When I was a kid I really wanted to be the Flash. He was the fastest man on Earth! He ran through walls and up the sides of buildings, dodged bullets and could probably run fast enough to go back in time. Unfortunately as a kid I never really ran much, not like I do now. Once I started running as an adult I realized I would spend the rest of my life trying to be faster. As a result I've spent a lot of time researching how to become faster. Let me tell you what I've found - there are all kinds of ways to be faster!

You can have faster fast twitch muscle response and therefore more explosive movement. This comes in handy for jumping such as the types you do in basketball or volleyball. You can be faster on your feet. You can run faster for distance, sprint faster, or a combination of both. You can also cycle faster, perform other sport or exercise movements faster or just increase from a slow walk to a faster walk.
All of those things are ways to be faster and there are a lot of ways to train for each depending on which type of speed you are interested in.

One way to increase speed is to shave off bodyfat. Luckily one of the best ways to shave off bodyfat is also a great way to increase speed - sprinting. Sprinting will make you run faster because it uses a different type of muscle fiber than the type you primarily use while running for distance. You will still use some of the same fibers and those fibers will become stronger and more efficient and increase your speed. Sprinting also doesn't last long enough to put your body into a catabolic (muscle-burning) state the way that endurance running can, so it's better for your body composition overall. The more muscle you have, the more fat you burn at rest. Therefore if you sprint you not only burn lots of calories but you make yourself stronger and you really put your body in the perfect state hormonally and metabolically to torch your fat without burning away any muscle.

Another great way to make yourself faster and to really train your fast twitch muscle response is Olympic weightlifting. Olympic lifting is comprised of a number of explosive pulling movements and catches using a heavy weight. Many of these are also utilizing hip hinge movements, heavy weights and explosive power and as a result they also torch bodyfat and make you strong as an ox. You'll sprint faster, jump faster, and move faster in lots of other ways.

Increasing muscle mass and burning fat are the keys here! Working both fast twitch and slow twitch systems will make you better, stronger and faster overall. It's all about recognizing the goal and programming appropriately to get you there.


Who doesn't like the idea of being stronger? It's great to be able to carry all of the groceries into the house in one trip. It's nice to be able to carry your children or pets or smaller, weaker hiking partners when they get tired of walking. It's a great feeling to know that no matter what challenge you face physically, you are confident you can perform competitively. You can out-perform and outlast your challengers. When you're strong you fear less. When you're strong you can handle more without breaking. In addition to the obvious benefits of maneuvering through space being easier, putting on lean muscle mass protects your health in a number of ways. With more muscle you have a higher metabolism and your burn fat faster. With more muscle you have a higher insulin sensitivity. With more muscle you have a higher chance of surviving an extended hospital stay.

So how do you get stronger? It takes hard work. It takes consistent, repeated, self-inflicted struggle. Hard work, lifting heavy weight and sweating puddles is what makes you stronger. Physical and mental dedication and perseverance will get you running, cycling, hitting the gym and doing what it takes to reach your goals. To get stronger physically you have to be strong mentally. You have to stay strong and do it often and keep at it a long time to see lasting results. If it was easy everyone would do it.


I recently read an article on T-nation called "Set a PR Every Day" and I really liked what it had to say because it's close to the way that I approach my own training and the training of my clients. The article is here: Set a PR Every Day

What I took away from this article is that every workout should offer me an opportunity to perform better in one aspect of my training. Whether that's a stronger focus, intensity and drive, heavier weights, higher reps or more sets I can always find something to improve and make myself stronger. I love this outlook because it creates positive neural connections to exercise and allows me to have a good training day even if I'm feeling a little weaker or more tired that normal. I can simply drop my weight to what I can do with good form and then increase my reps or sets to allow myself to walk away from that workout with a win.

Another part of my philosophy in making myself better than before is not comparing myself to other people, but to my own performance and progress. As long as I'm a little better than I was yesterday I walk away happy. I strive to compete against my own times, my own strengths and push forward toward my own goals. It's all about me being stronger and more powerful than I was and making myself better and better all the time. That's not to say that some competition isn't healthy because it can be a great motivator as well, but when dealing with body image and keeping things in a positive way I don't focus on the competition.

When performance of a sport is concerned body image is less of an issue and fitness is less of a focus. With sports the training focus shifts to improving performance and preventing injury. I believe both of those things are equally important. By establishing a healthy movement pattern and strengthening healthy patterns that already exist the athlete prevents injury and increases functional capacity. In addition to sports performance this definitely makes activities of daily life easier.

Better and better.

Attitude is everything

Whether you're training for fat loss, putting on muscle or improving your game, changing your body is a mental and physical challenge. Keeping your attitude positive and keeping your level of determination high and your eyes on a goal will take you a long way, even when your body is exhausted. Drive and focus are necessary to squeeze out those last few reps of a set when you're using a heavy weight. Visualizing yourself running across the finish line can help propel you that last mile even if your legs want to give up. You mind is a powerful force and learning how to keep a winning attitude will take you a long way.

On the other hand, a negative self defeating outlook can slow or halt progress, degrade performance, even cause depression and sickness!
So how can you change a negative attitude and maintain a positive one? I have a few suggestions:

1) Listen to how you talk to yourself, especially when things aren't going well. Anytime you say something negative think of two positive things to counter it.

2) Surround yourself with people, images, places, ideas or things that take you closer to your goals. Don't spend time listening to the haters. Try to spend time with positive people and eliminate as much negativity from your life as you can.

3) Deal with stress by getting enough sleep, eating well and getting the proper amount of exercise. When you are not hungry or exhausted and you feel strong and confident it's much easier to have a good attitude.

4) Keep your eyes on the prize! Set a goal and use it to propel you forward. Every small step toward that goal will reinforce your positive change!

5) Draw inspiration from others if you have to. Watch a Rocky movie marathon, your favorite sports, or another motivational video and use it to help you get your head in a better spot. Call a friend or family member who is always positive.

6) Acknowledge where you are and where you've come from! You're taking steps and making progress. Recognize and celebrate the small victories.

With a winning attitude you'll make bigger strides in whatever direction you point yourself, with less effort.

Introducing Better, Stronger, Faster Fitness!

Welcome to the inaugural post of the Better, Stronger, Faster Fitness blog!

My name is Mike Welch and I'm an ACSM Certified Personal Trainer. Better, Stronger, Faster Fitness is the online and media arm of my personal training business. I do exercise programming, fitness coaching and one-on-one personal training via Skype as Better Stronger Faster Fitness. If you live in or near Eugene, Oregon I also provide personal training in a private studio at Genuine Fitness LLC in West Eugene.

I specialize in weight loss, lean muscle gain, performance improvement and corrective fitness. My passion is making you Better, Stronger and Faster. Stop by and see me in person, or keep watching this blog for original content articles, video posts and other surprises!