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Very Heavy Resisted Sprinting: A Better Way to Improve Acceleration? Effects of a 4-Week Very Heavy Resisted Sprinting Intervention on Acceleration, Sprint and Jump Performance in Youth Soccer Players

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Aims: Aim was to investigate the effects of heavy resisted and unresisted sprint training protocols and see its effects on sprint time, vertical and horizontal jumping and sprint mechanics. Methods: Youth male soccer players [n=27] participated in this study, they were all individually assessed for the horizontal force-velocity profile using two unresisted sprints and load-velocity profile using four progressively resisted sprints (25%, 50%, 75% and 100% body mass). For all sprints an isotonic braking device was used. They also performed vertical and horizontal jumps, counter-movement jump (CMJ) was used for the former and standing long jump (SLJ) for the latter. They were put in three groups (RST: resisted sprint training; UST: unresisted sprint training and TAU: control group-"training as usual"). Athletes performed a 4-week training intervention (5x20m resisted sprint group; 8x20m unresisted sprint group) and were tested 7 days after completing their final training session. Results: Only RST improved all sprint times (T30, T20, T10, T5) substantially (-4.2% to-7.9% in split times) and provided trivial or small changes in sprint mechanics. The small changes were seen in sprint mechanical parameters of RFmax, Pmax and F0. UST only showed trivial effects in those parameters, while TAU showed a small decrease in both Pmax and Vmax. Regarding the jumps, RST and UST both showed a small increase in standing long jump and a trivial effect in counter-movement jump, while TAU decreased in both. Conclusions: Main conclusion is that resisted sprinting has proven to be a worthwhile method to improve acceleration and sprint performance and can be used by practitioners across a wide array of sports. It also improved jumping performance and sprint mechanical outputs, which point toward an improvement in better application of force in a horizontal direction.
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... This approach provides an extensive review of all the available training intervention literature for developing sprint performance in football code athletes, including multiple research designs with and without sportonly control groups. In the between-group pairwise analysis, for the studies with multiple intervention groups and single control groups [35,36,[58][59][60][61][62][63][64][65][66][67][68], the control samples were split into two or more groups of smaller sample sizes to enable two or more (reasonably independent) experimental comparisons [69]. This aligns with our extensive design to evaluate all available literature without combining or removing distinct subgroups (e.g., primary and tertiary methods [67]). ...
... For V max -phase performance, 31 within-training group effects were analysed from 13 original studies [34, 58, 67, 68, 76, 81, 93, 97, 110-112, 114, 116]. Eight training and control groups from five studies were eligible for a pairwise between-group analysis (sport-only control vs. experimental) [58,67,68,97,114]. The five available control groups were split in three studies [58,67,68] ...
... Eight training and control groups from five studies were eligible for a pairwise between-group analysis (sport-only control vs. experimental) [58,67,68,97,114]. The five available control groups were split in three studies [58,67,68] ...
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Background Within the football codes, medium-distance (i.e., > 20 m and ≤ 40 m) and long-distance (i.e., > 40 m) sprint performance and maximum velocity sprinting are important capacities for success. Despite this, no research has identified the most effective training methods for enhancing medium- to long-distance sprint outcomes. Objectives This systematic review with meta-analysis aimed to (1) analyse the ability of different methods to enhance medium- to long-distance sprint performance outcomes (0–30 m, 0 to > 30 m, and the maximum sprinting velocity phase [ V max ]) within football code athletes and (2) identify how moderator variables (i.e., football code, sex, age, playing standard, phase of season) affected the training response. Methods We conducted a systematic search of electronic databases and performed a random-effects meta-analysis (within-group changes and pairwise between-group differences) to establish standardised mean differences (SMDs) with 95% confidence intervals and 95% prediction intervals. This identified the magnitude and direction of the individual training effects of intervention subgroups (sport only; primary, secondary, tertiary, and combined training methods) on medium- to long-distance sprint performance while considering moderator variables. Results In total, 60 studies met the inclusion criteria (26 with a sport-only control group), totalling 111 intervention groups and 1500 athletes. The within-group changes design reported significant performance improvements (small–moderate) between pre- and post-training for the combined, secondary (0–30 and 0 to > 30 m), and tertiary training methods (0–30 m). A significant moderate improvement was found in the V max phase performance only for tertiary training methods, with no significant effect found for sport only or primary training methods. The pairwise between-group differences design (experimental vs. control) reported favourable performance improvements (large SMD) for the combined (0 to > 30 m), primary ( V max phase), secondary (0–30 m), and tertiary methods (all outcomes) when compared