9 Steps to Building MAX SPEED

9 Steps to Building MAX SPEED

Mike Volkmar, MS, PES, CSCS

head shot

strength logoEvery athlete at every level wants to build MAX SPEED.  Here are the 9 steps High School to Pro Athletes take to build game breaking Speed

  1. Self Myofascial Release
  2. Dynamic Warm-up
  3. Mobility
  4. Plyometrics & Reaction Work
  5. Technical Speed
  6. Resisted Speed
  7. Over Speed
  8. Full Speed
  9. Cool Down

Self Myofascial Release

Grab a foam roller or tennis ball to massage trigger point in the body to help prepare you for today’s workout.  Massaging knots, adhesions, and scar tissue that build up from the trauma of exercise will be released and allow you to increase blood flow and circulation to the soft tissues.  Check out some moves here – http://www.stack.com/2011/06/11/prevent-injury-and-build-strength-with-self-myofascial-release/

Dynamic Warm-up

The benefits of “Dynamics” have been greatly covered.  Chose movements that mimic today’s workout.  Lateral Speed and Agility Day?  Work on Lateral Base Skips, Carioca Quick Step, and Micro Hurdle Lateral Skips.  Acceleration Day?  Work Acceleration Skips, Linear Agility Ladder Drills, and Micro Hurdle Linear Skips.  Check out – http://www.stack.com/2010/10/05/a-dynamic-warm-up-you-can-perform-anywhere/


This step is skipped most my young athletes.  Moving your ankles and hips through a full range of motion for MAX SPEED is so important.  It will help prevent injury and improve flexibility.  This also could be viewed as corrective exercise for the athlete who is really tight or coming off injury.  Start with prone scorpions, walking lunges, and lateral lunges.  Check them out here – http://www.stack.com/2012/08/06/hip-mobility-drills/

Plyometrics & Reaction Work

Power production and quick feet are a priority for all athletes.  That is why it is best done when you are fresh (early in the workout) and lose (after your warm up).  Your strength levels will dictate your level of plyos.  Check some out here – http://www.stack.com/2012/03/14/use-accelerated-plyos-to-get-faster-for-football/

Technical Speed

This step is more important at the younger levels.  For my advanced high school athletes, college and pro kids, I will include some Technique work in their Dynamic Warm up.  For a younger high school or middle school athlete, is it important that you learn the proper angles for MAX SPEED.  Start with Wall Drills – http://www.stack.com/video/867427045001/DaQuan-Bowers-Wall-Acceleration-Drill/

Resisted Speed

This is my favorite step.  Too many kids blindly run from cone to cone expecting to get fast.  WRONG!  You need to add an external stimulus (for improved force production) for the body to respond to (similar to strength training).  Younger athletes will start with HEAVY sled drags.  My advanced (2-3 years of training) will sprint with low to moderate sleds.  Check it out here – http://www.stack.com/2012/11/07/sled-push/

Over Speed

Assisted Speed (Over Speed) training is best for improving stride length.  Speed is stride length x stride frequency.  Younger athletes will start with bounding and progress into Assisted Speed with bungees, towing, or running down hill. 

Full Speed

Sometimes overlooked, but you have SPRINT to get FASTER!  Your volume (reps x sets x distance) will be dictated by the training emphasis of that day (Acceleration vs. Max Speed vs. Agility) and conditioning level. 

Cool Down

Time to static stretch and reflect on your workout.  Develop a stretch routine that hits all the major muscles and targets the muscles that are consistently tight or sore.  Check this out – http://www.stack.com/2013/01/28/static-stretching/

This program is best complimented with a progressive strength program focusing on posterior chain development (deadlifts, glute ham raises, and RDL’s).  Strength + Speed = One Nasty Athlete!

Mike Volkmar, MS, PES, CSCS


The Results!

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

Wow, it has been 18 days since my last post.  Life simply got in the way.  I could list the excuses but you don’t really care, you only want to see the results….So here they are.  My suit felt looser at the wedding.  My belt loop is one tighter and I could actually button the top button of my dress shirts!

