Speed Kills…Fat that is!

I must admit…this weather has me fired up!  As absurd as seventy degrees in early March may sound, I’m certainly not going to complain and I’m sure as hell going to take full advantage of it…particularly when it comes to my workouts.  I’ve always been a believer that we should all train like athletes and what better way to do so than kicking up the intensity with some speed and agility work. The fact is, many of us are athletes at heart. And the good news is, we can use some of the training methods the pros use to improve our overall fitness and shred fat as well!  Speed and agility work comes with many training advantages.  It helps improve balance and coordination, increases our efficiency at acceleration/deceleration and increases our ability to change directions quickly. Not only is this important for improved performance, but is key for injury prevention as well.  Also, with speed and agility work we get the fat burning benefits of high intensity training.  In fact there are numerous research studies that show you can burn more fat, increase your strength, and improve cardiovascular endurance in less time by utilizing high-intensity, low volume training into your routine.  Look at this way…when’s the last time you saw an overweight sprinter?  The answer is never! Reason being the majority of their training is at a very high intensity effort and with that comes high levels of calorie burning during and post-workout which contributes to maintaining their very strong, lean physique!

Before you begin, it should be noted that If you are just starting an exercise program, I recommend at least 12 weeks of aerobic base conditioning and muscular endurance training before adding speed training into your routine.

Now that you’re ready, get out and kickstart your heart with these fat torching speed and agility drills!

Note: Begin with a 10-15 minute dynamic warm up before performing the exercises.  Perform 1-2 sets if just starting out, 2-3 sets for  advanced exercises. Allow a full three minute recovery between sets.

40 yard sprints: Set up two cones 40 yards apart. Starting at one end, quickly run to the opposite side until you run past the cone. Gradually slow down, walk back to the starting point and repeat for a total of 4 to 6 repetitions.

Note: For beginners, run approximately at 60-80% of your maximum speed.  Intermediate, 85-100% of maximum speed.  Advanced, 100% and/or with a parachute or weight resistance (5-10% of your body weight).

M-Drill (Set up): You will need 5 cones for this drill. Begin by setting up 4 cones in a box formation, with each cone spaced 10 yards apart. Then place the fifth cone in the middle of the square.

M-Drill (Exercise): Begin at the bottom left corner (Cone 1). Quickly run to the cone straight ahead (Cone 2). Now, backpedal to the center cone (Cone 3), turn slightly right and run to the cone in the top right corner (Cone 4). Last, backpedal to the final cone in the bottom right corner (Cone 5), then finish by sprinting through Cone 4 straight ahead. Return to Cone 1 and repeat for a total of 2-3 reps before repeating the sequence in the opposite direction.

Medicine Ball Reverse Scoop Toss to Sprint: Begin with a medicine ball weighing 5-10% of your body weight. Beginning in an athletic stance, then explosively jump while swinging and tossing the ball over your head behind you as far as you can.  Immediately sprint to retrieve it and repeat for 4-6 repetitions.

Shuffle Drill:  Place two cones 5 yards apart from one another.  Perform a burpee, quickly hop to your feet and quickly shuffle sideways to the opposite cone and perform another burpee.  Repeat until you have shuffled down and back a total of 5 times.