sled towing for tempo

i was curious if towing a sled (westside style) would work in place of tempo for recovery. i play football and don’t think tempo work would be ideal. i think that towing would be more sport specific. for those who don’t know, westside preaches towing as a recovery means. no eccentric contractions so no soreness. the tows would be light weight and be geared towards facilitating recovery just the same, except it would possibly add a strength benefit. like to know everyone’s thoughts.

I dont see how towing a sled would aid in recovery? Can you explain exactly how you would implement this? how long,how fast, what type of rest.
I would think that pulling a sled would leave you with a great amount of muscle fatigue and depending on the intensity and how long and or far you are pulling the sled it may cause lactic acid accumulation.

Can you please be more specific?

sled towing is used to aid recovery by supplying the muscles with blood. i’m not talking about sprinting with the sled. simply walking. weights would remain low. 45-90lbs. walk for 200 feet or so, rest about 30 seconds and head back. total workout time would last around 15-20 min. probably. westside does it daily to aid in recovery from heavy lifting. there is no eccentric contraction so no soreness is experienced.

ok champs21 now i understand. What would your heart rate get up to? My only problem with that would be range of motion and specificty to running. But since you play football and your not a runner it may not be an issue. What position do you play?

Any other thoughts on this?

Well, since Westside only lifts four times a week with two sessions mainly being recovery so I think its a bit different. I think I read something in which Dave Tate was talking about doing overhead medball throws, walking to the ball and doing it again. This seems like it would be damaging to a sprinter training six times a week but they can get away with it. Sled dragging might be similar. If you have something like:
M CNS day
T tempo day
W CNS day
Thurs. tempo day
Fri OFF day
Saturday CNS day
Sunday tempo day

I would think that you could probably do it on Thursday. I doubt too great specificity is an issue for a sprinter since its just walking.

My article on has information on tempo types for beasts… did you read it Champ?

Originally posted by Clemson
My article on has information on tempo types for beasts… did you read it Champ?

i actually read it and thought it was good. However, I would have liked you to elaborate on some of the points with specific examples. More importantly, however, I would have really liked to see references.

The reason why I’m always on you about references is because it allows me (and others) to do our own work and come up w/our own conclusions – we can look at the material and see where it leads us.


Most of the adaptations are common knowledge, anything less obvious has the year and research to support it ie Kramer et all on the BDNF point. I never have cited research since that would delay content. If there is more evidence you need shoot me an email.

you wrote:

"New and exciting research (Kramer 2003) clearly shows that brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a neuron fertilizer is released with aerobic exercise. The BDNF nutrient can help release glutamate and help repair both gray and white matter in the brain. While a clear pathway of how the nervous system is regenerated is yet to be known, the research and training history of elite speed/power athletes in track and field is well documented. "

what’s the new and exciting research? What Journal did Kramer write this in? What was he looking at?

you wrote:

“Since the body adapts to the stress it is given, the Type IIB fiber then converts to the slower intermediate fiber. All of this can be avoided if only the slow twitch fiber is stimulated. In a great study with realistic training protocols McCarthy et all (1995) demonstrated that both low intensity work with weight training could be combined if the work was below the threshold of 70% of VO2 max.
In summary, some slight modifications to a training program can reap nice benefits to your training without unrealistic sacrifices.”

Can you tell me where this was published? I’d like to read his work.


Not that Kramer…but Gary Winkler should no because Dr. Arthur in the February issue of the Journal of Gerontology was funded by his school. UIUC…

Carl Cotman at UC Irvine calls it the wonder drug for the brain…but he works with rats and animals…but any antiaging research center will suport it. In fact my article comes up on google.

As for the the McCarthy research…I thought you had Bill and Stevens book Designing Resistance Training Programs?


that was a nice article clemson. i’ll pose the same question to coach x to see his response.

i was going to break my split down like this.

MON - Speed AM
Dynamic Upper PM

TUES - Tempo AM
Dynamic Lower PM

WED - Tempo or OFF

THURS - Speed AM
Max Effort Upper PM

FRI - Tempo AM
Max Effort Lower PM

Another question i had was if i should put my tempo in the afternoon and hit legs in the am. so legs aren’t fatigued at all from tempo.

Back to the sled question though, i’m not a sprinter. i play tailback and that’s it. other football players on the site also run track, so it’s perfectly fine incorporating tempo into their plans, but since i only run short distances at the most, i don’t know that i should be doing tempo. it may creep into my weight room work. any thoughts?


You are not too big to do tempo work…you think we sprint coaches don’t care about it “creeping” into our speed and weight room work? Are you built like the a-train or warric dunn? I would go two days easy runs and one day sled.

Tempo is “pretty jogging” with breaks at every 100 yards! Tempo is not torture!!!Too much gassers. Soon hurdle mobility will be to demanding.