T Nation

Hill Sprints Effect on Other Conditioning?


I just started running hill sprints this past week, and lucky me almost puked everytime so far. How do you find they affect other types of conditioning - in particular 1.5m/2.4km times.

Although I would be interested to here how they affected other kinds of conditioning as well.


Sprinting and hill sprinting really helped me smash the 4 minute mile. Any-time you are running something in the shorter mileage (1-2 miles) the anaerobic system is severely taxed (not as much as in a 100m sprint) but enough that sprinting will make a difference. On top of that sprinting increases v02 max and other physiological adaptations that certainly won't hurt your performance on the 1.5/2.4km. Sprinting will help your speed in those areas.

sprinting largely improves your anaerobic strength, endurance, capacity and recovery time. It will severely condition you for anything that requires a high anaerobic activity level with short recovery periods. Things like boxing, moving objects in fast explosive ways, etc.


Definately agree with this. And although it may have an initial negative impact on your strength due to extra fatigue, it should after time lead to an increase in work capacity and therefore after the temporary dip, an increase in strength, which will in turn also help potential for running speed.

One other thing it has been shown to increase greatly is your level of general awesomeness!


Four minute mile. Holy shit. Nice work. You look like you have a decent amount of muscle as well if thats you in your avatar. What does your training usually look like and what are some of your best lifts?

I have only done around five hill sprinting sessions so far and the change in my overall energy levels has been noteicable already. I am running them 3 times a week after lifting, at the start of next month I think I will run a mile and a half for time and see what I can manage and see how I have improved.

By the way what part of Nova Scotia. I'm from the Island. Ya don't see to many maritimers on here.


Thank you about the muscle and about the 4 minute mile! (it is me a few months back) As to my training I train about 6 out of 7 days a week there's a few constants but besides that I tend to shuffle a few things as well. To begin with I do "The Look of Power - by Ken Leistner" found here: http://ditillo2.blogspot.com/2010/01/look-of-power-ken-leistner.html

I do a slightly modified version since I do not go to a gym but train almost exclusively at a home gym I've made up. I do a lot of walking and stretching hiking with up to 50-70pounds (sometimes walking on tips of toes and balls of feet while doing so. doing this for 1-2 miles with just body-weight for a warm-up sometimes). I tend to try and get 2-4 sprint sessions in a week trying to do at least 8 intervals for at least 60-120seconds. Every-day I run about 6 miles. (on the day I do sprint intervals that counts as the running). I try and get it at least one separate ab day a week that might involve something like this:

planks 1x15 (1-2min can be done with weight vest)
60 push-ups.
100medicine ball sit-ups
50 bicycle crunches
some kind of medicine ball side to side thing you see boxers do for 100 movements.
4x40 for broomstick twists and side-bends
I prop a barbell in a corner with a weight underneath put some weight on that and while extending arms straight twist/rotate from side to side for 100-1000reps
(I basically wing it with ab exercises for about 1hour to 1hour and a half.)

besides that I try and work the 12pound sledge hammer with a 20pound vest for at least 1-2hours a day. I have a real passion on the sledge hammer including sledge hammer levers. But I can swing away with force with the sledge for up to 8hours (I was, probably still am trying to work up to 8-12hours on a 16pound hammer. can't find one around here at 16pounds) due to an interest in "Slim the Hammer man" the sledge hammer work is probably the basis of a lot of my ability some-how.

I try to get 2 separate fore-arm training routines in a 10 day cycle as well. working various aspects of grip (some sledge levers, side levers, wrist plate curls, etc)

I work the heavy-bag for about 1 hour maybe a little more about 4 times a week, sometimes 5 (depending on recovery) mantis mitts, I do a little bit of "cyclo-cross" as well, not actually racing people but doing a timed loop where I often get off and run with the bike on my back. I probably do a lot of other stuff I can't remember.

I try and get at least3-5 skipping rope sessions per week for 3minute rounds of skipping for 12 "rounds" with 30second breaks in-between rounds. For some reason this is STILL really hard and taxing on me, calves, abs, etc. I should be doing it daily.

AS to my best lifts, aha. they are kind of pathetic:

dead-lift 400pounds for a couple reps. good form.
squat. 220pounds for about 15 reps I think. (I don't have a squat rack and I need to pick that weight above my head in an explosive movement which really holds that back)
bench-press: 220 for about 6 reps. (haha wtf, I know)
farmers walk: 100pounds in each hand with a slightly thicker bar.
sledge hammer lever from the ground 10pounds.
I lift the heavy bag a lot like a sand bag, just heft it around, front squat, shoulder it, press it over-head sometimes, etc.
(I've only been training lifting for about 1year. only serious into it in the last 6months probably. I was also told last year that I was "deconditioned like an astronaut" by a doctor. (a GP)though for 2 years before that I had done a lot of distance running. (if you want to call jogging running.)

