How to get Faster – Part 2

By David Hare, Owner of Functional Training Ireland.


How to Get Faster – Part 2

Okay hopefully you have read Part 1 of this article as I believe getting faster is a holistic thing as discussed in part one of the article.

Now in writing this I’m making some massive assumptions;

  • You have some time under the bar experience, meaning you have decent technique in the gym.
  • You are not injured; no really if you are injured go to a physio!
  • You have access to a Functional Training style gym with boxes, bars, etc.
  • You’re not an elite athlete with your own S&C coach; I am aiming this article at the club player.
  • You aren’t going to pick a hundred holes in the program, Newsflash no program is perfect.

I could write 100 more disclaimers but let’s get cracking.

Foam Rolling & Stretching

Working on your tissue quality is paramount, what are you training when you train? Your muscles, so make them a better quality you will get a better result from your training. Why Stretching? We are talking muscle length, movements and alignment. If you don’t have this down you are heading towards “beach weights” territory.

Here are a couple of videos to show you what we mean:

There are a million videos on YouTube explaining the techniques; do a bit of research on it and get it right because it couldn’t be more important.

We have posted a FTI style stretch and Foam Roll sheet you can bring to the gym to get you started.


Before you hit the harder stuff a little activation on the “sleepy” muscles is a great idea. Mini bands here are a great addition but you don’t need them.

Here’s a vid of the Longford u21s learning how to squat day 1 of their S&C journey: Yes I know it could be better but again THIS WAS DAY 1…

Activation work switches on the light in a dark room, other options are one leg bridging, core drills, dynamic warm ups – the list goes on.

Speed and Power Drills

This is where we typically program in our plyometric; med ball drills, speed work and hurdle hop type modalities. We like to split this into a few different ways like one day we might focus on linear movements and another day we might focus on Lateral drills or Chaos multi-directional drills.

This is an area you can go overboard in but to me speed and power is really moving quicker than you are used to, for a beginner a ladder drill, for an advanced athlete one leg hurdle hops, jumping on a high box is cool but are you landing properly? Did you do too many foot contacts?

My favourite drills are med ball throws and good old fashioned sprints to a tennis ball.

Here are a few real world examples:

Med Ball Power

Jump Squat to Stick

Sprint Mechanics


I’ll be clear here; nothing can beat the Olympic lifts for power production, BUT, they are really complicated and you need an extremely good coach to get going on them. I would advise all readers to seek out a great Olympic lifting gym/coach and get a few lessons in the hang clean and hang snatch if you want to progress, if you do them on your own I can guarantee you your technique will be crap so seek a coach.

Apart from that we need to think balance, we need hip dominant movements like the deadlifts and knee dominants movements like the squat, we need to push something and also pull something. How you proportion and organise your workouts really make a huge difference. It’s beyond the scope of this article to go any deeper than needed but bare that in mind. We will provide a sample workout at the bottom of this article to help you out.

Leg Exercises for speed:

  • Bulgarian Split Squats
  • Lunges
  • Step ups
  • Reverse lunges
  • One leg deadlifts
  • Hex Bar Deadlifts
  • Hip thrusts
  • Kettlebell swings
  • Dumbbell snatch
  • Goblet Squats



You’ll notice a tonne of one leg exercises; we find they translate speed better to multi-directional sports like hurling and football.

Push exercises for speed:

  • Alternate DB Bench press
  • Med Ball Push ups
  • Reverse lunges
  • Squat curl Squat Press


Pull exercises for speed:

  • Chins (in my experience my fastest guys were always good at chins)
  • TRX row variations
  • One leg DB row
  • X Pull downs

Putting It All Together

Here’s is a sample speed gym session we do at FTI with a decent level GAA team. If you read the other articles in the series we spoke about the logistics of organising this. But to Recap…

  • Foam Roll and Stretch
  • Activation/Dynamic
  • Power & Speed
  • First circuit with hardest exercise first
  • Second circuit
  • Conditioning – if applicable
  • Cool down

What About the Pitch?

We will do a separate article for that next month as it’s another huge topic.


If you have any questions or comments feel free to add them in the comments section below, we’ll get back to you as soon as we can!

Follow Offaly S&C coach David Hare on twitter at @FuncTraining


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