T Nation

Sprinting for Conditioning on 5/3/1

Basically as the title says, just wondering if sprinting is “allowed” as conditioning, either in addition to or in place of weighted walks?

I enjoy playing rec sports a few days a week, and improving my sprints would be beneficial, but I don’t want to overwork anything/impede recovery. Currently doing full body (power clean v2) 3 day/week, but would not be against 4 day/week BBB if upper/lower split would allow for more sprinting.

Thanks.

You can do whatever conditioning you like its more about balance. If you are doing full body it will probably make you take a hit on your weights initially depending on your current level of conditioning. General guideline is easy conditioning on upper body days and hard conditioning on lower body days.

Whatever you do for conditioning, you must remember:

Appropriate for your goals.
Appropriate for your current level.

It is also vital that you have a goal for this area of your training. Just doing some random sprints or Prowler pushes is not a smart way to train. And I don’t know why anyone would do anything without a goal: how can one have plan if you don’t know where you are going?

Like Jim said you have to pick a goal. Saying I want to sprint will get you as far as saying I want to lift weights and expecting that to magically get you to 531. Not saying thats what you’re doing but its a big point to emphasize. Example: my first group of sprints when I started 531 I picked a hill with the goal of simply completing 10 sprints regardless of rest.

As conditioning improved, it changed to 10 sprints with walking back as my only rest. Then went to 15 sprints total regardless of rest. etc you can see the progression. I think youd benfit from having some sort of progression like this in mind. Also understand that if you’re trying to blast your squat and deadlift up 4 sprint sessions a week are going to take away from that and simply keeping your numbers the same or going up slightly is a win.

Ive found a sweet spot with 2 “hard” conditioning sessions a week and 2 walks. Seem to be able to keep the numbers in the weight room going up while doing this

Thanks all.

I left most of the details out in the first post, since I didn’t want to bore folks with mundane things that may or may not impact the answer, but in essence, the reason(s) for trying to incorporate sprinting are as follows:

  1. Get around the bases/up and down the field faster.
  2. Be able to rest less between sprints/routes on the field. And, more importantly, being able to MAINTAIN speed/power from sprint #1 on sprint #10.
  3. Improve explosiveness for jump height and endurance on field/court.

I’ve got a great place to work by my house that has a flat 35-40y section, as well as a 65-75y section on a slight (5-10%) incline. No very steep hill there, but there are options nearby. I’ve not done any run/jump focused training since high school (10 years) other than play sports and lift, so I’m pretty novice in this arena. I also don’t want to focus so much on speed work that I neglect things like endurance or work capacity (in terms of walks, etc).

I like the idea of 2 hard days of sprints (ideally after leg sessions) and 2 “easier” days of walking. That would involve a change in my programming to upper/lower split from full-body, but I’m not against that. I’d likely use a similar progression as Curodd had listed; work to reduce rest and maintain/improve speed on a set number of sprints/intervals, then increase the number and start over.

You can add jumps and or throws before your work sets on your lifting days. As far as running bases why don’t you throw your cleats on and practice sprinting from plate to plate or around all the bases? Seems pretty specific to me.

You need to have a specific performance goal. For example, no one really thinks “lose weight and get stronger” is an actual goal. However, “bench 315 and run sub 6:00 mile” is a specific performance goal.

That is what I mean.

You did not specifically say, do it sounds like you are into baseball (or softball?), football (reciever?), and basketball. I lift 5/3/1 and enjoy playing these sports as well. I find that just playing pick-up basketball twice a week giving me enough conditioning/endurance work.

So, when I sprint I do so mostly to work on speed, acceleration, and change of direction. In all those sports you will mostly be doing short sprints and change of direction is important (60ft/90ft to first base, avg routes ~10yd, Bball court < 94ft x 50 ft). With this is mind I like to have two sprint days when I have time and the weather permits. One a linear focus the other with change of direction focus. Your 40yd and 75yd sections will be plenty of room.

I still train like an “athlete” even though I am well past (most accurately never had) my prime lol. I just enjoy using my training to try to improve performance in pick-up and IM games. If you are into sports I recommend reading Joe D’s WS4SB III (spefically the “Strength & Speed Template”). I run 5/3/1 but use aspects of WS4SB in assistance work as well as speed and conditioning work.

Thanks Jim, I guess that’s accurate. I’m not trying out for the combine or anything (obviously) so I don’t time my 40s or anything, but I guess having a solid goal to meet/beat will make progress more trackable. I can add that to my existing training log.

[quote]JMac31 wrote:
You did not specifically say, do it sounds like you are into baseball (or softball?), football (reciever?), and basketball. I lift 5/3/1 and enjoy playing these sports as well. I find that just playing pick-up basketball twice a week giving me enough conditioning/endurance work.

So, when I sprint I do so mostly to work on speed, acceleration, and change of direction. In all those sports you will mostly be doing short sprints and change of direction is important (60ft/90ft to first base, avg routes ~10yd, Bball court < 94ft x 50 ft). With this is mind I like to have two sprint days when I have time and the weather permits. One a linear focus the other with change of direction focus. Your 40yd and 75yd sections will be plenty of room.

I still train like an “athlete” even though I am well past (most accurately never had) my prime lol. I just enjoy using my training to try to improve performance in pick-up and IM games. If you are into sports I recommend reading Joe D’s WS4SB III (spefically the “Strength & Speed Template”). I run 5/3/1 but use aspects of WS4SB in assistance work as well as speed and conditioning work.[/quote]

I was thinking about working on my lateral speed/reaction as well, but I didn’t want to chase too many things at once. Will agree that change of direction is equally/more important than straight line speed, though. Playing outfield, or on go routes, that 10-40y closing speed is really key too.

I really like WS4SB’s ideas, especially for assistance like you said. I didn’t want to bastardize Jim’s templates, but Westside really appeals to me too.

Tons of great help guys, I’ve got a lot to work with here. Thanks for all the input.

If I were you I would set up a few different blocks to achieve all your goals in a logical order. This is how I would do it:

Block 1: 2-4 weeks Accumulation/Capacity
You want to limit the recovery between sprints to build up your conditioning and capacity. Something like 40 meter sprints at 90%+ effort with 30-60 seconds between sprints 2-3 times a week before you lift weights. I’d keep the weights stable and just get the listed reps, don’t go for anything extra, but maybe do a few extra sets. Instead of 3x5 do 5x5 to build up volume.

Block 2: 3-4 weeks strength/acceleration
Here you want do do short sprints with longer recovery. 10-20 meters, 95-100% relaxed effort 2-3 times a week, would be good with a minute or two between sprints. Make sure once your form starts breaking down you stop sprinting. Pushup starts and Med Ball starts would be good in this phase. You can push hard in the weight room during this phase so if you feel like it go for rep records.

Block 3: 3-4 weeks speed/power
During this phase bring the sprints out further and increase the recovery between sprints. 25-40 meters is good with 3-4 minutes between sprints 2-3 times per weeks. Once again, stop when your form starts to break down. With sprinting you should never feel like you are straining or pushing, it should always be relaxed and fluid. As with the first block, don’t push the weights. Just get your reps and leave or reduce the volume if you are not feeling it.

Block 4: 2-4 weeks alactic capacity
During this phase you will do sprints that are similar to what you will be doing in competition. If you are a WR you would run routes. If you are a baseball player, run the bases with similar or slightly shorter recovery to what you would have in a game. Weights are the same as the 3rd block.