3 Tips to Increase Speed, Size, and Strength

Looking to improve your sports-specific performance? Then you need these 3 elements in your training. Learn what they are and how to incorporate them!

Getting bigger, faster, and stronger shouldn’t be elusive terms, where no matter how much hard work you put in they can’t be attained.

Strength training has been around for decades, and the simple days of going into the weight room to pump iron has slowly evolved into a practice where everything is researched, monitored, and tracked with data.

As an athlete, this can quickly get overwhelming and cause you to go down two potential paths that can stall your progress:

Path #1: Paralysis by analysis. You get so overwhelmed by reading conflicting information that you never stick to one plan long enough to get results.

Path #2: You get too caught up in gimmicky things and forget you actually need hard work to get better.

Luckily, you’ve come across this article. Below, we’re going to show you three components all good workouts need to get you bigger, faster, and stronger.

All three are backed by research and all three give you the opportunity to put in some good old-fashioned hard work.

1. Light Implement & Bodyweight Power

The first component you need to understand is how to train with light implements and your bodyweight to increase your power and speed. Being able to produce a large amount of force and move an object with a high velocity is a characteristic of all good field athletes. Think about Giancarlo Stanton’s 120 mph exit velocity, Cam Newton throwing a pass over the middle, or John Wall making a cut and sprinting across the court.

One of the best ways to train these qualities in manners that are most specific to your sport is through light implement and bodyweight power training. This type of training can be broken down into two categories, one for upper body training and one for lower body training.

Light Implement Power Training: Upper Body Medicine Ball Throws

One of the many benefits to using medicine ball throws as a means to train for power is that they give you the freedom to train in planes of motion that will carry over to your sport. A football lineman can use a chest pass, a volleyball player can train with an overhead throw, and a baseball athlete can perform rotational throw variations.

Give these three exercises below a try, and remember not to rush through your reps when performing these. Reset yourself every time and focus on throwing the ball as hard as you can!

Med Ball Chest Pass

Med Ball Overhead Throw with Step

Rotational Med Ball Scoop Toss

Bodyweight Power Training: Lower Body Plyometrics

These are the lower body explosive exercises you may already be accustomed to, like box jumps and broad jumps. If you’re not currently incorporating bodyweight power training in your workouts, it’s wise to start doing so.

Just be aware that to reap all of the potential benefits, the ability to decelerate and control your landings must be priority number one. After that’s been mastered, you then can start working on putting as much force into the ground as possible and being as explosive as possible during every rep.

Give these three lower body plyometrics a try. The first will help improve vertical power, the second horizontal, and the third will train power laterally.

Mini-Hurdle to Box Jump

Broad Jump

Heidens

2. Heavy Implement Power Training

The second way you can effectively train explosiveness is through heavy implement power training. The major difference between this type of training and light implement power training is the external load used is going to increase.

You now must work against a heavier resistance, and therefore the speed at which you perform the exercise will decrease. You’ll rely on having to contract more motor units to create a stronger muscular contraction in order to increase size, strength, and power.

These can also be broken down into two categories. The first is a better option for athletes who have more time to put into mastering technique and have less of an injury history, thus making these exercises less risky to perform. The second group is a better option for the general fitness population or those with a larger injury list.

Olympic Lifting

Olympic lifting is very technical. Only proceed to performing these movements if you have the technical skill of executing them without risk of injury.

If you are a general athlete, or weekend warrior, the kettlebell exercises listed a little further down will be a better fit for you.

Hang Clean

1-Arm DB Snatch

KB Power Exercises

These kettlebell exercises will help you build power and are better suited for those who don’t have the technical skills to pull off the more advanced Olympic lifts previously mentioned.

Add some of these to your programing and utilize them to build power that will translate to better sports performance.

KB Swing

KB Jump

3. Strength Training

The third component, and arguably the most important, is strength training. Getting stronger has an enormous upside for athletes of all ages. You’ll rarely hear an athlete say they were better before they got strong.

Strength training will help stimulate the hormone production needed to put on size and it’ll help you improve your rate of force production, which is needed to be fast and powerful.

Like we mentioned earlier, don’t get caught up in the gimmicks and trends you see on the internet; getting the most out of strength training constitutes of working hard with simple exercises.

Below are three exercises that if mastered and trained hard will pay big dividends.

Trap Bar Deadlift

Goblet Squat

Chin-Ups

In Summary

It’s easy to get overwhelmed in a world where massive amounts of information are at our fingertips. As with most things, those who keep it simple often take first place. That’s no different when it comes to increasing speed, size, and strength.

Below is a sample workout that incorporates variations of light implement and bodyweight power training, heavy implement power training, and strength training. Stay consistent with this and you’ll be rewarded.

Exercise Sets Reps
A1. Mini Hurdle to Box Jump 3 5
A2. Medicine Ball Overhead Throw w/ Step 3 4 Each
B1. Hang Clean 3 5
B2. Hip Mobility Exercise of Your Choice - -
C1. Goblet Squat 3 8
C2. Chin Ups 3 6-8
D1. Dumbbell Split Squats 3 10 Each
D2. Ab Exercise of your choice - -