with the sport-only control groups. Subgroup analysis showed that the significant differences between the meta-analysis designs consistently demonstrated a larger effect in the pairwise between-group differences than the within-group change. No individual training mode was found to be the most effective. Subgroup analysis identified that football code, age, and phase of season moderated the overall magnitude of training effects. Conclusions This review provides the first systematic review and meta-analysis of all sprint performance development methods exclusively in football code athletes. Secondary, tertiary, and combined training methods appeared to improve medium-long sprint performance of football code athletes. Tertiary training methods should be implemented to enhance V max phase performance. Nether sport-only nor primary training methods appeared to enhance medium to long sprint performance. Performance changes may be attributed to either adaptations specific to the acceleration or V max phases, or both, but not exclusively V max . Regardless of the population characteristics, sprint performance can be enhanced by increasing either the magnitude or the orientation of force an athlete can generate in the sprinting action, or both. Trial Registration OSF registration https://osf.io/kshqn/ .
... The 121 studies resulted in a total of 220 intervention groups and 64 sport only groups. Training groups were subgrouped into six training classifications (sport only n = 64, combined methods n = 76, combined specific methods n = 3, primary methods n = 11 [66,79,89,106,134,135,155,177], secondary methods n = 6 [77,79,87,89,173] and tertiary methods n = 124) to differentiate between findings for distinct shortsprint performance outcomes (Table 3). Electronic Supplementary Material Table S1 (non-specific/tertiary, n = 124), Table S2 (combined, n = 76) and Table S3 (specific, n = 20) present the individual training groups study descriptives, training intervention and shortsprint outcomes for the included studies. ...
... The 121 studies resulted in a total of 220 intervention groups and 64 sport only groups. Training groups were subgrouped into six training classifications (sport only n = 64, combined methods n = 76, combined specific methods n = 3, primary methods n = 11 [66,79,89,106,134,135,155,177], secondary methods n = 6 [77,79,87,89,173] and tertiary methods n = 124) to differentiate between findings for distinct shortsprint performance outcomes (Table 3). Electronic Supplementary Material Table S1 (non-specific/tertiary, n = 124), Table S2 (combined, n = 76) and Table S3 (specific, n = 20) present the individual training groups study descriptives, training intervention and shortsprint outcomes for the included studies. ...
... Removal of one of the three combined specific 0-20 m studies [127] moderated the statistical significance from nonsignificant (p > 0.05) to significant (p < 0.05). Removal of three of the four 0-5 m and 0-20 m studies [79,89,173] and two of the three 0-10 m studies [79,89,173] moderated the statistical significance from significant to non-significant. ...
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Background Short-sprint (≤ 20 m) performance is an important quality for success in the football codes. Therefore, developing an evidence base for understanding training methods to enhance short-sprint performance is key for practitioners. However, current systematic reviews are limited by (1) a lack of focus on football code athletes, (2) a lack of consideration of all training modalities and (3) a failure to account for the normal training practices undertaken by intervention groups within their analysis. Therefore, this review aimed to (1) conduct a systematic review of the scientific literature evaluating training interventions upon short-sprint performance within football code athletes, (2) undertake a meta-analysis to assess the magnitude of change of sport-sprint performance following training interventions and (3) identify how moderator variables affect the training response. Methods A systematic search of electronic databases was conducted. A random-effects meta-analysis was performed to establish standardised mean difference with 95% confidence intervals. This identified the magnitude and direction of the individual training effects of intervention subgroups (primary, secondary, combined-specific, tertiary and combined training methods) on short-sprint performance while considering moderator variables (i.e., football code, sex, age, playing standard, phase of season). Results 121 studies met the inclusion criteria, totalling 3419 athletes. Significant improvements (small-large) were found between pre- and post-training in short-sprint performance for the combined, secondary, tertiary and combined-specific training methods. No significant effect was found for primary or sport only training. No individual mode was found to be the most effective. Between-subgroup analysis identified that football code, age, playing standard and phase of season all moderated the overall magnitude of training effects. Conclusions This review provides the largest systematic review and meta-analysis of short-sprint performance development methods and the only one to assess football code athletes exclusively. Practitioners can apply combined, secondary and tertiary training methods to improve short-sprint performance within football code athletes. The application of sport only and primary methods does not appear to improve short-sprint performance. Regardless of the population characteristics, short-sprint performance can be enhanced by increasing either or both the magnitude and the orientation of force an athlete can generate in the sprinting action.
