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Making The Speed Triad Work For You!

By Alex On March 3, 2010 Under How To Run Faster


On Tuesday, we went over all the reasons why you MUST address the Speed Triad and its 3 key sections when it comes to YOU getting faster, specifically for the 40-Yard Dash (or the 60-yard dash too).

When I first started training for the 40 after Cory challenged my motivated ass, I found a MILLION different ways to train for the 40: different techniques, different exercises, different workouts, different training schedules, different everything.

I started at the top of the list and began to try and test out all the best ones, until the ones that seemed to work the best and most often rose to the top and all the other stuff began to get DROPPED. But along the way…

…I noticed a pattern in what worked and what didn’t.

What exercises needed to be in there and what wasn’t necessary…

What techniques needed to be in there and which ones actually slow you down…

What stretches need to be in there and what muscle do NOT need to be stretched…

What things need to be said, and what things need to be focused on most.

And I was able to put it all together in a cool little system I call “The Speed Triad” that allowed me and everyone who uses it to seriously decrease their own 40-yard dash. I want to show you now how you can use it for your own workouts and training…

We talked on Tuesday about the 3 corners of the Speed Triad:

1. 12-Step 40-Yard Dash Mastery Course

2. Sprint Training (done the RIGHT way…you’ll see what I mean below in a second why I put right in all caps…)

3. F.A.P.

Now, here’s the cool part…I’m going to go over all the corners of The Triad and how you can use it yourself to get faster, more explosive and lower your own 40-yard dash time:

The 12-Step 40-Yard Dash Mastery Course

Before I go ahead and tell you what makes up the 12-Step 40-Yard Dash Mastery Course, I think one thing should be cleared up about it…I’ve received an influx of emails from excited people waiting for “Destroy The 40” to open up who have asked me specific questions about the 12-step course…here’s the deal:

It’s not like Step 1: Put your foot here, Step 2: Put your arm here Step 3: Drop your shoulders here…

…every last tried and tested piece of learning and applying the 40 stance and technique has been broken down into 12 chewable parts (each a different video)…Part 3 goes into a lot of the starting stance, Part 7 talks a ton about a KEY piece of everything after the 15-yard mark a lot of coaches or athletes don’t talk about and Part 12 talks about several different “Testing Day” strategies that you can use on the day of your 40 test to lower your 40 time THAT DAY…make sense?

That being said, let’s go over some of the key points of the 40-yard dash technique…here are 8 key points for you to remember:

1. There is NOTHING more important than absolutely mastering the first 10 yards of the 40-yard dash. How do you master the first 10 yards? Get your starting stance perfect. What’s that look like? See Key Point 2…

2. Master the starting stance. Here are the most important things to remember to really become a starting stance expert:

  • Find your starting foot (the foot closer to the line… how do you choose? Easy, which foot do you jump off  in a running one-legged jump? That’s your starting foot).
  • Crowd the line. Start as close to it as you comfortably can (some coaches tell you to start a couple yards back…that just makes the race longer for you…start close and comfortably).
  • Feet shoulder with apart, with the back foot an inch or two behind the front foot.
  • Hips are higher than shoulders
  • Knees slightly benefit to get some stretch-reflex going
  • All the weight is on the front half of your feet
  • Fingers are soft and open
  • Strong side hand is at your hip, elbow bent at 90 degrees (other hand on the ground)

In the 12-Step Mastery Course, I’ll go into a lot more detail into all of these key points, PLUS a really smooth way to seamlessly get into the right stance.

3. Always remember to keep pressure on both feet as you push off from the start…you’d get more power from doing a squat on two legs than on just one leg, right? So make sure you do the same with your start…push off and get power from BOTH legs.

4. Take a giant step with your first step of the race. Whoever takes the fewest steps in the race is going to win. Set the tone for the rest of the 39 yards right with that first step.

5. During your acceleration, your upper body should be ahead of your lower body (but you want to make sure you’re not getting your forward body angle just from bending over at your hips…it should be a straight forward angle through your body). Focusing on that forward body angle will make sure your acceleration mechanics are there.

6. Throughout the race, your elbows should be locked around 90 degrees. Why? A shorter lever is a faster level and an elbow locked at 90 degrees is just right for optimal speeds.

7. Top speed is all about extension. But it’s not something you should be thinking about…it comes naturally as you get stronger and more flexible.

8. Remember how the race is supposed to go: Starting stance is right, you accelerate through the first 15 yards or so with the positive forward body angle as you start to stand up into that “perfect posture” position and smoothly work your way into your top speed until your blazingly close out the race with that awesome 40 time you’ve been training for….that’s it.

