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Moderate Load Resisted Sprints do Not Improve Subsequent Sprint Performance in Varsity Level Sprinters

Thompson, Kyle M.A.1; Whinton, Alanna K.1; Ferth, Shane1; Spriet, Lawrence L.1; Burr, Jamie F.1

The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: March 22, 2018 - Volume Publish Ahead of Print - Issue - p
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000002524
Original Research: PDF Only

Resisted sprint training (RST) is commonly used for performance enhancement in athletics and team sports to develop acceleration ability. Evidence suggests that RST may be effective as a short-term intervention to improve successive sprints. While these improvements have been measured in team sport athletes, limited research has considered the acute effects of RST training in sprint-trained athletes. Therefore, the aim of the current study was to determine if performing RST with varsity level sprinters using sled-equivalent resistive loads of ∼45% body mass results in a potentiation effect, leading to improvements in subsequent maximal sprint performance over 0-5 m and 0-20 m. Competitive sprinters (n=20), were randomly assigned to perform a pre/post maximal 20 m sprint separated by either 3 resisted (RST group) or un-resisted (URS group) sprints. The RST or URS protocol was performed on four occasions separated by at least 7 days. No significant differences were observed between the RST and URS groups comparing changes in sprint times over 0-5 m (URS Δ = <0.01 s ± 0.03 s, RST Δ = <0.01 s ± 0.03 s) and 0-20 m (URS Δ = 0.013 s ± 0.04 s, RST Δ = <0.01 s ± 0.04 s). We conclude that resisted sprints using sled equivalent loads of 45% body mass are ineffective at inducing a potentiating effect on subsequent sprint performance in varsity level sprinters. In this population of trained athletes, greater loads may be necessary to induce a potentiating effect.

1Human Health and Nutritional Sciences, University of Guelph, Guelph, Canada

Corresponding Author: Jamie F. Burr, University of Guelph, HHNS, ANNU, 50 Stone Road East, Guelph, ON, Canada, N1G 2W1, Tel: 1-519-824-4120 ext. 52591, Fax: 1-519-763-5902, Email:

This research was supported by a Mitacs Accelerate grant, in collaboration with the Speed River TFC. (IT08409)

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