I never set out to become “Johny 6-pack” in 24 days.  Not realistic.  Not really even a goal of my mine.  If so, I would have to get my body fat % down in the 8% range and I don’t think my wife would enjoy the lifestyle changes needed (no alcohol, no bread ever, bad attitude from low carb diet, not putting my family first, ect…) to make that happen.  Instead I wanted to take the products, work my butt off in the gym, make some moderate changes in my nutrition, and see what AdvoCare could do for me.  Ultimately my goal is to attain and maintain a body fat % of 10% in a range of 210-215 lbs.  I will never be under 200 again (graduated college at 205 lbs and married at 215 lbs).


Who is the 24 day Challenge perfect for?

  1. Any experienced exerciser (years of consistent exercise) who is stuck at a plateau (me)
  2. Any random exerciser who feels the need for structured programs
  3. Any person thinking of starting a weight loss program in the new year
  4. Ex-athletes who likes a challenge
  5. A veteran of buying supplements who wants to try a new product that is well researched and certified safe.

Where do I buy the program?  RIGHT HERE

Can I buy only specific supplements if I don’t want the 24 day challenge?  Yes, SHOP HERE.  Email or comment and I will suggest a couple of things for you.

What am I doing since the 24 day Challenge?  I have continued working my butt off in the gym.  I have enjoyed a couple of Nutrigrain bars, whoops.

Would I do it again?  Yes, but I would personally skip the Cleanse Phase.  I did like the cleanse, but I believe I found the products within the Cleanse that work best for me, therefore, I would not repeat the program.  Also, I did not see huge changes during the cleanse because I ate similar to the recommendations of the cleanse program.

I exchanged the fiber drink for another fiber product (NOW Whole Psyllium Husks) and I have added a Greens Supplement (Amazing Grass) to replace the herbal cleanse tablets.  I still take the OmegaPlex and SPARK.  That will never stop 🙂  You cannot have enough omega-3’s and energy in your life.  I have stopped taking the Probiotics.  I know they are healthy and beneficial, but just a choice.  If I had some severe digestive problems I would have continued taking the Probiotics, but I do not.

I would continue the MAX Phase as prescribed.  I really think that is when my biggest changes occurred.  I found the Metabolic Nutrition System the most beneficial.  I found the appetite suppression to be the most important.  If you look over my 24 days of food logs, I eat a ton of food and I normally eat more.  I have continued the SPARK, OmegaPlex, and the Meal Replacements (Mocha is the best!) from the MAX Phase.  I will buy the MNS 3 again when I am ready mentally and logistically (not the holidays) to make another change in body composition.

Before - Oct. 22nd
Before – Oct. 22nd
After 24 days
After 24 days
After 24 days
After 24 days
After 24 days
After 24 days
After 24 days
After 24 days

The Numbers:  Most don’t care about the numbers.  Body Fat % can be inacurate at 1-3% either direction.  I used the caliper method with these calipers.  They are super simple and cheap.  The most important thing about calipers is that your body fat is trending down.

The only absolutes are the pictures above (make your own judgements) and the tape measurements.  I lost inches where it counts (belly) and gained inches where it counts (arms).  Ever since I started caring about weight loss, muscle gain, looking good in the mirror, amateur powerlifting, etc..I know that i gain and lose weight in my face and belly.  And that is exactly what happened during these 24 days – I lost weight in my face and belly 🙂

Before After Difference
Weight 220 218 2
Body Fat % 14.73 12.1 2.63
Fat lbs 32.4 26.6 5.8
Muscle lbs 187.6 193.4 5.8
Measurements   (mm)
chest 10 8 2
abs 20 16 4
thigh 8 8 0
tricep 10 8 2
back 20 16 4
love handles 18 14 4
ribs 12 10 2
Neck 17 16 1
Chest 44 44 0
Belly 38 36 2
Legs 28 28 0
Arms (flexed) 16.5 17 -0.5