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
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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 Sensei View Post
    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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    I seen San Francisco 49ers running back Frank Gore do these while pulling a sled. I also read an article where Chicago Bears running Matt Forte do these while wearing a weighted vest this off season. He's averaging 5.4 yards per carry. So, I guess its works...

  10. #9
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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!

  11. #10
    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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  12. #11
    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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  13. #12
    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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  14. #13
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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.

  15. #14
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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.

  16. #15
    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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  17. #16
    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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  18. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris mason View Post
    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.
    The reason I asked is Joe Defranco advocates using a strap with your hands behind you and leaning forward with a moderate to heavy weight while pushing into the ground. What does Louie Simmons recommend?
    Last edited by Texas Ranger; 11-29-2011 at 08:44 PM.

  19. #18
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    When I went to a Crossfit Powerlifitng Cert at Westside, Louie advocated primarily dragging the sled with the belt--but to do more of a power walk then sprint to prevent ruining ones natural stride. He also advocated doing sled drags backwards to build quads. Wide stance with the straps between the legs for hammies and then straps on the ankles to build the hips.

    He shared a lot of experiences with athletes who came to him and he would never run them--just have them do sled work and weighted walks and he'd always get them faster. He had a bunch of us put on weighted vests and ankle weights and power walk around the building.

    I'm sure Chris and Travis have more insight to this.

  20. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by RFabsik View Post
    When I went to a Crossfit Powerlifitng Cert at Westside, Louie advocated primarily dragging the sled with the belt--but to do more of a power walk then sprint to prevent ruining ones natural stride. He also advocated doing sled drags backwards to build quads. Wide stance with the straps between the legs for hammies and then straps on the ankles to build the hips.

    He shared a lot of experiences with athletes who came to him and he would never run them--just have them do sled work and weighted walks and he'd always get them faster. He had a bunch of us put on weighted vests and ankle weights and power walk around the building.

    I'm sure Chris and Travis have more insight to this.
    Ankle weights & vests to get faster? Wow! I remember when I was a kid, everyone would jump & play basketball in ankle weights to jump higher. I know all the experts advise against it now, but it did work for a lot of us.

  21. #20
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    I hope I wasn't misleading. Louie didn't recommend running or performing the sport in weighted vests, but powerwalking--to build GPP and strength.

    He did advocate doing box jumps with angle weights, weights in the hand and vests, but once again not playing hoops in a vest or soccer with ankle weights.

  22. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by RFabsik View Post
    I hope I wasn't misleading. Louie didn't recommend running or performing the sport in weighted vests, but powerwalking--to build GPP and strength.

    He did advocate doing box jumps with angle weights, weights in the hand and vests, but once again not playing hoops in a vest or soccer with ankle weights.
    I used to do box jumps with 5lb ankle weights to help improve my vertical jump as a teenager for basketball. I'd do 3 sets of weighted box jumps. Then alternate with unweighted box jumps. I had no clue what I was doing , but it worked like a charm!

  23. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris mason View Post
    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.
    Chris, just to let you know. We've been doing a light day & heavy day pulling the sled. The light day is an upright power walk with an empty sled(tire) focusing on pulling with hams & glutes. The heavy day is more of a leaning march leaning forward on our toes pushing into the ground. Both days are for 15 yards with 5-6 sets. After each set we'll wait 60 seconds, then do a bodyweight sprint for 10-15 yards(Yeah, I'm running with the kids. LOL!!).

  24. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Texas Ranger View Post
    Chris, just to let you know. We've been doing a light day & heavy day pulling the sled. The light day is an upright power walk with an empty sled(tire) focusing on pulling with hams & glutes. The heavy day is more of a leaning march leaning forward on our toes pushing into the ground. Both days are for 15 yards with 5-6 sets. After each set we'll wait 60 seconds, then do a bodyweight sprint for 10-15 yards(Yeah, I'm running with the kids. LOL!!).
    Cool, how is it working out?


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  25. #24
    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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  26. #25
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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?

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