Hill Sprints – 4 Sessions For Speed, Acceleration and Power

Hill sprints have a special place in our hearts! Most athletes and especially rugby players have a love hate relationship with hill sprints. They are very effective, have massive bang for buck and are incredibly tough! Podcast guest Dan John says “Hill sprints have been my basic coaching tool for training explosiveness to throwers since…forever.” and we agree they can be a great tool for speed, explosiveness and many forms of conditioning. We would recommend you use them wisely and focus on speed and power and occasionally use them for hard conditioning and mental toughness!

“Hill sprints have been my basic coaching tool for training explosiveness to throwers since…forever.” – Dan John

Here are some of our favourite Hill Sprints sessions for you to try…

Alactic Capacity Repeats

This session is ideal for people who want to be able to repeat explosive efforts and recover quickly. The sprints are short enough that you don’t get too glycolytic so you can maintain intensity. Then during the 2min rest period your aerobic system works to help you recover. Don’t take this session lightly!

6 x 20m Sprints
1 Rep Every 30s
x 6 Reps
x2min Rest between sets x 3 Sets

Week 1: 3 sets x 6 reps

Week 2: 4 sets x 6 reps

Week 3: 5 sets x 6 reps

Week 4: 4 sets x 8 reps

Threshold Sprints

With this session the number of reps you do is dictated by your fatigue level. You need to time each effort and stop when you can’t stay within 20% of your best time. It works well because it challenges you to perform a faster time and also to get more reps in. but also takes into account fatigue and doing too much. Definitely a mental challenge!

50m Sprints
1 Rep every 2 minutes
Use Stop Watch and record time

Repeat until >20% Drop Off

Week 1: Target >4 Reps

Week 2: Target >5 Reps

Week 3: Target >6 Reps

Week 4: Off!

Pyramid Sessionhill sprints rugby fitness training

What to the naked eye might look like a basic speed session, taken onto a hill makes it a lot more interesting! You will get some quality work in with decent rest and really ramp up you speed and explosive power.

4 x 10m 60s rest

3 x 20m 2min rest

2 x 30m 3min rest

1 x 40m

2-3min rest between distances

Heart Rate Recovery Session

This Session is great for building the aerobic capacity of your fast twitch muscle fibres. Of course you need a heart rate monitor and you use it to dictate your rest periods. Hopefully over time you will see that you heart rate recovers quicker and therefore you’ll be doing more work in less time. Who wouldn’t want that?

Distance: 40m

Once Heart Rate Goes Below 110 BPM Sprint!

Week 1: x6 Reps

Week 2: x8 Reps

Week 3: x10 reps

Wrap Up!

Hill sprint sessions can be some of the most fun, effective and memorable sessions a rugby player will do! Try out one or all of these sessions and let us know how it transfers to your performance! #BuildingMachines

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