Here’s my answer to the following email… The point at the end is the biggest mistake I see athletes make when trying to build speed!
“How can I build muscle mass and speed at the same time on and off season?”
Hopefully you have a good understanding of building muscle i.e. Hypertrophy sets & reps 4-5 x 8-12 rest periods of 30-90s. Bear in mind that you also need to be strong to produce the necessary levels of force to run fast so a focus on compound exercises with some strength work is required.
To build power (which is crucial to speed) with my athletes I incorporate explosive work!
Box jumps, broad jumps, medball throws & single & double legged plyometrics are my go to generic exercises.
Depending on the sport & position I’ll adjust things like ground contact time, direction of force and pay attention to the joint angles that the force is produced at to create highly transferable exercises.
Finally if you want to run faster….. you have to practise running!! Something a lot of people miss! You need to practise the technical aspects and also transfer your newly developed power into your running movements. The same with change of direction ability.
I programme each of these components all year but with a stronger emphasis individual components as the year progresses i.e. offseason – preseason – competitive phase etc.