Resisted Sprints Do Not Acutely Enhance Sprinting Performance

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Whelan, N, O'Regan, C, and Harrison, AJ. Resisted sprints do not acutely enhance sprinting performance. J Strength Cond Res 28(7): 1858–1866, 2014—Sprinting speed is a vital component of successful performance in many sports. Long-term resisted sprint training has been shown to improve early acceleration performance, but the acute post-activation potentiation (PAP) effects of resisted sprinting on subsequent performance remain unclear. The purpose of this investigation was to examine the effects of resisted sprinting on sprinting and factors related to sprint performance. Twelve active males participated in a pretest involving ten 10-m sprints through dual-beam timing gates and 10-m Optojump Next System with full recovery. This provided baseline data on step rate, step length, ground contact time, and running speed over the first 6 steps of a maximum effort sprint. One week later, the participants performed three 10-m resisted sprints using a sled loaded to 25–30% body mass followed by a 10-m sprint at 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10 minutes after the final resisted sprint. The data were analyzed using an adapted typical error analysis and repeated measures analysis of variance. The results using analysis of variance provided evidence of significant initial fatigue followed by the enhancement of mean step rate, contact time, reactive strength index, and running speed in 10-m sprints performed after the resisted sprinting (p > 0.05). By contrast, the typical error analysis showed that this enhancement was limited and unsystematic in nature with little clear evidence of fatigue followed by potentiation. The results using typical error data do not provide strong evidence of PAP in 10-m sprint performance after resisted sprinting.

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