Gabe Mirkin, M.D.
Lifting weights makes you faster and improves coordination in all sports requiring strength.
Muscles are made of two different types of fibers: the red, slow-twitch fibers, used for endurance; and the white, fast-twitch fibers, used for strength and speed. When you strengthen a muscle, you train the white fibers that also make you faster, so strength training helps you move faster. Strength training can even improve coordination in all events requiring strength. Stronger muscles use fewer fibers for the same task and therefore are easier to control.
Bicycle racers train for strength by climbing hills in very high gears; runners train for strength by running rapidly up hills; rowers and swimmers use pulleys with weights on their ends that mimic the way they use their arms when they swim or row; and football players practice knocking each other down because training is specific.