Agility Training

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In my opinion, one of the most effective and intense forms of sprint training is change of direction or agility training. When we force our bodies to change direction, we are forcing it to repeatedly decelerate and accelerate. This process has an amazing effect on both our muscular and cardiovascular systems.

You are limited in most agility training drills only by your imagination, but most important is to think about your work-to-rest ratios once again. You can use the same ratios as in the prescribed sprint workouts, but keep in mind that many agility drills are relatively short in duration so you will be using the higher ratios for the most part. Here are two of my favorite simple agility drills.

Five and bock/io and backs—These are high-intensity changes of direction where you will sprint 5 yards, touch, turn, sprint back to the start, touch, turn, sprint 10 yards, touch, and sprint back to the start. Just follow the pattern shown on page 189, going from A to B to C to D. Average time to complete this drill is 9 to 12 seconds.

Pro Agility or 5/10/5 drill—This is a very popular agility test (shown below) used by many collegiate and professional teams. You start straddling the middle tine, move to your right, touch at 5 yards with your right hand, turn, sprint back to your left for 10 yards, touch with your left hand, turn once more, and sprint back through your starting point. On your next repetition, start by moving to your left first. Average time to complete the drill is 5 to 7 seconds.

By seeing how long it takes to complete each drill, you can use the ratio guidelines already noted to determine how much rest you should take between work intervals. Keep in mind that when you are having to decelerate and stop and then re-accelerate, your intensity will tend to increase. Because of this you might want to increase the ratios just a little bit to facilitate this increase in work.

Here is a sample interval workout (opposite) using these two agility drills:

I recommend mixing both the sprint and the agility intervals each session to really









Work:rest ratio



Approximate total work time

i'/j — 2 minutes

50-70 seconds

Approximate total rest time

4'/, —8 minutes

4-7 minutes

Total workout time

6-10 minutes

5-9 minutes

spice things up. Here's a sample mixed (advanced fitness level) workout, a simple workout that involves only approximately 4'/2 to 6 minutes of actual work and a total of about 14 to 19 minutes to complete. Like I said before, don't let the short duration fool you, though!

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