Predictors of Repeat Sprint Ability

For better repeat sprint ability: be lighter and more agile, stop working or caring about your bench press, increase bodyweight strength values (perhaps just an outcome of being lighter), and improve your aerobic power.

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The 5-m?repeat-sprint?test (5-m RST) measures resistance to fatigue after repeated bouts of short-duration, high-intensity activity. This study determined the components of fitness associated with performance in 5-m RSTs.


Speed (10-m and 40-m sprints), strength (bench press), agility, strength endurance (pull-ups and push-ups), and aerobic power (20-m shuttle-run test) were measured in male provincial- or national-level rugby (n = 110), hockey (n = 59), and soccer (n = 55) players.


Subjects with either high (HI) or low (LO) resistance to fatigue in the 5-m RST differed in body mass (76.9 +/- 11.6 kg vs 102.1 +/- 18.9 kg, HI vs LO, respectively, P < .001), agility (14.55 +/- 0.41 seconds vs 15.56 +/- 0.30 seconds, P < .001), bench press (86 +/- 20 kg vs 114 +/- 33 kg, P = .03), pull-ups (13 +/- 4 vs 8 +/- 5, P = .02), push-ups (56 +/- 12 vs 39 +/- 13, P = .002), and 20-m shuttle-run test (20-m SRT; 133 +/- 11 vs 87 +/- 12 shuttles, P < .001). Body mass, strength, and aerobic power were the best predictors of 5-m RST performance: 5-m RST = -1.274(mass) + 0.756(1RM bench press) + 2.053(number of 20-m SRT shuttles) + 549.409 (R2 = .66).


Performance in the 5-m RST is predicted best by a combination of factors including body mass, strength, and aerobic?ability, rather than by any single component of fitness.

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Mike Young

Director of Performance at Athletic Lab
Mike is the Head Fitness Coach for the North Carolina Courage and North Carolina FC. He is also the owner and Director of Performance at Athletic Lab sports performance training center. He previously served as the fitness coach for the Vancouver Whitecaps and Carolina Railhawks. He has a PhD in Biomechanics, an MS in Coaching Science, and a BSS in Exercise Physiology and has coached Olympic and professional athletes in Skeleton, Track & Field, MLS and NASL Soccer, PGA Golf, NFL Football, MLB Baseball and Olympic Weightlifting. He has lectured around the world and authored 2 books and dozens of research and coaching articles.