Resisted sprint training is believed to increase strength specific to sprinting. Therefore, the knowledge of force output in these tasks is essential. The aim of this study was to analyze the effect of sled towing (10%, 15% and 20% of body mass (Bm)) on sprint performance and force production during the acceleration phase. Twenty-three young experienced sprinters (17 men and 6 women; men = 17.9 ± 3.3 years, 1.79 ± 0.06 m and 69.4 ± 6.1 kg; women = 17.2 ± 1.7 years, 1.65 ± 0.04 m and 56.6 ± 2.3 kg) performed four 30 m sprints from a crouch start. Sprint times in 20 and 30 m sprint, peak force (Fpeak), a peak rate of force development (RFDpeak) and time to RFD (TRFD) in first step were recorded. Repeated-measures ANOVA showed significant increases (p ≤ 0.001) in sprint times (20 and 30 m sprint) for each resisted condition as compared to the unloaded condition. The RFDpeak increased significantly when a load increased (3129.4 ± 894.6 N·s−1, p ≤ 0.05 and 3892.4 ± 1377.9 N·s−1, p ≤ 0.01). Otherwise, no significant increases were found in Fpeak and TRFD. The RFD determines the force that can be generated in the early phase of muscle contraction, and it has been considered a factor that influences performance of force-velocity tasks. The use of a load up to 20% Bm might provide a training stimulus in young sprinters to improve the RFDpeak during the sprint start, and thus, early acceleration.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.