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The Priming Effect of a Heavy or Very Heavy Resisted Sled Sprint-Based Conditioning Activity on Subsequent Unresisted Sprint Performance in Team Field Sport Athletes

Monahan, Maria; Egan, Brendan

Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 37(1):p 91-97, January 2023, DOI: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000004184


To study the effect of resisted sled sprinting (RSS) on postactivation performance enhancement (PAPE) in team field sport athletes (n = 28 @ m = 15 and f = 13, average age = 22.1 years, average height = 5’-9.5”, and weight = 165.5 lbs.).


Unresisted sprint (URS) performance was measured over 10- and 20-meters (PRE) followed by a conditioning activity (CA) consisting of 3 × 20 meters RSS.

Unresisted sprint performance was then measured again at :30 seconds and 4, 8, 12, 16, 20, and 24 minutes after the CA.

The effect of heavy (H-RSS) or very heavy (VH-RSS) sled loads were compared during 2 separate visits using a randomized crossover design.


Heavy-resisted sled sprinting and VH-RSS loads corresponded to a velocity decrease of 17.3% (20.0% BM) and 52.9% (64.3%BM), respectively.

Unresisted sprint performance after CA was slower than PRE over 10- and 20-meters.

The decrease in URS performance over 20-meters was greater in VH-RSS (time × sled load interaction) but after eliminating the fastest sprint times after CA, the fastest sprint time for 10-meters improved after H-RSS by 0.026 seconds but not after VH-RSS (0.054).

The fastest sprint times for 20-meters were similar to PRE after H-RSS and VH-RSS.

No sex-specific differences were observed.

Because of the high inter-subject variability in the amount of improvement – as well as for the time point at which the fastest sprint occurred - there remains questionable practical value to an RSS-based CA as a means to induce a PAPE for URS performance.


Anytime one sprints (i.e., runs as fast as possible under the circumstances) with resistance attached to them, they will naturally be slower compared to sprinting unabated by resistance. And, the heavier the load, the slower one will be. Duh.

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