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Old 12-06-2013, 07:36 PM   #1
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Default Speed Training

Are there real benefits from Speed work? What exactly would that look like for the major compounds?
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Old 12-06-2013, 09:06 PM   #2
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I haven't done much speed work....maybe because every time I've tried it, I didn't get any benefit.

maybe, for truly strong lifters, it's a mobility/deload session and that's where the real benefit is derived. I don't think the speed portion is actually the trick.

Besides, the definition of (gym) strength is the ability to move absolute weight without regard to time.

IMHO, All other speed work is better/safer unloaded. Build muscle with weights, train that muscle for speed without weights (e.g. squat/sprint).
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Old 12-07-2013, 12:03 AM   #3
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I haven't done work with bands or chains, but I make it a point to be as explosive as possible during all lifts-warm ups and top sets. I believe it has helped a lot. Even on something that I use for assistance, like rowing movements, I'll try to make the eccentric portion as fast as possible, even if I pause at the top and try to keep more tension on the eccentric portion. I just believe learning to be fast has allowed my maximal strength to go up quite a bit.
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Old 12-07-2013, 12:06 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davis View Post
I haven't done work with bands or chains, but I make it a point to be as explosive as possible during all lifts-warm ups and top sets. I believe it has helped a lot. Even on something that I use for assistance, like rowing movements, I'll try to make the eccentric portion as fast as possible, even if I pause at the top and try to keep more tension on the eccentric portion. I just believe learning to be fast has allowed my maximal strength to go up quite a bit.
I agree with that and do the same, but traditional speed work is intentionally using lighter weight with emphasis on speed. The way you describe is what I would recommend. As fast as possible with all weights....not deliberately slow with heavy and not using less just for speed.
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Old 12-07-2013, 12:40 AM   #5
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I like this question! If you find any benefit at all from it then it works. When I first started powerlifting I did a lot of speed work which has changed some as I have progressed. Here's my take. On the squat I see people using to light of weight. Westside protocol is 50,55,60% PLUS 25% band/chain weight so you are really looking at 75,80,85% top weight. Just thought I would throw that out there. I follow the Thompson squat cycle which is kind of a mixture of speed and heavy work. Most sets are done around the 70-90% range and I have had good results from it. For the bench I have never felt much benefit from speed work. It just beats my shoulders and elbows up to much. Deadlifting I love speed pulls. I like to pull multiple singles in the 70-80% range. I do this more for form though. My belief is that speed work does have benefits as long as you are training in the right % range.
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Old 12-07-2013, 07:24 AM   #6
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Speed training has helped me immensely, especially on my squat and deadlift. I am certainly no expert on the theory, but I will try to share what I have learned.

Personally, I usually only use accomodating resistance on my bench because it is my most advanced lift of the three. The squat and deadlift, I still consider myself a late intermediate on, and I am making good progress on bar speed without any bands or chains. You can check out my log for videos of how I do my speed work on bench.

The accomodating resistance on the bench really taught my body to accelerate all the way through the lift. It definitely made me stronger too, but the biggest benefit I got was learning how to perform the lift fully to its completion while getting the most muscle fiber recruitment I possibly can. Speed work recruits fast twitch muscle fibers a lot better than standard training, according to the theory. The more muscle fiber recruitment you get on a lift, the stronger you will be. By training speed you can also develop those fast twitch fibers more effectively. Also, before I did speed work, I would start to slow down at the top with lighter weights because I was trying to stop the weight. I don't do that anymore.

For squat I do 3 doubles at 55%, 3 doubles at 60% and 2 doubles at 65%. For deadlifts, I do 8 singles at 65%. All of this is straight weight. It is not about the percentage though. The percentages are just a guidline for you to get the right bar speed to develop fast twitch muscle fibers. If you are trying out speed work and are particularly slow on a lift, then you should go down. I have used as low as 40% for speed work effectively.

My take on speed work in general is that it will be of most benefit to intermediate/late intermediate lifters and beyond. Beginners and early intermediates should hold off and just focus on base building.

Louie Simmons quote that best explains the purpose of speed work: "You can't move a heavy weight slowly." It may look slow, but those muscle fibers are firing quickly and explosively as possible to move that maximal weight.
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Old 12-07-2013, 08:33 AM   #7
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Add my two cents into the pool.

Speed work in addition to using accommodating resistance accomplishes many things.
The human body is always trying to use the most efficient neurological pathways, by using chains or bands one changes balance portion of the lift making the cns firing different motor units that left to just using a straight weight would not otherwise be utilized.
Bands add another dimension that is, rate of decent of the bar is faster thus the bar path up is under the same principal. Imagine training in a higher G environment this is what band tension achieves for the muscles worked.

As for percentages I tried many different ranges and what worked best for me I didn't see anyone else doing. Most my weight on speed days came in the form of band tension for explosive power, chains seem to open the door for more muscle fiber recruitment.

Benefits on all major lifts even used bands on BOR's.

Drawback: Found is more difficult to program my training in waves or increment increases. Many speed session were as taxing or more so than its counterpart higher percentage training.
Fix: delayed sessions by a day or two sometimes to allow recovery.
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Old 12-07-2013, 09:10 AM   #8
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I think many of the benefits of speed work are different from what we've necessarily been told. On the face of it, speed work trains you to move faster. I think there's a lot more too it than that. Speed work allows you to train the big lifts (or slight variations) with more volume. Using lighter weight allows you to get more time in on the lifts without tearing yourself up by going heavy. Moving faster for less reps doesn't actually stimulate the CNS as much as moving as much weight as possible, but it DOES stimulate the CNS better than using comparable weight for more reps performed with a slower cadence. It gives you the benefit of increased volume without the negative aspects of increasing volume without backing off on intensity.
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Old 12-07-2013, 11:41 AM   #9
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I used Dynamic effort work a couple years back for my bench press.
I did 10 sets of 2 at 1 minute rest intervals with 55%(ish) of my 1rm. This was done on a day other than my Max effort bench press.
I used bands as accommodating resistance.

I found this type of work to be beneficial. My max effort bench press made good progress during this time. I think it was during this time I actually cracked the 300lbs bench press mark for the first time.
Other contributing factors could have been that I was mega bulking, going from mid 260's to high 280's around this same time.

I would and probably will do this type of work again in the late 1st quarter of next year.
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Old 12-07-2013, 12:58 PM   #10
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I agree with Cody on that speed bench just beat me up without having much or none carryover when I trained that way. Squats and deads are fine but go hevy enough to produce a result. 50% for 10 sets of two did nothing for me, I prefer using a heavy weight and try to move it damn fast for low reps.

Neglected speed lifts with a actuall carryover to the powerlifts (in my experience) are the clean and the snatch. Get those lifts up and fast and your squat and deadlift will follow along. And vice versa.
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