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Aims In the current study we investigated the effects of resisted sprint training on sprinting performance and underlying mechanical parameters (force-velocity-power profile) based on two different training protocols: (i) loads that represented maximum power output (Lopt) and a 50% decrease in maximum unresisted sprinting velocity and (ii) lighter loads that represented a 10% decrease in maximum unresisted sprinting velocity, as drawn from previous research (L10). Methods Soccer [n = 15 male] and rugby [n = 21; 9 male and 12 female] club-level athletes were individually assessed for horizontal force-velocity and load-velocity profiles using a battery of resisted sprints, sled or robotic resistance respectively. Athletes then performed a 12-session resisted (10 × 20-m; and pre- post-profiling) sprint training intervention following the L10 or Lopt protocol. Results Both L10 and Lopt training protocols had minor effects on sprinting performance (average of -1.4 to -2.3% split-times respectively), and provided trivial, small and unclear changes in mechanical sprinting parameters. Unexpectedly, Lopt impacted velocity dominant variables to a greater degree than L10 (trivial benefit in maximum velocity; small increase in slope of the force-velocity relationship), while L10 improved force and power dominant metrics (trivial benefit in maximal power; small benefit in maximal effectiveness of ground force orientation). Conclusions Both resisted-sprint training protocols were likely to improve performance after a short training intervention in already sprint trained athletes. However, widely varied individualised results indicated that adaptations may be dependent on pre-training force-velocity characteristics.
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Background: Basketball is a popular, court-based team sport that has been extensively studied over the last decade. Objective: The purpose of this article was to provide a systematic review regarding the activity demands and physiological responses experienced during basketball match-play according to playing period, playing position, playing level, geographical location, and sex. Methods: The electronic database search of relevant articles published prior to 30 September 2016 was performed with PubMed, MEDLINE, ERIC, Google Scholar, SCIndex, and ScienceDirect. Studies that measured activity demands and/or physiological responses during basketball match-play were included. Results: Following screening, 25 articles remained for review. During live playing time across 40-min matches, male and female basketball players travel 5-6 km at average physiological intensities above lactate threshold and 85% of maximal heart rate. Temporal comparisons show a reduction in vigorous activities in the fourth quarter, likely contributing to lower blood lactate concentrations and heart rate (HR) responses evident towards the end of matches. Guards tend to perform a higher percentage of live playing time sprinting and performing high-intensity shuffling compared with forwards and centers. Guards also perform less standing and walking during match-play compared with forwards and centers. Variations in activity demands likely account for the higher blood lactate concentrations and HR responses observed for guards compared to forwards and centers. Further, higher level players perform a greater intermittent workload than lower level players. Moreover, geographical differences may exist in the activity demands (distance and frequency) and physiological responses between Australian, African and European basketball players, whereby Australian players sustain greater workloads. While activity demands and physiological data vary across playing positions, playing levels, and geographical locations, male and female players competing at the same level experience similar demands. Conclusion: The current results provide a detailed description of the specific requirements placed on basketball players during match-play according to playing period, playing level, playing position, geographical location, and sex, which may be useful in the development of individualized basketball training drills.
