How to get faster:
Professional athletes make sprinting look easy. It’s almost like they don’t even try. Sure, they may be natural runners, but they still had to work to get there. In this article, I’ll let you in on the best exercises to get faster.
Anyone who’s ever tried to get faster before knows it’s pretty hard to do. Luckily, it doesn’t have to be that way. I’ve compiled a list of seven exercises to get faster, and a workout including sets and reps at the bottom. Make sure and add these into your routine to get crazy fast!
Step 1: How to get faster by shredding fat
The first step you need to take to build speed is to shred fast. This should be fairly obvious, but have you ever seen a fat guy run anything under a 4.7 40? Maybe every once in awhile in the NFL combine from a crazy athletic offensive tackle, but even then, he was probably wearing a pair of the best lineman cleats. Let’s say you are 200 lbs at 20% bodyfat. That’s 40 lbs of extra weight slowing you down! Imagine how much more athletic you’d be by shredding 20 lbs of fat! It’s like running with 20-pound dumbells in each hand and then switching them for 10s.
Most people underestimate their body fat percentage. The only way to know for sure if you take a test, I recommend this one by active.com. The most accurate is obviously If you pay hundreds of dollars and get an MRI or CT scan, but being 100% accurate isn’t that important. The sweet spot for most athletes is anywhere from 10-15% depending on their sport.
As long as your body fat percentage is under 15%, you’re good. If you are under 15% go ahead and skip this section, but if not this is definitely something you want to read.
Shredding fat to get faster 101:
If you google “how to shred fat” some crazy expensive “supplements” will come up, or people telling you to run for four hours on the treadmill. This is all bs. The main reason people are fat is that they’re at a caloric surplus while they’re not lifting.
You want to avoid fat like the coronavirus because there’s literally no benefit to it other than cushioning. And if you have high-quality gear, that shouldn’t be an issue either.
The most simple way to shred fat is to be at a caloric deficit. To calculate your metabolic rate, take your bodyweight and multiply it by 15. For an example, let’s say you were 200 lbs. 200×15 is 3,000. You would want to eat around 2,500 calories a day to shred fat. While you are doing this, make sure you are still working out.
When you are at a caloric deficit, you are obviously going to be more hungry than usual. A simple way to fix this is to consume more protein. It is well known that protein is more sustainable than sugar, carbs, or fat.
Gallon Of Water A Day:
Along with the caloric deficit, there are a few other things that you can do to melt fat off your body. The first being drinking a gallon of water a day. Water makes you feel less hungry, but the real magic lies within its ability to speed up your metabolism. A recent study conducted by the National Library of Medicine concluded that drinking water speeds up your metabolism up to 30%. You don’t want to drink it all at once though, spread consumption throughout the day.
High Intensity Interval Training:
The last top strategy to use is to do HIIT, (High-intensity interval training). HIIT keeps your metabolic rate high even after you’ve finished working out, so you have a high metabolism all day long. A simple 15-30 minute session of HIIT should suffice to kick your metabolism into high gear. This is proven in a study by the National Library of Medicine.
To wrap it up, be at a caloric deficit, eat more protein, drink a gallon of water a day, and do HIIT training. Remember, it takes time to shred fat. Another thing to keep in mind, don’t overdo shredding fat. You don’t want to lose muscle in the process, and if you’re just 1-2% off from the sweet spot (10-15%) you can easily lose that in 1-2 months. Rome wasn’t built in a day or even a week. This will take time, but the end result will be worth it.
Exercises to get faster:
Now that you’ve got your bodyfat down to a good percentage, it’s time to do exercises that will get you faster. These exercises will build your explosive power, along with muscle that you need for running.
You need to have strong legs and a strong core to run fast. An increase in leg muscle will improve the push you get each from your legs time your feet hit the ground. A strong core keeps you stabilized, which is key so you don’t get thrown off balance.
Key leg muscles that will get you faster:
Each of these muscle groups play a big part in getting faster. It’s important that you work all four, because an imbalance could result in no progress, or worse, an injury.
#1: Box Squat
The box squat is one of the best lifts to increase your actual max squat, build muscle and get you faster. This exercise works almost every area of your legs if done properly. This lift should be performed as quickly as possible, and if possible with chains or bands for resistance. Avoid maximum loading, as this is more an exercise for endurance if anything. Regardless, it is still one of the best exercises to get fast.
How to do it:
- Grab a box and place it in your squat rack. Aim for a box that allows your knees to hit an exact 90-degree angle.
- Take the barbell and put it on your bag as you would a regular squat. Keep your chest up and engage your core as you perform a regular squatting motion.
- Sit down on the box, push your feet into the ground and stand up. You have now completed one rep.
