The Effects of Sprint vs. Resisted Sled-Based Training; An 8-Week in-Season Randomized Control Intervention in Elite Rugby League Players
Edmundson, Christopher James
The aim of the current study was to examine the efficacy of resisted sled-based training compared to traditional unresisted sprint training in terms of mediating improvements in speed, agility, and power during an eight-week period of in-season training in elite rugby league players. Participants were randomly separated into either resisted sled or traditional sprint-based training groups and they completed an eight-week in-season training block with training prescribed based on the group to which they were assigned. Measures of 5 m, 10 m, and 20 m sprint times in addition to countermovement jump height and 505-agility test time were measured at baseline, four-weeks and eight-weeks. For sprint-based outcomes, although both groups improved significantly, there were no statistical differences between the two training methods. However, at the eight-week time point there were significant improvements in 505-agility test (sprint group: baseline = 2.45 and eight-weeks = 2.42 s/sled group: baseline = 2.43 and eight-weeks = 2.37 s) and countermovement jump (sprint group: baseline = 39.18 and eight-weeks = 39.49 cm/sled group: baseline = 40.43 and eight-weeks = 43.07 cm) performance in the sled training group. Therefore, the findings from this investigation may be important to strength and conditioning coaches working in an elite rugby league in that resisted sled training may represent a more effective method of sprint training prescription.