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Mangine, GT, Huet, K, Williamson, C, Bechke, E, Serafini, P, Bender, D, Hudy, J, and Townsend, J. A resisted sprint improves rate of force development during a 20-m sprint in athletes. J Strength Cond Res 32(6): 1531-1537, 2018-This study examined the effect of a resisted sprint on 20-m sprinting kinetics. After a standardized warm-up, 23 (male = 10, female = 13) Division I basketball players completed 3 maximal 20-m sprint trials while tethered to a robotic resistance device. The first sprint (S1) used the minimal, necessary resistance (1 kg) to detect peak (PK) and average (AVG) sprinting power (P), velocity (V), and force (F); peak rate of force production (RFD) was also calculated. The second sprint (S2) was completed against a load equal to approximately 5% of the athlete's body mass. Minimal resistance (1 kg) was again used for the final sprint (S3). Approximately 4-9 minutes of rest was allotted between each sprint. Separate analyses of variance with repeated measures revealed significant (p ≤ 0.05) main effects for all sprinting kinetic measures except VPK (p = 0.067). Compared with S1, increased (p < 0.006) 20-m sprint time (3.4 ± 4.9%), PAVG (115.9 ± 33.2%), PPK (65.7 ± 23.7%), FAVG (134.1 ± 34.5%), FPK (65.3 ± 16.2%), and RFD (71.8 ± 22.2%) along with decreased (p < 0.001) stride length (-21 ± 15.3%) and VAVG (-6.6 ± 4.6%) were observed during S2. During S3, only RFD was improved (5.2 ± 7.1%, p < 0.001) compared with S1. In conclusion, completing a short, resisted sprint with a load equating to 5% of body mass before a short sprint (∼20-meters) does not seem to affect sprinting time or kinetics. However, it does appear to enhance RFD.
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Objectives: The purpose of this study was to assess the practical use of heavy sled towing and its acute implications on subsequent sprint acceleration performance. Design and Methods: Eight healthy male varsity team sport athletes (age: 21.8 ± 1.8years, height: 185.5 ± 5.0cm, weight: 88.8 ± 15.7kg, 15m sprint time: 2.66 ± 0.13s) performed sprints under three separate weighted sled towing conditions in a randomized order. Each condition consisted of one baseline unweighted sprint (4-min pre), the sled towing sprint protocol: (1) 1 × 50% body mass, (2) 2 × 50% body mass, (3) 3 × 50% body mass (multiple sprints interspersed with 90s recovery), and 3 post-testing unweighted sprints thereafter (4, 8, 12-min post). All sprints were conducted over a 15m distance. Results: Significantly faster sprint times for the 3 × sled towing protocol were identified following 8-min of rest (p = 0.025, d = 0.46, 2.64 ± 0.15s to 2.57 ± 0.17s). When individual best sprint times were analyzed against baseline data, significantly faster sprint times were identified following both 1 × (p = 0.007, d = 0.69, 2.69 ± 0.07s to 2.64 ± 0.07s) and 3 × (p = 0.001, d = 0.62, 2.64 ± 0.15s to 2.55 ± 0.14s) sled towing protocols. Within the 3 × condition, all athletes achieved fastest sprint times following 8-12 min of rest. Conclusions: The findings from the present study indicate that a repeated bout of sled towing (3 × 50% body mass) leads to the enhancement in subsequent sprint acceleration performance, following adequate, and individualized recovery periods.
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Purpose The global application of horizontal force (FH) via hip extension is related to improvements in sprint performance (e.g. maximal velocity [vmax] and power [Pmax]). Little is known regarding the contribution of individual-leg FH and how a difference between the legs (asymmetry) might subsequently affect sprint performance. Methods We assessed a single male athlete for pre-post outcomes of a targeted hip extension training programme on FH asymmetry and sprint performance metrics. An instrumented non-motorised treadmill was used to obtain individual-leg and global sprint kinetics and determine the athlete’s strong and weak leg, with regards to the ability to produce FH while sprinting. Following a 6-week control-block of testing, a 6-week targeted training programme was added to the athlete’s strength training regime which aimed to strengthen the weak leg and improve hip extension function while sprinting. Results Pre- to post-intervention, the athlete increased FH (standardised effect [ES] = 2.2; +26%) in his weak leg, decreased the FH asymmetry (ES = -0.64; -19%) and increased vmax (ES = 0.67; +2%) and Pmax (ES = 3.2; +15%). Conclusions This case-study highlighted a promising link between targeted training intervention to decrease asymmetry in FH and subsequent improvement of sprint performance metrics. These findings also strengthen the theoretical relationship between the contribution of individual-leg FH and global FH while sprinting; indicating that reducing asymmetry may decrease injury risk and increase practical performance measures. This case-study may stimulate further research investigating targeted training interventions in the field of strength and conditioning and injury prevention.