#2: Explosive Bulgarian Split Squat
This is speed. The Bulgarian Split squat is my personal favorite for improving your speed overall, and especially your acceleration. Doing enough of these properly will make you seem as if you were shot out of a cannon. In athletics, milliseconds can be the difference between an awesome play or an angry coach.
How to do it:
- Stand around two feet away from a knee high platform. Benches or boxes work. Make sure both legs are directly below your hips and extend one back onto the platform.
- Keep your chest and head up, and lower your knee (the one you have extended to the platform) down until it is a few inches away from the ground.
- Come back up to your starting position. You have now completed one rep.
IMPORTANT NOTE: (MAKE SURE YOU DO BOTH LEGS WITH EQUAL REPS AND WEIGHT)
#3: Russian Step Up
This exercise works incredibly well for building sprinting speed. This is definitely one of the top exercises to get fast. It doesn’t build much mass, but that’s why we included the box squats. This exercise will also make walking up stairs seem a lot easier, so you’ll probably thank me when you’re older.
How to do it:
- Find a box that isn’t too tall or too small
- Start with one foot on the ground and one foot on the box
- Press up with the raised leg and drive the knee up when you get to the top
- Stand tall and return to the starting position. You have now completed one rep.
#4: Glute Ham Raise
The glute ham raise is one of the best exercises you can do for your legs. It also may be the most effective hamstring exercise known to man. You can literally feel power being added to your legs while you do this. Another plus to this is that it drastically reduces your chances of a hamstring injury, as it lengthens the sarcomeres to an incredible degree.
How to do it:
- Find a glute ham bench, or someone or something to hold your legs down.
- Place your legs inside the glute ham machine and adjust to make yourself secure and comfortable. If no machine is available, make sure you have something holding your legs down.
- Get in a tall kneeling position, and slowly extend your legs to lower your body. If on a machine, go as far down as possible, and if not, extend until you are a few inches from the floor.
- Come back up to starting position. You have now completed one rep.
#5: Hang Power Snatch
This is hands down one of the best exercises for explosive power. When the hang power snatch is done properly, it has the potential to take your speed into outer space. This movement translates to high acceleration and should be a staple exercise for any athlete. Another benefit to this exercise is that it will add muscle to your traps and forearms.
How to do it:
- Position your hands wide apart on a barbell. Make yourself feel comfortable holding the barbell before you proceed.
- Jump up. Be 100% loose and let your elbows go above your head. The jump movement will naturally extend your knees and hips, while pointing your toes.
- Catch the barbell above your head in a slight overhead squat position. You should be reaching towards the ceiling and shrugging your shoulders to your ears.
- Lower the bar down and return to starting position. You have now completed one rep.
#6: Alternating Plank
What?? A plank gets you faster? Why is that? A strong core is essential for sprinting speed because it keeps you balanced. Have you ever seen a fast guy that wobbles around in different directions? Nope. The alternating plank is great for balance because it forces you to develop your core muscles while balancing at the same time.
How to do it:
- Start lying face down on the ground. Point your toes and place your upper body on your forearms at 90 degree angles. Make sure that they are both placed under your shoulders.
- Start the alternating movement by extending your right forward out and your left leg back. Extend them fully and keep them parallel to the floor.
- Return to the original position and do the opposite leg and arm. You have now completed one rep.
#7: Calf Raises
Calf raises are the perfect finisher for a workout to get you faster. Calves are widely underworked, and they account for around 10% of our speed. Think of your legs like a hammer, and calves are the hammerhead. You wouldn’t have a very good hammer with a crappy hammerhead. Plus, having big calves is awesome.
How to do it:
- Find a platform to place your feet on. It can be just about anything.
- Put the top half of your foot on the platform and let your bottom half hang off.
- Raise your calves as high as you can, and slowly lower back down. You have now completed one rep.
Finally, the ultimate workout of all seven exercises. Remember to leave your ego at the door to the gym, and to use perfect form. This is far better than ego lifting for no gains and hurting yourself because of bad form.
This particular workout will get you insanely fast and may make some of your teammates and coaches think you are on steroids. You may be subjected to drug tests and locker searches.
Explosive Bulgarian Split Squat
2×8 (Each leg)
Russian Step Up
3×5 (Each leg)
Glute Ham Raise
Hang Power Snatch
3x As long as possible
- Inner toe calf raises 2×30 seconds
- Outer toe calf raises 2×30 seconds
- Inner slow calf raises 2×10 seconds
- Outer toe calf raises 2×10 seconds
Conclusion: Best Exercises To Get Fast
There you have it, a workout and a plan of the best exercises to get faster. I was once one of the slowest on my team and it wasn’t fun. But, If you put in work, dedication, and grind, you’ll soon be at the top of the totem pole. Hard work always beats talent that doesn’t work.