Sprint Training

Moving on, the next corner to the Speed Triad is sprint training (huge surprise, right?), but you’d be surprised at all the mistakes that are made with a lot of athlete’s speed training programs. Those mistakes usually fall under one of these categories:

  • Rest Periods
  • Frequency
  • Distance/Volume
  • Periodization model
  • Intensity

Let’s take a closer look at how to ensure it’s not YOU that makes any of these mistakes and ends up speedless or hopeless in the process…

Rest Periods- These are the rest periods between your sprints. If your workout calls for ten 20-yard sprints, the amount of time you’d take between those sprints would be your “rest periods” (by the way, if you were wondering, you’d want to take about 120 seconds between the first 5 20-yard sprints, rest 4-5 minutes, then rest another 120 seconds between the next 5 20-yard sprints).

Here’s the deal on rest periods in sprint training: When you run sprints, it forces your Central Nervous System to recruit a ridiculously high percentage of HTMU’s (high-threshhold motor units). These are your most powerful muscle fibers, so it makes sense that a power-based event like sprinting would selectively recruit its most powerful muscle fibers. But here’s the secret…

For your body to optimally and consistently recruit these enormously awesome muscle fibers, rest periods need to be HIGH. How high?

A good rule of thumb is about 60 seconds for every 10 yards sprinted. So if your last sprint was 30 yards, you’d take about 3 minutes rest between that and your next sprint. If it was 10 yards, you’d rest 1 minute. Easy enough, right? Here’s the issue though…

Lots of athletes take much shorter rest periods between their sprints when they’re training. Those shorter rest periods stop their bodies from recruiting their highest-threshhold muscle fibers, which means they end up running slower each and every sprint.

Do you know what we call that in the awesome and mysterious training world? Conditioning…also known as not actually getting faster.

If you’ve been sprint training and not taking ample rest periods and been wondering to yourself why you haven’t been getting faster, THIS IS WHY.

Also, sprint training is very much a mental thing — it takes serious focus and mental energy with every sprint…by taking longer rest periods, it’s much easier to get your mind  right and in the best state for serious gains to take place.

Frequency – Frequency is just how often you train. Different athletes of different levels need different training frequencies, but here’s the take-home point: Most athletes train with sprints too often…remember how I said your CNS needs ample rest time between sprints? Well…

…it also needs ample recovery time between training sessions (usually around 48 hours, but there’s lots of factors at play with this one too). So if you have a sprint training session on a Monday, don’t sprint again until Wednesday for best results (this will also keep you healthy, perpetually motivated and consistently improving).

Distance/Volume – How far each of your sprints are, and the total amount of yards sprinted with your training sessions. Here’s a good rule of thumb for distances and volume:

Since the first 10-yards of the 40-yard dash are the MOST IMPORTANT, it’s probably a good idea to focus a lot on that. Additionally, I would strategically throw in sprints up to 60-yards throughout the training program to maximize results throughout the entire 40-yard race.

And for volume, I would try and keep it under 500-600 yards sprinted per week…I’m well-aware that sounds like a small number, but wouldn’t you do less if you knew it could get you more? That is EXACTLY the case here…when it comes to sprint training, less is usually more.

Periodization Model – The point of a periodization model is to ensure that you keep making gains in your training and never hit a deflating plateau. It’s also designed to make you peak out at a certain, pre-determined time.

Through lots and lots of different testing and tweaking, I’ve found the best periodization model for the 40-yard dash to be a “short-to-long” model, which really just means the early focus of our training is mainly on the “shorter” parts of the 40-yard dash (shorter sprints, starts, acceleration, etc.) and as time progresses, the focus turns to the “longer” parts of the race (explosiveness, reactivity, longer sprints).

It also works out so that as the day of your 40-yard dash testing comes by, your 40 is peaking out…meaning because of the short-to-long periodization model, your running faster than you ever have on the DAY of your race or combine (this is a major component of the training in “Destroy The 40”).

Intensity – I’ll let you in on a little training secret…”intensity” is NOT how loud you scream when you lift weights or how loud you blast Weezy on the speakers when you train. It’s actually this…

…it’s the percentage of your maximum that you’re training at. For instance, if you’re lifting a weight that’s 75% of your 1-rep maximum, that weight is at 75% intensity.

If you run a sprint at 90% of your top speed, that sprint is at 90% intensity.

Why Is That Important Alex?

It’s uberifically-important because SPRINT GAINS ARE MADE ALMOST EXCLUSIVELY ABOVE 90% INTENSITY.

Any running you do at below the 90% threshold might get you in better shape and speed up your metabolism, but it won’t MAKE YOU FASTER.

