Does adding muscle make you sprint slower?

LLuDawg

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12 Nov 2011
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I am a track sprinter but recently broke my ankle. I have been pretty interested in lifiting weights while healing but I want to know if lifiting weights can make you slower. Most sprinters don't have much arm muscle because we are always running and working on our legs. Thanks and any research is helpful.
 

kr3w

Well-Known Member
1 Aug 2011
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Muscle - it is heavier than fat. But it supports itself. the more muscle you have, the more weight you can move. If you have too much size, it can hurt you because you dont need that much muscle to sprint. If you have the muscle of a bodybuilder, than that is too much muscle because that much muscle is used to move 5 time your body weight. And that extra strength wont help you be faster.

Fat- does not support itself. The more you have, the less mobile you are, and the harder it is to move.

Sprinters are huge and muscular because there are two kinds of muscles fibers:
Quick twitch- these are bigger, thicker and more explosive.​
Slow twitch- these have more endurance but are thinner.​

Sprinters are loaded with fast twitch muscles. These muscles help them explode out of the starting blocks and push off the floor and move their legs quickly.

Long distance runners are much thinner because they have slow twitch muscles but these mucles last a long time with out getting too tired.
 
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gosu_smurf

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7 Jun 2011
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you have the muscle of a bodybuilder, than that is too much muscle because that much muscle is used to move 5 time your body weight. And that extra strength wont help you be faster.
i would like to add that this is a simplified example. as we all know, strength is not directly proportional to size.
 

PWiD

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20 Jul 2011
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Extra strength wont help you become faster... That's quite debatable. And there's no basis for this anyway. That's a very big assumption. In fact, training for MAXIMAL strength will lead to greater explosiveness.
 

prosu

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4 Jun 2011
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@PWiD then what really determines speed? a combination of strength and bodyweight and muscle endurance?
 

PWiD

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20 Jul 2011
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If you had to ask me, I can't really give a scientific answer. I can only come up with a simple one like how in-tune you are with your body. Besides, sprinting is a skill - the more you train for it, the faster you are. Technique is just as well important. You might think it's just running or what not, but there're multiple phases in sprinting and the activation of your leg muscles to stimulate all that explosive action, not forgetting those that complement foot striking. Psychomotor is likely a factor as well. Maintaining dorsiflexion at the right timing, et cetera. At our level, sprinting is more or less a 'talent' or something that you train for.

Speed in general, however, is very dependent on a number of things. A strike from a Chinese Kung-fu practitioner reaches probably 400m/s - as fast as a cobra's bite. Now this example here is a perfect one for those who believe that mass would only slow things down. On the other hand though, look at boxers and muay thai practitioners in MMA circles - muscles ARE there, and it don't slow them down either! But of course when you compare weight classes there's a significant difference, though that difference happens only in elite levels of sports.

If I really had to say anything about speed, it'd be largely biomechanics and technique with regards to each and every sport. Can a bodybuilder sprint as fast as a international athlete? Probably not, but there're those who can sprint just as fast as anyone who does sprinting for leisurely training and fitness endeavours. Genetics count a lot as well!

Here's a final example of my favourite classic bodybuilder - Franco Columbu still practiced a little bit of boxing even in his bodybuilding prime, but if you ever came across any videos of that, you'd notice that he isn't one bit slow.
 
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LLuDawg

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12 Nov 2011
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Thanks for all the answers guys! I was looking at really fast sprinters and a lot of them have pretty big muscles. I guess it won't hurt to workout with weights. Thanks again!
 

Glen

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12 Aug 2011
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train for maximal strength, accompanied with your own training on the track. This will help your performance. Alongside you will notice that you will gain more muscle - but this is simply the by-product of your body's adaptation from the training.

Going to the gym for the purpose of only gaining muscle to look good, may "weigh" you down.
The extra muscle mass you gain specifically from maximal strength training specific to your track performance and from your track performance themselves - do NOT weigh you down. In fact - You should feel lighter on your feet despite the "bulkier" you look.

When you go to the gym, train specific to your sport. Then you don't have to worry about the extra muscle to comes along with it.

Of course - train on the track often as well.

THEN you will ultimately see improvement in your performance on track.


Hope this helps.

Yours in Fitness,
Glen
Personal Trainer
www.evori.net
 
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