Have you been training in the gym for a while and begun noticing that you were feeling slow?

When I trained the U.S. Army Boxing team more than 30 years ago, a lot of boxers and coaches were concerned that weightlifting — something I implemented as part of their conditioning — made them stronger but their ability to perform knockout punches dropped significantly.

Unfortunately, almost all of them were using bodybuilding training methods and slower speeds. That style of training works best with hypertrophy training — the kind that increases the size of your muscles.

If you focus too long on hypertrophic training, your nervous system will adapt as will your body.

Your body will adapt to one of three speeds or ranges of movement: 0-240, 240-400 or 400 + degrees per second. (For those of you not familiar with degrees per second, imagine how far you can rotate your arm in a second.)

Many bodybuilders train in that 0-240 level and will be strong moving at that speed. Take that next jump forward to 240-400, and you’ll experience a transition without much carryover. Going beyond 400 degrees will mean little to no carryover.

If you want to improve your workouts, I urge you to study this video on variable depth/variable speed training very closely. I mention a number of things in my video as cautions, but here’s two very basic ones to remember right at the top!

  1. These techniques require a base level of conditioning and a readiness for higher speed training with variations in depth of movement.
  2. Be smart about the work you’re doing, especially if it includes bench presses. Don’t get hurt!

Love and chi,

Paul