The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness
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The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness

It’s no secret that when people contradict themselves, it has the effect of making the flaws in their actions or statements seem glaringly obvious. But what about when WE ourselves get caught contradicting ourselves by someone else?

By: Nick Tumminello Added: January 6th, 2014
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  1. #1
    Wannabebig Member
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    Sled Sprints Using The Contrast Method For Acceleration???

    Guys, I'm training a few high school football players for next season. The goal is to improve their explosiveness/acceleration. I researched sled sprints and most camps recommend unweighted sprints after using the sled to "trick" the body. From your personal experience, which is the MOST effective way to see the effect for acceleration? 1.) Sled Sprint x 15-20 yards wait 30-45 seconds then 15-20 yard unweighted sprints. Take 2-3 minutes rest and do it again for 5-6 sets? Or 2.) Sled Sprint x 15 yards with 1-2 minutes rest between sets for 5-6 sets. Rest 2-3 minutes then do the unweighted sprints for 5-6 sets?

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  3. #2
    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
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    Sprinting with sleds can be detrimental to running technique and should be avoided. Walk with the sled and the increased power can translated to sprinting. You can pull a sled 3x per week and alternate a light, med, and heavy load. Louie Simmons uses this technique and has bettered sprint times in advanced athletes significantly.


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  4. #3
    Moderator Off Road's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris mason View Post
    Walk with the sled and the increased power can translated to sprinting.
    Exactly what I was taught too. And running with a sled decreases friction, the opposite of what you want.
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  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris mason View Post
    Sprinting with sleds can be detrimental to running technique and should be avoided. Walk with the sled and the increased power can translated to sprinting. You can pull a sled 3x per week and alternate a light, med, and heavy load. Louie Simmons uses this technique and has bettered sprint times in advanced athletes significantly.
    Ok, so I should load up the sled with heavy weights and have them PULL for 15-20 yards? Then, run bodyweight sprints 30-45 seconds after?

  6. #5
    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
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    You could do that, yes. You can also separate the two forms of training. Try it both ways and see which one yields better results.


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  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris mason View Post
    You could do that, yes. You can also separate the two forms of training. Try it both ways and see which one yields better results.
    I'm having them getting strong on the basics(ie. deads, squats, bench & power high pulls) to lay the foundation. The sled I have them using is an old, used car tire with a 2 x 4 in it with a metal pipe drilled onto it to hold the weights. It weighs 24lbs by itself.

  8. #7
    Senior Member Sensei's Avatar
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    Hill sprints. It worked for Walter Payton.

    Make sure your kid is wearing cleats. Try it with and without a pulling harness - it's a treat. Bear hugging a sandbag is another option.

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  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris mason View Post
    Sprinting with sleds can be detrimental to running technique and should be avoided. Walk with the sled and the increased power can translated to sprinting. You can pull a sled 3x per week and alternate a light, med, and heavy load. Louie Simmons uses this technique and has bettered sprint times in advanced athletes significantly.
    I just read an interview given by Louie Simmons and he advocates walking while pulling the sled to get the athlete stronger. That along with sumo deadlifts caused a .3 decrease in a sprinter's 100 meter time, which is phenomenal!

  10. #9
    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Texas Ranger View Post
    I just read an interview given by Louie Simmons and he advocates walking while pulling the sled to get the athlete stronger. That along with sumo deadlifts caused a .3 decrease in a sprinter's 100 meter time, which is phenomenal!
    Yep, and guess where I got that information from? Straight from Louie's mouth .


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  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris mason View Post
    Yep, and guess where I got that information from? Straight from Louie's mouth .
    Chris, I have one more question. Should we pull with a tow strap attached to our weight belts? Or pull with a tow strap using our hands? The latter would allow for more weight to be used.

  12. #11
    Hungry like the wolf. Dgro's Avatar
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    the nice thing about sled sprints is you can add resistance while keeping the movement entirely horizontal, like what you'll be doing when you're racing the 100m, running on a football field, etc. as long as the weight isn't too heavy you shouldn't have to sacrifice technique at all. but with hill sprints you're inherently forced to shift the balance away from the posterior chain toward your quads because you're running on an incline, which isn't awful as long as you don't bring that habit back to flat ground sprinting (can't emphasize enough how much you don't want to do that. quad-dominant sprinters are slow and injury-prone). i like hill sprints for building late-race strength in a 200 or 400 but if i was training for pure speed and explosiveness i wouldn't utilize them very often

    all that said, most high school athletes have shit running form to begin with. kids can get a lot faster just by fixing that
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  13. #12
    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Texas Ranger View Post
    Chris, I have one more question. Should we pull with a tow strap attached to our weight belts? Or pull with a tow strap using our hands? The latter would allow for more weight to be used.
    It depends on what you are pulling a sled for. In other words, you can work your upper body, lower back, and so on with a sled and that involves varying ways of holding the straps. For hips, glute, and hams attach the straps to a belt.


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  14. #13
    Rob Schilke | GFX Designer thecityalive's Avatar
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    Used to do this with bungees and sleds back in track. We used parachutes in hockey. There was a reason why I was a 49 second 400m runner, and part of it can be attributed to this sort of training I did.

