T Nation

Spiking the Sprint With Some Weight


I'm looking to add a little weight in some form and just wanted to get some input from those that have used sleds, weighted vests, etc...

Which do you prefer, what brands, where did you buy it?



I've seen two different arguments on weighted sprinting (even running in general). The first is that you should never add weight and should never run with a sled -- it will totally screw with your mechanics. Sure, greats like Carl Lewis used parachutes and such, but he was so good and so elite he could overcome the mechanics issue.

The 2nd argument centered around sprinting for football players, primarily ball carriers -- running with a 240 pound defender hanging on your back screws with your mechanics too -- you better be able to run with poor mechanics also.

Doesn't answer your question, but hopefully give you something to think about.


The argument that weighted sprints will alter your mechanics does hold some validity, BUT who cares?! Unless you are an elite level sprinter, it doesn't matter what your mechanics look like.

And for the original poster, I've heard nothing but good things for the X-vest brand vests. As far as sleds, I don't think it will make much difference. You could probably just start with a rope tied around a tire.



It depends on what you want to add weights on your sprints for. If you are a competitive sprinter (meaning, you run track for a club/school/college/etc.), adding weight would probably be a bad idea. Some track coaches have slower athletes run up slight inclines (I believe you don't want to go more than 10 degrees) because that will help getting the proper joint angles that they can't achieve due to lack of strength. However, you generally want to keep the weighted stuff out of your program.

If you are doing this recreationally for fitness or you are another athlete (football/basketball player), weighted runs could and probably will work very well. Obviously in football you can't worry about perfect running technique so that isn't as much of an issue. I would definitly recommend the sled over anything else. I think if you go too heavy with a vest you are setting yourself up for injury and parachutes are just retarded (if there's any sideways wind you're basically fucked). The sled is very versatile as there are dozens of different workouts you can do with it. You can literally get a whole body workout with the sled.

If you're not a competitive sprinter, here's two good things you can do with the sled.

Heavy weighted "pulls"- this is less of a run and more of a pull. Load up a lot of weight and pull it for short distances. The main effort will just be overcoming the inertia.

Light runs- If you are running with it a good guideline for all athletes is 20% of your bodyweight or less. This will work acceleration more, so still keep the runs fairly short (<40m).

If you are looking to do runs of more than 40m I would keep the sled out of it, but that's just me.