How To Improve Your Alactic System Conditioning

The Alactic system is short hard sprints lasting from 5 – 15 sec.  The rest is going to always be longer than work. An example would be sprint 10 sec and then rest for 50 sec.  The reason the rest is longer is that we want to be able to produce that same high output repeatedly. That is how you improve your conditioning not by peaking early and having nothing for later.  


When doing conditioning work the goal should be to able to produce the same power output for each interval.  If for some reason you can’t continue to keep that same power output throughout your training then that is where you stop for the day.  Then the next time you do that conditioning again you try to reach another interval and then just keep building on that.


Here is what it might look like training in the alactic system trying to keep the same power output.  Let’s say the goal is 50-meter sprints in 7 sec and we are going for 10 of them. You start off good as the first few are easy then number 6 you get 7.1 sec.  Next one you get 7.5 sec. You are starting to slip but keep going and on set 8 you get 8 sec. Your power output has stopped so your training is done for the day.  Next week you will try and if you can 7 sets with 7 sec.


For example, I will use the sport of rugby.  In rugby, everything is repeatable throughout the match.  That is why it is important when training to actually be able to sustain that power output over and over again.  Because when it comes to match day you will be able to sprint, tackle, and ruck with those high power outputs the whole game.


There are many methods you can use for training the alactic system.  You can use the rower, bike, sprinting, swimming, even lifting weights can be used to train this system.  But for more of a carryover to sports, I prefer bipedal movements.  Here are 3 ways I recommend to train in this system: sprints, hill sprints, and sled pushes.

Sprints help build muscle, increase your max heart rate, and improve your metabolism.


Hill sprints are the best way to increase lower body power.  There is a reason Walter Payton ran hills every day!


Sled pushes will improve both your leg drive and lung capacity.


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