I try to lift with a thicker bar and lift odd awkward heavy objects a lot. but a lot of my muscle probably comes from generating kinetic energy by smashing my fist into stuff and moving at high speed. fast twitch stuff maybe.

I know I over-train which is a huge issue in not getting massive muscular growth and true strength but I can hit with a sledge-hammer of a fist and run pretty fast. I am from L'ardoise Nova Scotia as well. haha. not much to do here but train. (lately I've been splitting through massive pieces of wet hardwood with an 8pound maul. starting to wish I had a 10-12 pound one. it's killer on the ligaments/tendons)

and running enough fast enough will def increase your energy and speed due to a host of physiological adaptations that go right down to the cellular level. though there's a huge recovery time with sprints. (cell-tech can help with that)

Also, I do a lot of the stuff from Jowett's "molding a mighty X series" esp molding a mighty grip. It would be cool to be able to run fast, hit hard and BEND steel. (I'm working on the last one.)

I share these sentiments:
"I place a premium upon the possession of untiring energy, great stamina & vital power, and a sound constitution."-- Arthur Saxon
"Take care of the organs and the muscles will take care of themselves (or something)" - Saxon


1 to 2 hours of levers and such? 8 hours of swinging away with force? I'm guessing you mean doing some form of manual labour.. surely you don't mean banging away at a tire for 8 hours at a time?


8 hours of beating on big pieces of hardwood/stump. (they split in half eventually as if you hit them with a maul) But when those ran out I did use a tire with the vest for 8 hours. (I've learned that it's the impact that tends to do a lot of the strengthening so under the tire is a few stumps I've beaten into the ground) the mix of the tire with the hard object beneath it also prevents your hands going numb for days.

A break at 4 hours for a good meal (between 10-30minutes) and a couple 30second to 2minute breaks for water/protein shake. (or to stretch the hands/arms and back) but you make sure (on a stop watch) that you are getting in 8 hours of actual swinging, and to make sure the breaks aren't too long. It's good for hypertrophy but not nearly as great as you'd think but it does produce power, strength, core stability, grip strength etc.

I started with a 5pound sledge, when I first got my 8pounder I could barely swing it, but you progressively stay on it until you can't lift the arms anymore, it just get's easier and easier if you put a lot of time into it. I can swing a 10-12pounder with 1 arm for quite some time now as well.

As to the type of strikes, you try to mix that up for variation. sledge hammer squats, (striking an object while squatting) left/ride handed arcs, right/left static swings, swings where you switch the hammer to a different hand each time in a kind of criss-cross, levers, speed work, etc sometimes even using two sledge hammers.

Right now I am busting through 4 cords of wood for winter with an 8pound maul(big wet hardwoot pieces, like 30-60pounds.)so some of the stuff I do is close to labor. (I do not routinely do the 8 hour sessions either, I just mean keeping up the ability to do it. I only do that once in awhile now. Enough to know I haven't lost the ability. Trying to find a 16pounder to build up to 8hours with.) I've been fairly obsessed with sledge hammer work after reading the account of how Slim the Hammer man stood up in front of a crowd of people and bent some spike "The Mighty Atom" had been lecturing a crowd about. No strongman or steel bending training, he just worked a 16pound hammer smashing rock for 12 hours a day doing so his hands became vice-grips and steel some kind of lesser thing.


... can't tell if troll..


I mean 1-8 hours of this, well actually this is a warm-up and you get progressively faster/more limber as you go along. Though it was windy here and a bit hard to breath. 20poundvest with sledge. I've posted this elsewhere on the forums, people kind of think it's a joke I guess. Nothing too impressive, some 1 arm swings near the end.

I usually do these variations, switch to be left hand dominant do them again, rinse and repeat. That way each arm/hand/etc get's a small chance to take some recovery.

It actually helped my sprinting some-how too, though I can't think of a good physiological reason as to why. Well I could think of a few, but nothing that would seem to translate as well as it does. It really works the calves, maybe.

(1 issue, if it looks like I'm not coming down hard on the tire, check out the rest of the youtube videos, one is me busting a piece of wood that belongs in a wood splitter. With a maul, so, I am just warming up in this video, not doing speed striking or anything yet, not smashing the tire with insane force)

It still does get tiring picking up that sledge again and again with that 20pound vest, drags on your shoulders.

(Oh, for the record. Since other T-Nation members have ripped at my clothing choices here. I have good clothing I just don't bring it out for sledge-work in the mid. I get splashed with mud/debris and even swinging the hammer around with that vest tends to wear down clothes)