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Do You Need To Lift Weights?

By Alex On August 25, 2009 Under Uncategorized

I get questions e-mailed to me all the time.

Just last night, I was going through some of the more recent ones, and I seemed to notice a scary trend in the questions.

It was mainly from athletes who played a lot of different sports (basketball, football, baseball, etc.), who all wanted to get a lot quicker and faster, but were looking for every excuse NOT to lift weights… BIG Mistake. Here’s why…

Big muscles aren’t just for the beach, they do a lot of really helpful things for you, starting with they make you faster. When your muscles increase in size or strength (usually both), they become voluntarily more powerful, more absorptive and more resistant to injury.

In layman’s terms, you’re able to put more force into the ground, and we all know what goes in must come out, so by putting more force into the ground, more comes out, and when you’ve got more force coming out, YOU’RE faster.

Plain and simple, know this: More strength will only HELP you.

Lift weights, it’s good for you.

I’ll be back on Thursday with some keys to remember when you begin a new weight lifting program to ensure you don’t end up wasting your time, effort and hard-work in the gym, so long as we get 10 comments below, before then.

So, first, I want to hear from you below in the Comments section. I want to know about a time or setting where you read or had someone try to tell you that weights would slow you down (I hear this all the time!). In just a couple sentences, I want to hear what “mumbo-jumbo” they tried to spit at you. Talk to you below!


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36 comments - add yours
dave seremek

August 25, 2009


What do you think of Olympic lifts?


August 25, 2009

It will stunt my growth, I won’t be able to jump, I’ll become too muscle bound and stiff.

dave seremek

August 25, 2009


What weightlifting routine would you recommend for a 13 year old boy?


August 25, 2009

Alex, Coulnd’t agree more. I was a soccer player and was told my whole life that lifting weights would bulk me up and slow me down. Now I’m 44 and I wish I’d started lifting and working on my quickness when I was playing.


August 25, 2009

lol, ive never heard a serious coach say to not do weights, upper body lifts don’t help if you run distance, but its a prerequisite to play nearly any other sport at a high level

Jamal Williams

August 25, 2009

I don’t lift weights. I do bodyweight exercises; pushups, pullups, dips, situps, and plyometrics. Sure, I add weight but I’m not like benching or anything. And when I was benching I noticed that I wasn’t getting stronger. However, when I do pushups and stuff I find that I do get stronger. I don’t know, I guess some things are different for some people. But I do squat with weight, power clean, and deadlift. But that’s about all the lifting that I do.


August 25, 2009

What weight lifting do you recommend for a 56 year old man,…been lifting on and off for years,…want to grow muscle, not waste my time,… I have a club membership,…and I stay flexible to play golf. I especially need to build my upper body. Thanks you,…William

Lori Wild

August 25, 2009

My son has an extra vertebrae and has been instructed not to weighted squats or deadlifts. I have found other weighted exercises and body weight work he can do. Work with your own body.


August 25, 2009

I know lifting isn’t going to slow u down, if u train right.
But if u train with very heavy weights aren’t u going to get slower/ less explosive?

dave pawlowski

August 25, 2009

i race bmx– explosiveness is key, i lift heavy weights with low reps. big, multimuscle movements. why does this not slow me down? because i am also getting in my plyos, sprints, and my olympic lifts.

you build your engine in the gym(strength) then fine tune it on the field/track(power)

i know you will know what i’m talking about alex, it’s how to become a fast twitch machine!!!


August 25, 2009

hey alex, what do you recommend I do if I want to increase my quickness and explosion but I dont have enough time in the day to use the gym?


August 25, 2009


Do you recommend weight lifting for a boy 11 yrs. old that competes in football, basketball and track?


August 25, 2009

Are there any specific weight training programs that you recommend?


August 25, 2009


I’m over 50, so I have heard all of the crazy weight lifting is bad for you stories. I started lifting after basketball season in 8th grade. Back then the only weightlifting information that could be found was either in the few library books on the subject, the brouchure that came with my sand filled plastic weights or the articles in a Joe Weider or Muscle Development magazine.

My coaches didn’t really know anything about weightlifting so the informed ones would tell me to go to the library or to one of the aforementioned muscle mags. The uninformed ones would tell me the tales. I had people tell me that I would become muscle bound,loose my athleticism, become slow, my muscle would turn to fat if I stopped and lifting would stunt my growth and possibly make me sterile.

A lack of knowledge of anything breeds fear and contempt for that which is not understood. That was the state of weight lifting “back in the day”.

