprints, explosive jumps and/or medicine ball throws, and explosive lifts i.e. cleans

come first. Performing fast, explosive activities recruit the fast –twitch muscle fibers and

prepare the mind and body for heavy strength work. You must consider quality over

quantity with this though. These are skills that can be trained but you should be your

freshest when performing them.

i. Keep it simple: After a warm-up, perform 5-10 minutes of explosive activity;

jump, throw, sprint, clean, snatch, etc. Just move something and move it with


b. Place the big, heavy compound exercises following the explosive work. The explosive

exercises prior to the heavy, compound strength movements are a must. Why? Fast,

explosive exercises “fire up” the central nervous system and essentially turn on or

activate the high-threshold motor units. This will lead to you lifting slightly heavier loads

in your training than if you were to simply jump into training without any explosive

movements prior.

i. Keep it simple: Perform some form of jump, throw, sprint, or explosive lift i.e.

clean or snatch before your heavy squats, deadlifts, bench, or press. Depending

on your goals, you should be focusing on one or two heavy, compound barbell

lifts per session.

c. Perform General Fitness/Work Capacity on “Off Days”. Work capacity training is quite

simple to do yet most are not doing it enough. Even in the early off-season, athletes

should still be utilizing some form of general fitness/work capacity/tempo work,

whatever you want to call it. Not only does this promote recovery, it will help keep your

athletes’ body fat in check and improve the amount of work they can perform. What

good is it if your athletes can only perform a few sets of squats or deadlifts but are too

gassed to continue? Gotta be in shape to be fast!

i. Keep it simple: 1-2 times per week, on days you aren’t sprinting and lifting

heavy, get out and move for 10-20 minutes with some lower intensity, general

fitness work. Jump rope, Tempo aka rhythm runs at 65-70% effort, battle rope,

drag sleds; just do something to get your heart rate up. Trust me, it won’t make

you slow and it won’t make you weak. This is often the missing link in many


3.) Invest in a Coach. It amazes me to see how many athletes claim they want to be the best, yet

they think they can do it alone. It doesn’t work that way; there are professionals who do this

for a living and having someone else to guide you to your goals is the easiest and fastest way

to get there. If you can shell out a couple hundred on a fancy cell phone or make expensive

car payments every month and claim you can’t afford to train with a coach 1 to 3 times per

week, you have to look at your priorities. Most people will talk a big game, but few are willing

to step up to the plate and make it happen by eliminating the useless junk in their lives.

i. Keep it Simple: Even training twice a week with a solid, structured, and thought-

out training program under the guidance of a competent strength coach will pay

off MASSIVELY to your sport. Nearly every world-record holder and the fastest

athletes on Earth have coaches. Why don’t you?

So there you have it. It basically comes down to your goals, your priorities, and how dedicated you are.

Get serious: plan ahead, structure your training, and if you REALLY want to accelerate your results, hire a professional.

Get Fast, John Cortese, CSCS

He said it right!

Hire a PRO!

I wouldn’t be where I am today just trying to get better on my own.

I’ve invested a ton of money into bettering my education and knowledge about training and it has all payed off extremely well!

If there’s one thing you take from this article, it’s to learn from others that are BETTER than you.

Wanna get fast??  Learn from someone who IS fast and also who knows how to teach it.

Live Aggressive and Get Strong!