Track coaches and sprint athletes have used overspeed and underspeed training protocols for decades. Underspeed training involves overweighting or adding resistance to the athlete. Overspeed training involves underweighting or adding assistance to the athlete to allow them to move faster than normal. These techniques have been an integral component in speed training for sprinters, speed skaters, and power athletes. Recently we have seen these techniques being used by rotational sports that involve striking and throwing. Although the philosophy remains the same, there is a ton of debate about the best method for maximizing rotational speed.
I have been using over and under weighting of golf clubs for the last decade. I have experimented, adapted and implemented my system with my juniors, collegiate golfers, Canadian National Team athletes and Tour players. The system I designed goes against the industry norms yet yields similar results. I have experimented with both methods and see the positive benefits of the other systems. I do however feel my system worked better for my athletes. My method maximized speed while reducing the stress on the body which fits into my Minimal Dose philosophy. Its not better or worse, but it is different!
I follow the same speed training philosophy that I had success with during my years as a sprint athlete and coach. This philosophy uses underspeeding or overweighting to build strength, overspeeding or underweighting to improve neuromuscular speed and finally try and maintain this new found speed with your implement used in your sport of choice. I have included my program below as well as the Super Speed Training protocol which is considered the industry norm. I want to be very clear. I use the Super Speed Sticks for both golf and baseball athletes and believe their programs and speed protocols are great. Just different.
Coach Glass Speed Protocol:
Here is a downloadable PDF: Glass’ Speed Stick Training copy
Super Speed Protocol:
Both programs involve progressing from tall kneeling to 1/2 kneeling to standing to running and finish with the athlete performing their skill with their traditional technique. When you take the legs out from the athlete it takes away their ability to engage the ground effectively. They now need to rely on their rotational slings and the rotational muscles used in torso disassociation above the knees to create rotational speed. For any athlete that over uses their lower body to compensate for a weak or slow upper body, this drill will help give them awareness and fill in any power gaps or speed leaks.
The run and gun, crow hop or Happy Gilmore are the ultimate speed enhancer. Try throwing a baseball with your feet planted on the ground and then try it again with a short run up. Obviously we can generate more speed and power when you run into it. But more importantly it increases the load on the body and forces the body to decelerate faster. The bigger brakes you can put on an athlete, the bigger the speed gains. A colleague of mine and member of our TPI Fitness Advisory Board, Tom House, once said “You can only accelerate as fast as you can decelerate.” A big part of my gym training involves putting bigger brakes on my athletes. I focus most of my energy on the muscles that control the pelvis and scapula. For more information on my training techniques you can join my Next Level membership site ( jasonglasslab.com/subscribe
) and watch the videos and DVDs on the site dedicated to this topic.
Listen to Coach Glass Podcast Episode 235 for a deeper understanding behind the philosophy and methodology of speed training.
Try both systems out and share your thoughts!