If you’ve been training at intensities below 90% and have been looking to get faster, make this switch immediately.

The Final Corner To The Speed Triad…

The F.A.P.

The Forward Advancement Principle came almost out of necessity…I was in a period of razor-focused training towards my 40-yard dash and one day, I was laying down in my living room, just relaxing with a tall glass of cool lemonade while listening to a motivational audio I had download online when I heard a certain quote that hit me like a ton of “harder than normal” bricks:

“In every day of your life, with every decision you make, you’re either moving towards your goals, or you’re moving away from them.”

I immediately applied this knowledge nugget to my training and saw that I was training 3-4 days a week, which meant that on 3-4 days a week, I wasn’t moving forwards, closer to my end goal…I was moving FURTHER AWAY from it.

Sure, sometimes doing nothing on your off-days is actually good for you and does move you closer to your end goals, but those are rare and you really have to be aware of your body to know when to do that…but there are definitely things you can be doing on your “off days” to PUSH yourself and keep yourself moving FORWARDS (and if you’re moving forwards, you’re not moving backwards AWAY from the outcome you want).

And these certain exercises, drills and techniques that are done on your off-days keep you moving FORWARDS by:

  • speeding up the recovery process
  • working on muscular strength
  • clearing your mind
  • improving your 40-yard specific flexibility points
  • improve your core strength specifically for the 40

Cool! How can I use the F.A.P. in my own training?

You want to take about 10-15 minutes a day on your off, or “lower” days, to implement these simple, but potentially really powerful tactics.

Here are some different things I really like to use (remember that these might be different for you depending on what you’re training for):

  • Glute Activation drills with low-intensity bodyweight exercises (glute bridges (1 and 2 leg), side lunges, standing hip flexor drill)
  • Core Strengthening (ALL forms of planks, high-rep medicine ball drills, supermans)
  • Hip Mobility Drills (fire hydrants, leg swings, mountain climbers, groiners)
  • Flexibility Drills (long-duration stretches or hip flexors, rectus femori, pecs)
  • Visualization Techniques
  • Meditative Techniques (corpse pose preferably, close your eyers, breath from your solar plexus/diaphragm area, relax your mind, relax your muscles and let go)

So you’d pick out some of those methods and drills (the ones that best fit your needs) and start doing them on your off-days in short, 10-15 minute sessions.

You’ll start to find your muscles feeling looser and lighter, your energy will begin to increase and you’ll find your mental focus to be stronger as you get into the F.A.P.

Now, as I mentioned a few days ago, I’m finally ready to release and teach all of this awesome 40-yard dash training to you, my VIP Game Speed Insider Subscriber in my brand-new “lower your 40-yard time” program, appropriately named “Destroy The 40″.

DT40 is an all-out, 12-week assault on your 40-yard time.

Through private video coaching, it goes through the entire “12-Step 40-Yard Dash Mastery Course” and simultaneously contains the most specific, most potent 12-week, 40-yard training program I could have ever designed (I spent 27 days writing out the workouts in DT40…there isn’t a single detail I left out!).

On top of that, it also comes with off-day training, 40-yard specific stretches and even a few, potentially game-changing visualization techniques (all part of the “Forward Advancement Principle“).

The whole program is online-based and entirely done through video, hosted on private webpages that you’ll get exclusive access to as a charter member of DT40.

And because of the amount of individual time I’ll be spending with each member, spots are obviously limited…the first 100 anxious sign-ups are in, and after that, the doors are shut (you’ll actually hear them slam closed…they’re the big, red-oak type with some really cool engravings).

KEY POINT TO KEEP IN MIND

When “Destroy The 40″ goes live, it’s FREE to start (you’ll see exactly how on the day it goes live, but I’m obviously not trying to pull any fast, slow or medium-paced ones here …just making you fast, lol)…simply put, the first 100 people to sign-up are in and they get in for FREE for the entire first month (of the 3 month program).

The doors to “Destroy The 40″ are opening up on Tuesday March 9 around 8 AM EST and I am THRILLED and how well it came out. Those 100 competitive athletes that get into the program are going to go through some serious training explosions…I can’t wait.

I went over this for a second last week, but who do I think “Destroy The 40” is the right fit for?

  • Football Players
  • Baseball Players (improve your 40-yard dash and your 60-yard dash time goes OFF the charts)
  • Weekend warriors looking for an unreal program to guide them for 12-weeks so they can finally figure out the speed equation, get BLAZING speed and blow their friends away…I love it when friends say things like “Dude, WHAT have you been doing?” LOL
  • Basketball Players (but ONLY ballers who have the SKILL part of their game down and need more power and explosiveness…if your skills aren’t quite there, focus on those first before entering something so advanced as “Destroy The 40″)
  • Soccer Players (Thanks Shawn for pointing this out for all of the foot-ballers out there)

If you have any questions about The Speed Triad or getting there in time for Destroy The 40, leave ’em below…I’ll be there to answer them for you.