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Ballistic performances are determined by both the maximal lower limb power output (P max ) and their individual force-velocity (F-v) mechanical profile, especially the F-v imbalance (FV imb ): difference between the athlete's actual and optimal profile. An optimized training should aim to increase P max and/or reduce FV imb . The aim of this study was to test whether an individualized training program based on the individual F-v profile would decrease subjects' individual FV imb and in turn improve vertical jump performance. FVimb was used as the reference to assign participants to different training intervention groups. Eighty four subjects were assigned to three groups: an "optimized" group divided into velocity-deficit, force-deficit, and well-balanced sub-groups based on subjects' FV imb , a "non-optimized" group for which the training program was not specifically based on FV imb and a control group. All subjects underwent a 9-week specific resistance training program. The programs were designed to reduce FV imb for the optimized groups (with specific programs for sub-groups based on individual FV imb values), while the non-optimized group followed a classical program exactly similar for all subjects. All subjects in the three optimized training sub-groups (velocity-deficit, force-deficit, and well-balanced) increased their jumping performance (12.7 ± 5.7% ES = 0.93 ± 0.09, 14.2 ± 7.3% ES = 1.00 ± 0.17, and 7.2 ± 4.5% ES = 0.70 ± 0.36, respectively) with jump height improvement for all subjects, whereas the results were much more variable and unclear in the non-optimized group. This greater change in jump height was associated with a markedly reduced FV imb for both force-deficit (57.9 ± 34.7% decrease in FV imb ) and velocity-deficit (20.1 ± 4.3%) subjects, and unclear or small changes in P max (-0.40 ± 8.4% and +10.5 ± 5.2%, respectively). An individualized training program specifically based on FV imb (gap between the actual and optimal F-v profiles of each individual) was more efficient at improving jumping performance (i.e., unloaded squat jump height) than a traditional resistance training common to all subjects regardless of their FV imb . Although improving both FV imb and P max has to be considered to improve ballistic performance, the present results showed that reducing FV imb without even increasing P max lead to clearly beneficial jump performance changes. Thus, FV imb could be considered as a potentially useful variable for prescribing optimal resistance training to improve ballistic performance.
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Purpose: To ascertain whether force-velocity-power relationships could be compiled from a battery of sled-resisted overground sprints and to clarify and compare the optimal loading conditions for maximizing power production for different athlete cohorts. Methods: Recreational mixed-sport athletes (n = 12) and sprinters (n = 15) performed multiple trials of maximal sprints unloaded and towing a selection of sled masses (20-120% body mass [BM]). Velocity data were collected by sports radar, and kinetics at peak velocity were quantified using friction coefficients and aerodynamic drag. Individual force-velocity and power-velocity relationships were generated using linear and quadratic relationships, respectively. Mechanical and optimal loading variables were subsequently calculated and test-retest reliability assessed. Results: Individual force-velocity and power-velocity relationships were accurately fitted with regression models (R2> .977, P < .001) and were reliable (ES = 0.05-0.50, ICC = .73-.97, CV = 1.0-5.4%). The normal loading that maximized peak power was 78% ± 6% and 82% ± 8% of BM, representing a resistance of 3.37 and 3.62 N/kg at 4.19 ± 0.19 and 4.90 ± 0.18 m/s (recreational athletes and sprinters, respectively). Optimal force and normal load did not clearly differentiate between cohorts, although sprinters developed greater maximal power (17.2-26.5%, ES = 0.97-2.13, P < .02) at much greater velocities (16.9%, ES = 3.73, P < .001). Conclusions: Mechanical relationships can be accurately profiled using common sled-training equipment. Notably, the optimal loading conditions determined in this study (69-96% of BM, dependent on friction conditions) represent much greater resistance than current guidelines (~7-20% of BM). This method has potential value in quantifying individualized training parameters for optimized development of horizontal power.
