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Open AccessArticle

Sled-Pull Load–Velocity Profiling and Implications for Sprint Training Prescription in Young Male Athletes

Athlete Training and Health, Plano, TX 75024, USA
Sports Performance Research Institute New Zealand, Auckland University of Technology, 0632 Auckland, New Zealand
Cardiff School of Sport, Cardiff Metropolitan University, Wales CF23 6XD, UK
Department of Kinesiology, West Chester University, West Chester, PA 19383, USA
Laboratoire Interuniversitaire de Biologie de la Motricité, University Savoie Mont Blanc, 73000 Chambéry, France
Center for Sport Science and Human Performance, Waikato Institute of Technology, 3200 Hamilton, New Zealand
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sports 2019, 7(5), 119;
Received: 29 April 2019 / Revised: 14 May 2019 / Accepted: 17 May 2019 / Published: 20 May 2019
The purpose of this study was to examine the usefulness of individual load–velocity profiles and the between-athlete variation using the decrement in maximal velocity (Vdec) approach to prescribe training loads in resisted sled pulling in young athletes. Seventy high school, team sport, male athletes (age 16.7 ± 0.8 years) were recruited for the study. All participants performed one un-resisted and four resisted sled-pull sprints with incremental resistance of 20% BM. Maximal velocity was measured with a radar gun during each sprint and the load–velocity relationship established for each participant. A subset of 15 participants was used to examine the reliability of sled pulling on three separate occasions. For all individual participants, the load–velocity relationship was highly linear (r > 0.95). The slope of the load–velocity relationship was found to be reliable (coefficient of variation (CV) = 3.1%), with the loads that caused a decrement in velocity of 10, 25, 50, and 75% also found to be reliable (CVs = <5%). However, there was a large between-participant variation (95% confidence intervals (CIs)) in the load that caused a given Vdec, with loads of 14–21% body mass (% BM) causing a Vdec of 10%, 36–53% BM causing a Vdec of 25%, 71–107% BM causing a Vdec of 50%, and 107–160% BM causing a Vdec of 75%. The Vdec method can be reliably used to prescribe sled-pulling loads in young athletes, but practitioners should be aware that the load required to cause a given Vdec is highly individualized. View Full-Text
Keywords: resisted sled sprinting; acceleration; horizontal strength training; reliability resisted sled sprinting; acceleration; horizontal strength training; reliability
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Cahill, M.J.; Oliver, J.L.; Cronin, J.B.; Clark, K.P.; Cross, M.R.; Lloyd, R.S. Sled-Pull Load–Velocity Profiling and Implications for Sprint Training Prescription in Young Male Athletes. Sports 2019, 7, 119.

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