Speed Reps

May 9, 2012 // Al Kavadlo

Last week, I wrote about super slow strength training. Today I want to focus on the other end of the spectrum.

While super slow strength training can emphasize form and stability, speed reps can help build explosive power and agility. Both are important things to have if you aim to be well rounded in your fitness.

Speed training is similar to plyometric training in that the movements are performed fast and explosively. Unlike plyometrics, however, you do not get airborne when you perform speed reps. In fact, when performing speed reps on exercises like pull-ups and dips that involve gripping a bar, I recommend holding on tightly!

Additionally, it can help to think about doing the negative portion of the rep as fast as possible, which will engage the antagonist muscles. This means if I am doing speed pull-ups, I will think about pushing myself down away from the bar at the top of each rep.

Before attempting speed reps of any exercise, make sure that you can first perform the exercise at a normal tempo with proper form. It’s also a good idea to thoroughly warm up before this type of training.

In the video below, you’ll see me doing some of my favorite warm-up drills before getting in my speed reps. I’ve borrowed some elements of parkour training as well as some Animal Flow movements, adding my own personal style as well.