Even utilizing draconian bodybuilding style routines that put 30 lbs on my frame by my sophmore year of high school, I also grew four more inches by that time, my athletic ability and strength took quantum leaps. Oh yeah and I have three sons. So much for the tales!

My only regret is that the training information and positive reinforcement available today was not around “back in the day”. However, I now utilize today’s training techniques to keep this “old lion” strong and quick (Your quickness training techniques are the icing on the cake!).


August 26, 2009

I have been lefting weight off and on, starting at 19 years old . I can not remimber it ever hurting me in any thing I ever did . I am 73 years old . I am in better shape than any of my friends .

big d

August 26, 2009

I run the strength/conditioning at our high school, recently had a 14 yr old’s dad say he didn’t want his son to lift heavy weights for another year ‘cuz his growth plates weren’t finished developing yet. Well I said ok to keep the peace, but did mention the fact that my son started lifting in 8th grade (age 13), and now as a Jr. (age 16) he recently benched 270, power clean 225, squat 505, deadlift 465 – with no apparent growth problems! (6 ft, 200 lbs and still growing!) Some folks it is just better to let it go and let the results speak for themselves.

Most important is to get the right information from the right (CREDIBLE) source. You can’t survive in the 21st century athletic arena using 1980’s bodybuilding routines. Athletes today are explosive, fast, powerful, and VERY STRONG! Because they train that way.
Alex, I consider your info very relevant and cutting edge indeed. Although I was not able to get your program when you recently put it up for sale. Maybe down the line soon.


August 26, 2009

I have been a certified fitness trainer for most of the 90s, played as a winger in the national rugby team and teammates nicknamed me ‘Speed Demon’ in those days. Did many sports requiring speed, power and agility so seen my fair share of the numerous training approaches with various notable sport scientists.

Whatever sport you’re doing, it still goes back to weight-lifting for speed. Why? Explosive power in sports is how fast you can move a weight for a specific movement. Therefore, Power = (Force x Distance/Time). In order to maximise force, you need to lift weights to build your ‘Starting Strength’ – the ability to generate force of any amount at the start of an action. This also builds a safe foundation to train for your ‘Explosive Strength’ like plyometrics which is the measure of your ability to reach maximum force output in the least time. You need these two elements to optimise your explosive power.

Explosive power is determined by how much elastic energy you can load your muscles. Its best to weight train in the full range of motion as mobility is more functional than flexibility. Mobility is the combination of flexibility and strength. If muscle bulk gets in the way of your particular sport, opt for more sets but with lower reps and heavier weights. It is no secret that smaller guys can be stronger than bigger guys because they train with this approach. But note, weight lifting, however quickly you execute cannot match realistic athletic speeds required so it is not advisable to be used and judged on its own for strength-speed results.

Trevor Mcvittie

August 26, 2009

Agree one hundred percent. The mistake most people make is to take up the “normal” bodybuilding routines which will put a higher ratio of size to strength than power or strength specific training. Forget night club muscle and work on flexibility and power movements. Core training is probably the most important part of any training programme. Core strength will help reduce injuries such as Hernias and Bad Backs whilst improving overall body strength and power. In short work smart, stay flexible and don’t waste time trying to achieve unneccessary bulk which will slow you down!


August 26, 2009

For the younger ones just beginning, a bodyweight circuit seem to work the best. We have used it for years with excellent results. We still work on running mechanics, linear and lateral movement patterns and “easy” plyos. The circuit creates the necessary firing patterns which they will need when we advance them to the next phase.

steve holland

August 26, 2009

Pitchers should not lift weights.


August 26, 2009

What are your thoughts about training with kettlebells? Would also like to see some biomechanical research showing that lifting weights helps baseball pitchers?


August 26, 2009

I’m 14 years old. Everyone around me doesn’t let me lift weights (my parents, teachers, friends,etc.). They say it stunts height growth. Is that true?

Rick Johnson

August 26, 2009

Lifting, if done correctly, for your sport is GOOD for you. One important thing most lifting weights for sports such as baseball, football, basketball, etc. forget to do, or just don’t take time to do is STRETCH. This is very important. I focus on baseball. Pitchers can lift weights, and it will help them, if done correctly and according to a workout routine established for pitchers. My son catches and his routine is for his position and his routine changes occasionally to “shock” his muscles. Good weight lifting programs take time and effort to develop. It’s more to it than doing some reps 3-4 times a week.


