Journal of Trainology



March 2017; Vol. 6, No. 1: Pages Z-Z

The acute effects of heavy sled towing on subsequent sprint acceleration performance

Paul Jarvis, Anthony Turner, Shyam Chavda, Chris Bishop


Objectives: The purpose of this study was to assess the practical use of heavy sled towing and its acute implications on subsequent sprint acceleration performance. Desigh and Methods: Eight healthy male varsity team sport athletes (age: 21.8±1.8years, height: 185.5±5.0cm, weight: 88.8±15.7kg, 15m sprint time: 2.66±0.13s) performed sprints under three separate weighted sled towing conditions in a randomized order. Each condition consisted of one baseline unweighted sprint (4-min pre), the sled towing sprint protocol: (1) 1x50% body mass, (2) 2x50% body mass, (3) 3x50% body mass (multiple sprints interspersed with 90s recovery), and 3 post-testing unweighted sprints thereafter (4, 8, 12-min post). All sprints were conducted over a 15m distance. Results: Significantly faster sprint times for the 3x sled towing protocol were identified following 8-min of rest (p=0.025, d=0.46, 2.64±0.15s to 2.57±0.17s). When individual best sprint times were analyzed against baseline data, significantly faster sprint times were identified following both 1x (p=0.007, d=0.69, 2.69±0.07s to 2.64±0.07s) and 3x (p=0.001, d=0.62, 2.64±0.15s to 2.55±0.14s) sled towing protocols. Within the 3x condition, all athletes achieved fastest sprint times following 8–12 min of rest. Conclusions: The findings from the present study indicate that a repeated bout of sled towing (3x50% body mass) leads to the enhancement in subsequent sprint acceleration performance, following adequate, and individualized recovery periods.

Received December 22, 2016; accepted March 25, 2017