Getting the "Right Weight"- for Sled Sprints.

Jun 22, 2022

I had the opportunity to listen to three podcasts with Cameron Josse over my last trip up to Clarkson. ( I love Automobile University) . Not that it matters but I think they were Joel Smith's, Robbie Bourke's and the Physical Preparation Podcast. As a result, I'm not sure who gets the credit besides Cam.

In either case the conversation centered around things like the 10% Rule and sled sprinting for maximum speed. Cam is a proponent of both heavy sled work (Cam is a DeFranco guy at his roots) and, sled sprints, as are we at MBSC. The problem is never the heavy sled work. That is pretty easy to eyeball. However, figuring out the correct load for sprints is more of an issue.

Cam is a smart guy and has spent a lot of time reading the research in this area. Cam cites JB Morin and Matt Cross as “ the guys” in this area that have influenced his thought process.

Note: Maybe I'm an even smarter guy because I just waited for Cam to figure it out for me. As I always say Course 101 at Boyle University will be How To Cheat. First class will describe finding smart people to cheat off.

In any case my synopsis of what I learned from Cam (and secondarily from JB and Matt) was that it's clearly not about the 10% rule. I noted in my first sled article that 10% of bodyweight, or a 10% reduction in speed was arbitrary at best.

Cam's conclusion was that the weight we wanted produced a time somewhere in the neighborhood of 150% of sprint speed over the same distance. In simple terms this means that for a ten yard sprint we target a time that is about 1.5 times the ten yard dash time. 

Cam went on to say “ I've realized the right load usually falls between 4.00-4.50 seconds when doing a 20 yard sprint and 2.00-2.50 seconds when doing a 10 yard sprint so what I have started doing is just aiming on the faster side of things and finding the weight they can tow that falls between 4.00-4.20 seconds for 20yds and 2.00-2.20 seconds for 10 yards. “

I loved the simplicity of this idea. We are always looking for easy ways to quantify what we are doing in training and this really helped me out. In our case ( because of facility size) we use primarily 10 yd sprints . We simply take an athletes 10 time and add ½. Nice and easy. If you run the 10 in 2.0 sec we want your ten yard sled sprint to be under 3 seconds. If you run a 1.5, you need to be 2.25.

The bottom line is that I want to get this thought out in a simple form so that coaches can have a guideline. Thanks to Cam and all our podcasters out there for keeping Automobile University open and the learning flowing.