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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Sprint start training, progressive resistance training and the ability to accelerate to maximum velocity Morrish, William Angus


The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect progressive resistance training has on the ability to accelerate to maximum velocity from an orthodox sprint start position. 32 subjects were randomly assigned to one of four treatment groups: Group I (Control, n = 9), Group II (Progressive Resistance Training, n = 8), Group III (Sprint Start Training, n = 10), Group IV (Combination Progressive Resistance and Sprint Start Training, n = 5). Groups II and IV met three times a week for six weeks to weight train using the Universal Machine and barbells. The subjects involved in orthodox sprint start training met three times per week and accelerated a distance of 50 meters for each trial. Each subject performed a total of 20 trials per session. Testing for the sprint performances occurred at the pre and post tests (first and seventh week). Acceleration and velocity maintenance time in running 50 meters was recorded, with times taken at 5, 10, 15, 20, 30, 40, and 50 meter intervals. The subjects were tested one week after the training had ceased (seventh week) to allow them to recover from the fatiguing effects of training. The Nissen Leg Dynamometer Test for leg extension strength was administered at the end of the third and seventh weeks. The remainder of the tests, Margaria Power Test, Hamstring strength test and Running Machine Test, were administered three times during the experimental period: during the first week, at the end of the third week and at the end of the seventh week. Analysis of variance yielded no significant difference between the various treatment conditions in sprinting, power and strength performance. No one treatment group improved more than the other. However, there was a significant trials effect in sprint, power and strength performance, for the four treatment groups, showing that there was a significant change in performance by all four treatment groups over the trial period. The results of this study tend to support those researchers who found no significant improvement in sprinting performance with the use of supplementary program of progressive resistance training. However, the conflict between the conclusions of this study, and other similar studies that found a significant relationship between progressive resistance training and sprinting performance, indicate that there is a great deal yet to be learned about this relationship. Experiments that deal with the application of more specific types of strength training to the art of sprinting, and experiments that investigate the mechanism limiting the rate of leg movement are needed.

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