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Question regarding PL + Sprints

Hey guys, good forum.

Basically, I’ve been lifting WSB style for about a year now. I need to drop some fat that I’ve gained and wanted to add sprints.

Knowing that sprints are an anaerobic activity, where would you put them, exactly? The Recovery Battlefield article states that they should be done on your lifting days, because you don’t want to be taxing the system 5-6 days/week.

So, my schedule is the very basic template of:

Monday: ME SQ/DL
Tues: Off
Wed: ME BP
Thurs: Off
Fri: DE SQ
Sat: Off
Sun: DE BP

So, where would you guys put sprints (2 to 3 times a week) in there? On the off-days, or on the “on” days as that article suggests?


I’d put them on whatever day you aren’t doing sled work. Keep in mind sprint work is very neurally and muscularly taxing. I wouldn’t keep it in 3 days a week for over a month.

if you are a powerlifter only i dont think sprints will help you reach your goal, for weight loss you have to clean up your diet up your sled dragging add in gpp warmups and superset your assistant work and if you do all these things sprints are not needed…big martin

"I’d put them on whatever day you aren’t doing sled work. Keep in mind sprint work is very neurally and muscularly taxing. I wouldn’t keep it in 3 days a week for over a month. "

So, what would be the best option? Off days or on a lifting day (albeit later in the day?)

I know they’re very taxing, so would you want a full day of recovery with no activity that’s as muscularly taxing, maybe some sled work?

Maybe Mon: AM: SQ/DL PM: Sprints, Tues: Off or Recovery (sled etc)

I realize now that my post sounded kinda confusing, so here goes again:

Most people when incorporating energy system work for fat loss or performance put it on completely seperate days. This is fine and dandy for things like sled dragging, GPP routines, or low intensity cardio. However, something such as sprints is very taxing as pointed out, and taxes a lot of the same things that weight lifting does.

With this in mind, would it be best to do high intensity energy system work on your lifting days, in order to have a complete off day from that kind of activity?

If I did them on tuesday and saturday for example, that would be 5 days of the week of neurally/muscular taxing activity.

Big Martin-I remember reading somewhere that trying to do too many things in the same workout would confuse the nervous system, and you would wind up not accomplishing much, so just concentrate on strength training, or fat loss, or whatever your goal is. I understand how conjugated periodization gets around this by training for separate things on different days so as not to confuse the nervous system, but wouldn’t supersetting assistance exercises cause it? Or is this concept just a holdover of linear periodization?

No i dont believe that at all at westside they use every method, i dont think it is in terms of goals but rather a whole, training this way will bring up the most common weak point in powerlifters and athletes and that is work capacity, to often work capacity is never addressed because of this fear everyone has of overtraining, i think of it as like when a guy joins the army the first day he cant do 100 push ups but he has to do 100 tommrow or he will be in trouble so he forces his body to do it overtraining or not and then in a few weeks he can do a 1000 push ups in one day…you have to bring up work capacity and if it fucks you up at first that is ok because in the long run it will make you better…big martin

While that may be true Paul, I can’t see supersetting an exercise to confuse the nervous system so much in that no strength gains can be made.

Lots of people, not concerned with fat loss at all, superset exercises. Take a look at some older (2002) logs at EFS, none of them want to lose fat, but you’ll sometimes see a superset.

Anyway, my question is just regarding recovery time. I know recovery is of utmost importance when retaining strength, so I’m not sure where to put it for recovery.

I’m thinking of just doing 1 sprint session a week, and having 3 or so moderate sessions of sled dragging for time, bodyweight gpp, band gpp, and the like.

And plus, I’m just trying to find a way to lose some bf% without putting myself on a treadmill. For one, my gym (it’s a PL gym) doesn’t have a treadmill, and for 2, I just won’t use one. I’d probably get laughed at if I did want to use one.

yupp, I was trying to guide you in deciding if you can handle it on the workout days. I wouldn’t put them on a workout day or non-workout day, although I would prefer the workout day if I had to choose. Are you using any gear with your cutting? I have always used sprints in place of a leg workout. I think sled dragging, pushups or other GPP/recovery work would be good every day and sprints once a week.

yeah that sounds good. I’m just going to drag sled, add in GPP warmups, possibly superset some exercises, and sprint once a week.

thanks fro the help guys

don’t short sprints strengthen the posterior chain and help to make it more explosive, which is key in the dl and squat…

Explosive lifting and sprinting are both very taxing on the central nervous system, so if you are going to do them both then you are probably going to have to cut down the volume. With that said, I advise that you either:

  1. do the sprints on the same day as lifting (sprinting first, lifting second); or,

  2. sprint one day and lift the next day, and then take at least 48-72 hours off before repeating.

The imortant thing is to have at least 48-72 hours free of CNS-taxing work before sprinting

numba - since there is no (very little) loading during sprinting, it generally does not consitute strength work, especially for someone who is already trained in explosive lifting. Anyway, the best way to strengthen the posterior chain for squatting and O-lifts is by doing squats and O-lifts

Big Martin - Thanks for the input.
Yupp-I don’t remember if I said that supersetting would confuse the nervous system. If I did, then I was way off base, or typed it in wrong.


in a way, yes. the problem is, is that he’s going to be in a calorie deficit. sprinting + lifting the way we lift (i workout with yupp) is just going to be too much while in a calorie deficit, imo

we have guys that sprint, but then again they’re eating 5000 calories a day

energy system work has it’s place in PL to a degree, high intensity energy system work does too (like sprints, hiit, ibur, etc). but not when you’re in a calorie deficit.

that’s just my opinion


good post. why the sprinting before lifting though?

most of our guys that do sprint do it 2 days a week, on ME sq/dl day and DE SQ/DL day.

they do short sprints on ME day (30-40 yards, high volume), and longer sprints (300-400 yards, shorter volume) on DE day

they generally do it right after lifting or in the PM, is there any reason why you’d do it before (and do you mean right before, or seperate sessions at diff times of the day)


I guess it would depend WHY you were adding sprinting to the program. If your goal is to get faster, then you need to be completely fresh for the speed training.

If you were adding sprinting for a purpose other than getting faster, and I personally don’t think that it would be very useful otherwise, then the quality of the sprints would be less important and in that case I would just place it wherever it would be least likely to interfere with the main component of your training.

If your main goal is to become a better weightlifter or powerlifter, then personally I would not add any substantial volume of sprinting at all because the CNS stress might detract from your performance in the weight room. If you’re going to do it, keep the volume low (<200m/session)