Try adding some resistance to increase your speed.
Run, run as fast as you can. This doesn't have to be just a fairy tale, with a little extra resistance, increasing your sprint speed is possible. Training with a weighted vest during your typical sprint program may give you the boost you need to get faster. This increase in speed may mean the difference between first and second place. Get your vest on and start training.
Adding The Vest
Adding a weighted vest to your program, increases intensity during your sprint drills. Weighted vests come in many forms from regular vests with the weight stitched in, to adjustable weighted vests. Weight vests also vary in the total maximum weight ranging from six pounds of added weight to 40 pounds. Finding the vest that fits your needs is important, you want the vest to be comfortable while you're running. When choosing a vest, be sure not to increase the weight by too much, this may interfere with your sprint mechanics. A vest can also be used to train for increased speed on stair climbs or "stair running" and similar exercises/drills.
Doing It For The Results
According to the ACSM, adding a weighted vest to your workouts is considered a movement specific resistance device. Many of these specific devices are used to increase speed, power and strength for sport specific movements such as running, jumping and sprinting. The weight vests do have limitations, the weight is only added to your upper body specifically your chest. Other varieties of resistant devices include sleds, elastic bands, and parachutes.
Speed drills such as shuttle runs and varying distance sprints can also be executed with a weighted vest. The ACSM recommends the vest be no more than ten percent of your body weight. Anything higher in weight may interfere with your sprint mechanics. Other sprint specific drills include butt kicks, straight leg sprints, and вЂњAвЂќ marches. These drills work more on improving the mechanics of your sprint technique.
The Results Show
When you train with the weight vest, you may notice your time has increased. This is normal and is due to the increase of weight your body now has to accommodate. A study by John Cronin, Keir Hansen, Naoki Kawamori & Peter McNair found weighted vests increased sprint time on both a ten meter and 30 meter sprint. The vest also influenced the acceleration or beginning phase of the sprint. Once you begin to train without the vest, your sprint speed may increase. This increase in speed most likely is due to several factors including your leg muscles gaining strength and your endurance becoming more efficient.