    However, if you aren't aware of it, you can easily over or understride to compensate for the resistence. The only way we did this sort of training was with someone watching at our sides.
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  15. #14
    Pro Strongman | Moderator Tom Mutaffis's Avatar
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    I would listen to Chris on this one, sled training should be used as a tool to increase power and therefore should be at a controlled pace. Sprinting work should be done without any added resistance, but you can do things to make the sprinting more challenging such as having them run up an incline or pre-exhausting the athletes with some running/jogging before hand.
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  16. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Mutaffis View Post
    I would listen to Chris on this one, sled training should be used as a tool to increase power and therefore should be at a controlled pace. Sprinting work should be done without any added resistance, but you can do things to make the sprinting more challenging such as having them run up an incline or pre-exhausting the athletes with some running/jogging before hand.
    Yup. We have a 15-20 yard hill nearby my house. We'll run 5-8 sprints uphill. Followed by 5-8 10-15 yard sprints on the ground(flat).
    Last edited by Texas Ranger; 11-26-2011 at 12:42 PM.

  17. #16
    Moderator Off Road's Avatar
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    Just to add to the conversation...

    I am helping my [10 year old] kid get faster for football. We are working on BW Squats with a goal of doing 50 reps, he can currently do 35 reps with good form. We add to this (alternating between) Prowler pushes, hill sprints, and sled pulls. The sled pulls are 20 yard laps; pulling heavy, pulling light, pulling forwards and backwards. I also have him run fast, which I think is important. A few sprints are always included in his warm-ups and we time them to add motivation. With this very simple routine we have cut a full second off of his 20 yard sprint time in just over a month.
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  18. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Off Road View Post
    Just to add to the conversation...

    I am helping my [10 year old] kid get faster for football. We are working on BW Squats with a goal of doing 50 reps, he can currently do 35 reps with good form. We add to this (alternating between) Prowler pushes, hill sprints, and sled pulls. The sled pulls are 20 yard laps; pulling heavy, pulling light, pulling forwards and backwards. I also have him run fast, which I think is important. A few sprints are always included in his warm-ups and we time them to add motivation. With this very simple routine we have cut a full second off of his 20 yard sprint time in just over a month.
    WOW!! That's great, brother! How many times a week do you have him doing sled pulls & running sprints?

  19. #18
    Moderator Off Road's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Texas Ranger View Post
    WOW!! That's great, brother! How many times a week do you have him doing sled pulls & running sprints?
    He's working out three days a week and he does sled one day, hill sprints one day, and prowler one day. He runs sprints all three days as the end of his warm-ups.
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  20. #19
    Senior Member Sensei's Avatar
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    Off Road,
    I don't know how much "volume" you've been doing w. the hill sprints, or how you are gauging "intensity" w. the runs, but I've found that a combination of warming up w. walks, skips, tempo runs (60-80% efforts), and the occasional hard run or two is good medicine w. most kids. The skips are deceivingly hard and they promote most of the mechanics you want to see w. the runs without it being "more". I keep notes on times, "volume", and form.
    A child does not learn to squat from the top down. In other words, he does not suddenly make a conscious decision one day to squat. Actually, he is squatting one day and make the conscious decision to stand. Squatting precedes standing in the developmental sequence. This is the way a child's brain learns to use the body as the child develops movement patterns. Therefore, a child is probably crawling, rocks back into a squatting position with the back completely relaxed and the hips completely flexed, and stands when he has enough hip strength. This approach makes a lot of sense and can be applied to relearning the deep squat movement if it is lost. -Gray Cook
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  21. #20
    Moderator Off Road's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sensei View Post
    Off Road,
    I don't know how much "volume" you've been doing w. the hill sprints, or how you are gauging "intensity" w. the runs, but I've found that a combination of warming up w. walks, skips, tempo runs (60-80% efforts), and the occasional hard run or two is good medicine w. most kids.
    The workouts vary a little, but generally remain the same.

    Warm-ups (all at 20 yards) start with walking high knees and arm swings, then faster high kness, butt-kickers, side shuffles both ways, backwards run with turns both ways, a couple of other different things for variety, and then a couple of timed sprints from the three point stance.

    Then we move to agilities which involve different things each day. Some days it's bear crawls, or hopping, or shuttle runs, or hop scotch, or passing routes. I mix this up a lot to keep it fun for him, but mostly just want his body moving in different direction and not loaded with any weight. And we almost always work on his first two steps off the line after these are done as kind of a break before strength stuff.

    Next comes strength training. We alternate between upper body and lower body durring the three sessions each week. For upper body we do band-assisted pull-ups and then we do push-ups. Our goal here is 5 BW pull-ups and 20 strict push-ups. We will test these once a month to guage progress. On lower body days we do walking lunges (unweighted) for 20 yard laps. We then do BW squats. Some days we do air squats and other days we use a low box and we always work on form. Our goal with the squats is a perfect 50 reps unweighted. There are times when I throw some different stuff in there to keep him entertained, like broom handle overhead squats, squatting with a medicine ball, or whatever I think will entertain him but still work on what we want to accomplish.

    Then comes conditioning. We alternate the hill sprints, sled pulls, and prowler pushes (his favorite). For each of these we start out light; light sled or prowler, or hills at 50% intensity. We shoot for 5 or 6 laps depending on how he's feeling. The last two laps of hills are timed and recorded. The last prowler or sled trip we try for a PR in time or a lb or two heavier than the last time.

    Lastly we do some core work. Sometimes we use planks and L-sits, other times we use good 'ol sit-ups. We try to be progressive with these but understand that performance will be different each day depending on what we worked on before it.

    That's basically it. Every day has similar goals and exercises, but I switch it up just enough so he stays motivated and has fun.
    Last edited by Off Road; 12-15-2011 at 06:52 AM.
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