Excited and motivated,

Alex

15 comments - add yours
Taylor Allan

March 3, 2010

Bad.Ass.

DT40 is gonna be sick man, can’t wait. A fast 40 time is so much more important for athletes than they may think. SO much more…

Bullhusky

March 4, 2010

Alex:

Your best post ever.

We tweeted or posted each other a couple months ago about this subject when you had a discussion about what some folks felt was a competitor’s product that I mentioned was complimentary. I have worked with both products and today’s post succinctly capsulizes the best of both TAG and CST.

Great post!

Mike Sparo

March 4, 2010

Alex — Re the DT40, you mention that it’s done through private video coaching, is online based, involves private web pages, etc. Does that mean it has a limited “shelf life?” In other words, say that we’re not ready to use it now because maybe it’s in-season (we’re talking HS baseball) and schoolwork limts the time available right now, etc., but we want to get started on the program in, say, May, in preparation for summer baseball showcases. Would the online coaching, private web pages, etc. still be available in May? Thanks.

john

March 4, 2010

Hi Alex,
I’m a soccer coach who works with pretty high level players (university, pro etc.), and for us, speed is important but conditioning is also important. If I’ve got players doing speed training with 48 hour recovery time (as you’ve described), can they be doing conditioning during that same period (ie. interval training on in between days) or will that be counter-productive to the CNS speed training?
Thanks,
John

Neal

March 4, 2010

Hey Alex,
I would like to know if this program can work for track athletes, specifically the 100m dash. I know from 60-100m it’s more of speed endurance, but right now anything which can boost my top speed/ reduce my 40y time could do me wonders.
Oh I’m the same guy with the laughable 6 second 40 yard dash who had posted in your “Fraud” article…heck sometimes I wonder if I should even bother about getting fast you know?

Alex

March 4, 2010

@Mike, they will NOT have a limited shelf-life. Once you gain access, you have lifetime access to everything. Really good question.

@John, if it’s intensive interval training in that they’re running at above around 80% of their “top speed”, then it would probably end up being counter-productive after a short time…you might wanna try doing “tempo runs” on the days in between the sprint training for conditioning. Do a Google search for “tempo runs” and ‘charlie francis” to read more about it.

@Neal, nah man…speed is ALWAYS good. There’s no doubt in my mind increasing your 40 would do wonders for you 100m time. Personally, I get the feeling you would benefit a lot from something like DT40.

-Alex

Shawn Horwood

March 4, 2010

Alex, this stuff you are posting right now is killer. I can’t wait to see & go through the actual program (I’m definitely gonna be one of the first 100).

Shawn

Timothy

March 6, 2010

Being a football player I’m obsessed with getting faster, but I also need to get stronger. Is it a bad idea to train for speed and strength in the same day or how should I do it if I’m trying to train for both??

Nick

March 6, 2010

Hey, what if I’m not one of the first 100 to get DT40? Will I still be able to pay for it at the time it will be released?

Alex

March 6, 2010

@Timothy, you can and should be training for both at the same time. Just focus more on the one you need more. For instance, if you’re naturally quick and pretty fast, but still “weak”, then you’d wanna focus more on strength training and simply getting stronger, while still doing a good, but lesser amount of speed training work. Make sense?

@Nick, only those first 100 coaches and athletes that get there get in for now. DT40 will be re-opened when the 12-week program runs out for those first 100 people, and we’ll take 100 more, but for now, it’s 100 and then the doors close. Try and get that early man…I’ve noticed people who leave comments are usually more motivated and determined than anyone else, so it’s definitely people like you who I want to make it in.

-Alex

Ekam

March 15, 2010

so if i do a plyometric workout earlier in the day can i still play basketball a few hours later in the evening with just jogging and 15 minutes of stationary ballhandling drills.

Alex

March 15, 2010

Yup Ekam…you can do that later in the day, or even the next day, since things like stationary ball-handling drills and jogging are lower-intensive drills and exercises and can be done whenever…it’s the high-intensity activities you need to be aware of and watching.

-Alex

William

May 26, 2010

Hey alex i was just wondering how you feel about isometcic trainging

Jeremy

June 20, 2010

Will the destroy the 40 ever be released again?

retail fraud charges

August 20, 2011

You should take part in a contest for one of the best blogs on the web. I will recommend this site!