Cal Poly Football Player Training at Athlon Elite

There are debates amongst the sports performance training community as to whether resisted running, e.g., pulling a sled like the above & below pictures, actually helps improve an athletes sprint performance where it counts, in a game.

Run Dave Run…

Well the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research (a well respected scientific journal) has published a few studies on this topic as of late…

Their findings…

Well, pulling a resistance while trying to sprint changes your mechanics (namely your stride length, which is the distance you travel per step; and your stride frequency, which is how many times you stride in a given period).  No big surprise there, eh?

Some consider this a bad thing.

Rhett pulling a sled too slow!

But, they also found that you definitely experience an "overload" while doing it.

This means the resistance is greater than what it is normally there, thus, you’re body will adapt by improving its ability to tolerate that overload, i.e., get stronger and/or more powerful, build more muscle, etc.

So to the purists that say, "I don’t train with sleds because it changes my mechanics and its training me to move slower," I say…  basketball players do heavy squats to jump higher, right?… yet that’s going to make them move slowly through the jumping motion when they’re doing it, right?  But, after doing them and then "tapering-off" the volume of squats towards their season, they jump through the roof!

Well, the same goes for runners (which is all athletes)

Resisted sledding is going to make an athlete move slower and shorten their strides while pulling it, but it will also force an overload in a position as close to real running as you can get.  That will no doubt have lasting gains in strength and power in that position, leading to a faster athlete when they get to their actual season or event.

You have to realize there’s a time and place to train slower and build a better tolerance to resistance; then there’s a time to train fast and lower the resistance.  It’s called periodization, and we at Athlon Elite are experts in this…

…a real "think-tank" when it comes to this stuff.



There’s no better place in SLO County to get this kind of training.

Check out our Summer Elite Performance Camp at,, where you’ll be seeing quite a little bit of sled training.

All the Best,