Example speed programme: KARATE!

Speed kills!

WARNING! Before you read this, please note my intention. I am not prescribing this training session for you. It is meant only as an example to educate on how a speed session is planned and how it differs from a strength training session. In isolation this session will do nothing for you athletic development. Unless you're some freak of nature with identical genetics, training and injury history to the athlete this was designed SPECIFICALLY for after months of other training.

Some context:

The athlete this programme was written for was a karate world junior champion, national champion and had performed at that level for some time. Having just turned senior and now matching up against bigger and stronger athletes she (not pictured), had just done a 3 month long relative strength phase and had been strength training over a year at this point.

The speed session example.


  1. Foam rolling hamstrings and calves (3 mins)

  2. Toe walks, heel walks and heel-toe walks (2 x 10m each with normal walking recovery)

  3. Walking lunges and inchworms (2 x 6 lunges and 4 inchworms)

  4. Toe taps (2 x 10m with normal walking recovery)

  5. Pogo jumps (3 x 10m with normal walking recovery + 20sec)

  6. Lateral hop and stick drills (2 x 3 each leg aiming for 1 metre distance)


  1. Forwards hops for distance with rolling start (6 x 3 each leg with walk back recovery +30sec)

  2. Lateral hurdle drill - side shuffle, jump>land, side shuffle *3 hurdles over 10m* (3 each leg with walk back recovery then 60sec full rest between sets)

  3. Forward banded accelerations (5m against medium band x 3 with 10sec between reps and 60s rest between sets)

  4. Lateral banded shuffle (5m against light band x 2 each side with 10sec between reps and 60s between sets)


  1. Single Leg Swiss ball hamstring curls ( 3 x 6 each leg at slow eccentric tempo, rest 60-90s between sets)


I hope it's clear that the bulk of the session is preparing for the fast work. Getting the fast stuff done without creating so much fatigue that she becomes slower and changes her movement patterns. Quality over quantity is the overwhelming cliche applying to speed work.

#karate #speed #power #examplesession #strengthandconditioning

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