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The ability of the human body to generate maximal power is linked to a host of performance outcomes and sporting success. Power-force-velocity relationships characterize limits of the neuromuscular system to produce power, and their measurement has been a common topic in research for the past century. Unfortunately, the narrative of the available literature is complex, with development occurring across a variety of methods and technology. This review focuses on the different equipment and methods used to determine mechanical characteristics of maximal exertion human sprinting. Stationary cycle ergometers have been the most common mode of assessment to date, followed by specialized treadmills used to profile the mechanical outputs of the limbs during sprint running. The most recent methods use complex multiple-force plate lengths in-ground to create a composite profile of over-ground sprint running kinetics across repeated sprints, and macroscopic inverse dynamic approaches to model mechanical variables
Thesis
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The measurement of power-velocity and force-velocity relationships offers valuable insight into athletic capabilities. The qualities underlying maximum power (i.e. optimal loading conditions) are of particular interest in individualized training prescription and the enhanced development of explosive performance. While research has examined these themes using cycle ergometers and specialized treadmills, the conditions for optimal loading during over-ground sprint running have not been quantified. This thesis aimed to assess whether force-velocitypower relationships and optimal loading conditions could be profiled using a sled-resisted multiple-trial method overground, if these characteristics differentiate between recreational athletes and highly-trained sprinters, and whether conditions for optimal loading could be determined from a single sprint. Consequently, this required understanding of the friction characteristics underlying sled-resisted sprint kinetics. Chapter 3 presents a method of assessing these characteristics by dragging an instrumented sled at varying velocities and masses to find the conversion of normal force to friction force (coefficient of friction). Methods were reliable (intraclass correlation [ICC]>0.99; coefficient of variation [CV]<4.3%) and showed the coefficient of friction was dependent on sled towing velocity, rather than normal load. The ‘coefficient of friction-velocity’ relationship was plotted by a 2nd order polynomial regression (R²=0.999; P<0.001), with the subsequent equation presented for application in sled-resisted sprinting. Chapter 4 implements these findings, using multiple trials (6-7) of sled-resisted sprints to generate individual force-velocity and power-velocity relationships for recreational athletes (N=12) and sprinters (N=15). Data were very well fitted with linear and quadratic equations, respectively (R²=0.977-0.997; P<0.001), with all associated variables reliable (effect size [ES]=0.05-0.50; ICC=0.73-0.97; CV=1.0- 5.4%). The normal loads that maximized power (mean±SD) were 78±6 and 82±8% of bodymass, representing an optimal force of 279±46 and 283±32 N at 4.19±0.19 and 4.90±0.18 m.s-1, for recreational and sprint athletes respectively. Sprinters demonstrated greater absolute and relative maximal power (17.2-26.5%; ES=0.97-2.13; P<0.02; likely), with much greater velocity production (maximum theoretical velocity, 16.8%; ES=3.66; P<0.001; most likely). Optimal force and normal loading did not clearly differentiate between groups (unclear and likely small differences; P>0.05), and sprinters developed maximal power at much higher velocities (16.9%; ES=3.73; P<0.001; most likely). The optimal loading conditions for maximizing power appear individualized (range=69-96% of body-mass), and represent much greater resistance than current guidelines. Chapter 5 investigated the ability of a single sprint to predict optimal sled loading, using identical methods to Chapter 4 and a recently validated profiling technique using a single unloaded sprint. Power and maximal force were strongly correlated (r=0.71-0.86), albeit with moderate to large error scores (standardized typical error estimate [TEE]=0.53-0.71). Similar trends were observed in relative and absolute optimal force (r=0.50-0.72; TEE=0.71-0.88), with estimated optimal normal loading practically incomparable (bias=0.78-5.42 kg; r=0.70; TEE=0.73). However optimal velocity, and associated maximal velocity, were well matched between the methods (r=0.99; bias=0.4-1.4% or 0.00-0.04 m.s-1; TEE=0.12); highlighting a single sprint could conceivably be used to calculate the velocity for maximizing horizontal power in sled sprinting. Given the prevalence of resisted sprinting, practitioners and researchers should consider adopting these methods for individualized prescription of training loads for improved horizontal power and subsequent sprinting performance.