August 26, 2009

I just turned 18 and want to know a good weight routine to use this Fall and Winter as I get ready for my next season of baseball for the coming Spring
and beyond.


August 26, 2009

Lifting weights doesn’t stunt your growth. What you have to be thoughtful about is what your lifting for. If it’s for a sport, then liftthe way you need for that sport …(specific training) But in general you should be doing some sort of resistance training for general health. Your body is the best tool at your age to help you out … get to know the basics of pushups, squats and pullups. Once your comfortable with thouse learn new variations of each exercise. I’d say find a coach that would be willing to work with you on your form until you can do it on your own. The weights will come into play eventually and over time. Good luck!


August 26, 2009

I lift for volleyball, upper body too but mainly I focus on leg development. My neighbor who happens to be an outside hitter (spiker) is convinced that lifting will stunt his growth.

I convinced ne of my current volleyball teammates who used to only lift upper body (he stopped for fear of gaining weight) and took BCAAs, Protein and Creatine, to lift legs with me. He refuses to drink protein shakes and eat well balanced / timed meals because he thinks becoming heavier will hinder his jumping more than the increased strength will improve it.

To each his own… ?


August 26, 2009

It’s scary interesting how much misconception there still is in this day and age about strength training and lifting in particular.
I have lifted weights (strength trained) all my athletic life (I’ll be 60 this Dec. 30th) and have been a type 1 insulin dependent diabetic for 48 years and can only say what a blessing it has been to lift and train all these years.
Any so called “athlete” who does not lift is only diminishing his/her own ultimate athletic development and they are not truly athletes. Only looking for the easy way out of which there isn’t any in sport.

rudy Mendez Jr

August 26, 2009

i want to get more explosive power, stronger, quicker and faster for my mixed martial arts.

i was told to lifts weights and do olympic lifts. I wanted to get your opinion if i should do olympic lifting ( clean and jerk, snatches, etc ) or do more weight lifting ( strenght training ) or both.

Also i want to know how many sets, reps and rest time should i do for lifting.


August 26, 2009

Steve, your right in your thoughts about the misconception regarding resistance (weight) training there is out here, hope things continue to go well for you.

For athletes (in my opinion) that want to weight train … chances are you need to. Anything that has shock against your body you have to do the right exercises to not just do the proper reaction, but protect your body as well.

When you want to increase your speed, it’s not just the technique outsidfe on the track that’s needed, but you HAVE to strengthen your muscles, while at the same time remembering to do some myo fascial stretching (or stretching in general) for your body. unless your with someone who can teach you the proper form on doing Olympic lifts, because they can be hard to teach and learn, I’d stay with the basics, but add hill sprints, stairs/bleachers, plyos … not all on the same day though.

Volleyball should definitely weight train for your spikes or outside hitters to strengthen your shoulders. Most if not all of the work should be with medicine balls, dumbells and cables … and Kettlebells if you know how to use them. For martial arts I’d do more timed sets instead of rep counters. and make them intense. What type of martial art are you doing Rudy?


August 26, 2009

Hey Guys

Lots of GREAT questions. Here’s exactly what I’m going to do:

I’ve copied, pasted and saved all of your questions, and now in the next couple weeks, I’m going to answer all of them here on the Game Speed Insider blog.

Also, Bullhusky, my Dad tells me the same “horror” stories…I wish we could have been there back then with what we know now to “stick it to them!” Ha.

And Lawrence, that is awesome! Keep up the great work. Age is just a number, right?


August 26, 2009

I started workin hard before this summer started. I have always been scare of stunting my growth. I think its funny how in about 3-4 months I havent grown at all. Maybe its from differnt factors but what might i be doing wrong. Any advice? thanks


August 26, 2009


Lets see if you are a true believer in your system.
I am 28, 5.11 180 lbs from France have no college eligibility left never played in college in US, and I know I have the potential to play pro basketball (nba).
Do you think your program is going to help me get there?
(by the way I worked out with LL DYVL system and gained some vert too.)


August 26, 2009

Wow, well I do love a challenege Rich 🙂

Tell you what, send me an email at gamespeedinsider@gmail.com with all of your basic statistics and let’s see if we can make a public case study out of you and your progress (if you’re willing of course).

Let me know!


Cleophris Glover

August 28, 2009


[…] On Monday, we talked about the giant myth that lifting weights will slow you down. We very simply and sufficiently went over why lifting weights will actually make you faster. […]

[…] Overused jokes aside, I’m continuing this push to answer all of those great question I got in the now infamous post Do You Need To Lift Weights? […]