PLEASE NOTE: We are undergoing a name change. Unleashed Training is now Sprint Ninja. We still offer high quality strength and conditioning along with personal training, with our specialty being sprint training.

Sprint Coaching and Strength & Conditioning
Face to face Coaching & Online Programs

Sprint Ninja Coaching Services - Click Here

Claim Your FREE Session

Please note that all fields followed by an asterisk must be filled in.

Please enter the word that you see below.


The EVOLVE Training System

The EVOLVE Complete Sprint Training System Explained

The EVOLVE training system is a complete system of sprint training in all its forms. The EVOLVE system, at its rawest level, aims to increase a person’s power from instantaneous explosive effort up to near-maximal sustained efforts up to approximately 60 seconds. This is the realm of EVOLVE, power output over durations of 60 seconds or less.

The EVOLVE training system operates with three components; biomechanics, energy system demands and neurological function. More on this soon.

What is Sprinting?

The word “sprint” is simply defined in the dictionary as “a burst of speed”. Sprinting is the act of moving at a fast pace over a given short distance and/or for a short duration. Primarily this applies to sprinting in the form of running. Most people can see the difference between a marathon runner maintaining a steady pace over a long distance and a 100m sprinter travelling at maximum pace over a short distance. Both activities are running, but they are worlds apart in terms of speed/power output and the mechanics of the action.

Note that sprinting is the act of moving fast over a short distance, emphasis on the word moving. This applies to moving one’s body and not to moving an external object such as a barbell or medicine ball.

Examples of Sprinting

  • Maximal and near-maximal pace running– Running at a pace of between 90-100% of one’s maximum possible pace.
  • Swimming or Cycling – Swimming or cycling at a pace 90-100% of one’s maximum possible pace.
  • Jumping Actions – Jumping as powerfully as possible and as fast as possible over a given distance, a given number of jumps or a given time period, at 90-100% of one’s maximum pace.

These are simple examples of sprinting. When we refer to sprinting here, we are primarily referring to sprinting in the form of a maximum paced run over a short duration or distance. However other forms of sprinting can be used either for the purpose of cross training or when the running form of sprinting is not practical or is contraindicated.

The Three Components of The EVOLVE Sprint Training System

Biomechanics – Biomechanics is the mechanical or technique aspect of any movement pattern. Biomechanics is applied to every form of physical activity. There are correct biomechanics for everything, such as walking, lifting weights, throwing, running, swimming, sprinting and everything else. Biomechanics is the first stage of developing greater sprinting speed. Without correct technique there is little point in training hard and ingraining poor patterns of movement.

The EVOLVE method has been created through research and analysis of the way the human body moves, the way it’s built and through closely breaking down the sprinting action piece by piece, pulling out the bits that prove to be most effective and efficient.

The following are the main points to consider when developing correct sprinting technique and biomechanics:

·        Take-off from a standing start should always involve a low profile and forward lean. This applies to team sports such as rugby as much as it does to track sprinting. If an upright posture is immediately adopted the athlete is hindered through wind resistance and through not gaining initial momentum during a drive phase. Posture should gradually rise to upright once initial speed off the mark has been gained.

·        Legs travel through a long/large range of motion. The heel kicks back to the rear, cycles through until the knee is raise high (thigh parallel to the ground) and the lower leg is kicked out in front slightly so it is ready for ground contact when the body comes through and weight is distributed downwards on the leg.

·        The forefoot strikes the ground with the heel almost touching the ground, or even lightly touching. The ankle is stiff, with minimal “give” like a very tight or firm spring and the foot strikes the ground forcefully. Minimal time is spent in contact with the ground.

·        Strides should be long in an almost leaping manner, while maintaining a fast leg speed. Stride length is increased through the high knee drive and a more forceful foot strike.

·        Upper body is upright, firm, yet relaxed. Head is completely fixed in place, eyes focusing forward at the exact destination. No sideways movement, twisting or swaying should be seen.

·        Arms bent at 90 degrees. Arm swing should be fast and very forceful. The hand should come no further back than the back pocket and no further forward than the start/front of the ear.

Energy System Demands – Energy systems are the systems or pathways of energy expenditure. Every activity, whether difficult or easy has an effect on one or more of the energy systems. The three energy systems are:

ATP-Creatine phosphate: This energy system supplies very short term energy for absolute maximal levels of output. The duration of action is a maximum of 8-12 seconds. Examples of using primarily this system are sprinting a distance less than 100m, a maximum vertical jump or a heavy lift such as a squat for one single maximum rep. This energy system is anaerobic in nature and is also alactic, meaning that a) oxygen is not required to power this energy system, and b) blood lactate levels are not increased.

