I have a new article on Return of Kings about the myth that weightlifting will make you slow and “musclebound”, and how I thoroughly debunk said myth.
As I elaborated in this article, as well as in the free PDF I offer to subscribers to my website (the subscription sign-up is on the front page) there’s more than one type of way to be athletic. More accurately, there are three, speaking purely in terms of muscular and/or nervous system function, so this does not include hand-to-eye coordination or other skills related to team sports. These three things can, loosely, correlate to the three types of muscle fibers-Red—or slow—Oxidative, Fast Glycolytic-or White-, and Fast Oxidative. Rather than rehash an article that I’ve already written, we will focus on the white muscle, the fast glycolytic. This is the type of muscle you want to be training for if you want to develop sprinting speed or a high vertical leap.
Or, to put this into terms of Newton’s second law of motion, Acceleration=Force/Mass, ie: the amount of muscular force you can exert, divided by your body weight=how fast you can accelerate. And yes, I am aware that there’s probably a more mathematically accurate way of putting this…
…It is at this point that you’re probably asking which exercises you should train to develop those physical skills you desire. If you read my articles regularly, you will know what I am likely to say-compound free weight lifting!
In fact, I’ll go out on a limb and say if you don’t know which exercise you should do to develop a certain physical trait, you should always default to a compound lift unless you receive some further information that says otherwise. Training for speed or vertical leap is no exception to this rule.
You can read the article here