The effect of a heavy resisted sled-pull mesocycle on sprint performance in junior Australian football players
Journal of strength and conditioning research
National Strength and Conditioning Association
Centre for Exercise and Sports Science Research
This study assessed the effect of heavy resisted sled-pull training on sprint times and force, velocity, and power characteristics in junior Australian football players. Twenty-six athletes completed a 6-week resisted sled-pull training intervention which included 10 training sessions and 1-week taper. Instantaneous velocity during 2 maximal 30 m sprints was recorded 1 week before and 1 week after the intervention with a radar gun. Velocity-time data were used to derive sprint performance and force, velocity, and power characteristics. A paired t -test assessed the within-group differences between preintervention and postintervention testing. Statistical significance was accepted at p ≤ 0.05. Hedges' g effect sizes (ESs) were used to determine the magnitude of change in dependent variables. Maximum velocity (ES = 1.33) and sprint times at all distances (ES range 0.80-1.41) significantly improved after heavy resisted sled-pull training. This was reflected in sprint force, velocity, and power characteristics with significant improvements in relative theoretical force (ES = 0.63), theoretical velocity (ES = 0.99), relative maximum power (ES = 1.04), and ratio of horizontal to vertical force (ES = 0.99). Despite the multifactorial nature of training and competing physical demands associated with preseason training, these findings imply that a short, resisted sled-pull training mesocycle may improve sprint performance and underlying force, velocity, and power characteristics in junior athletes.