Anaerobic/Lactate: This system can also be called the lactic acid energy system. It supplies near-maximal output over a short to moderate duration. The maximum duration of action varies between 90 seconds to three minutes, depending on conditioning. This energy system generally takes over from the ATP system at around the 10 second mark. Characterised by increased blood lactate levels, a build-up of blood hydrogen ion levels and significant oxygen debt. Examples include sprinting a distance of over 100m at a near maximal pace, a strength exercise such as squats performed for a difficult set of between 8-20 reps and any other activity that is over 90% of maximal output over a duration exceeding 10 seconds.

Aerobic: The aerobic energy system is the only system requiring oxygen in order to keep supplying the muscles with energy to keep contracting. Output in the aerobic system is of a low intensity and can be sustained indefinitely. Output is between 0% and about 80% of maximal output, depending on how conditioned the athlete is.

Out of those three energy systems, the EVOLVE training method is focused on developing the first two systems predominantly.

All activities require the use of each of the three energy systems. Which system is dominant is dependent on the intensity of the activity and the duration.

The EVOLVE Conditioning Method

The following describes the primary conditioning methods used in the EVOLVE sprint training system:

Maximal Explosive Power – Maximal explosive power is the expression of absolute, 100%, maximum intensity and explosive power.

Maximal strength training – Heavy strength movements of between 1-3 reps. Examples; heavy Olympic lifts and heavy barbell movements such as squats and deadlifts.

Plyometrics – Jumping and bounding exercises with a short ground contact time and maximal explosiveness, between 1-7 reps per set. Low training volume, maximum intensity. Examples; depth jumps and single leg bounding.

Short sprints – Sprinting at maximum pace over very short distances from 5m to 25m.

Additional power drills – Jumping from a standing start, such as the standing long jump; weighted jumps such as dumbell squat jumps for sets of 1-5 reps.

Maximal Power Output – Maximal or near maximal sustained effort of between 20-60 seconds and sometimes as high as 90 seconds for the conditioned athlete. All efforts must be sustained at above 90% of maximal output. If this is not possible over a given distance or duration then the distance or duration is decreased.

All training is conducted in the form of intervals, determined either by a set time or a given distance or number or reps.

Heavy strength training – Heavy strength movements of either between 5-25 reps or maximum number of reps in a given time, such as 30 or 60 seconds. Reps should be smooth, fast and continuous without pauses.

Power Intervals – Jumping drills and other power drills such as burpees or clap push-ups for either 10-40 reps or for a set period of time up to 60 seconds. Reps must be at maximum intensity and explosiveness and performed as fast as possible without pauses.

Long sprints – Sprinting at a maximal or near maximal pace over a given distance or for a set duration. Distances between 120m and 500m or between 20 seconds and 60 seconds.

Combination drills – Piecing together two of the above into a single interval. For example performing 10 squat jumps then immediately sprinting 150m.

The above describes all of the training undertaken within the EVOLVE training system.

Neurological – The neurological component of training refers to the impact training has on the nervous system. This includes the central nervous system such as the brain, as well as the peripheral nervous system, pertaining to the motor neurons that send the signal to a muscle to contract in a specific way.

Every form of training a person does has an effect on the nervous system. This component is largely catered to as a result of the conditioning outlined in the previous section. Here we will look at some training considerations and their impact on the nervous system.

·        Force – Force output will determine the number of motor units, or the percentage of a muscle, that is activated to perform the activity. Absolute maximum force will activate the largest number of motor units, with a larger percentage of fast twitch muscle fibres being activated. More force = greater muscle recruitment.

·        Speed – The speed at which a muscle contracts determines several things. It conditions the motor neurons to fire off faster, resulting in a more rapid muscle contraction, and over time increasing one’s speed. Speed applied to force will condition the muscle’s rate of force development, which is the time it takes for a muscle to contract from a low level of force to a high level of force. The greater the rate of force development the more explosive a person will be.

·        Fatigue – Fatigue impacts on the nervous system in several ways: a) greater fatigue will result in a muscle contracting less forcefully, b) greater fatigue will result in a muscle contracting with a reduced speed, c) greater fatigue will favour motor neurons that innervate muscle fibres with greater fatigue resistance, meaning that it will activate a greater percentage of slow twitch muscle fibres. Excess fatigue results in an increase in endurance, but a decrease in explosive power and to some extent, a decrease in sustained power output.

Mobility and Secondary Training

The EVOLVE sprint training method is a complete training method involving all components of conditioning. The following are the mobility and secondary training components involved with the EVOLVE method.


Stability is the ability to stabilise the body as a whole or stabilise a joint through its full range of motion. Without stability you will lack control within all patterns of movement.

Stability drills and exercises used

·        Single leg balance and extension – Lift the leg out in front like a karate front kick as high as possible. Keep the body upright and hold this position for between 10 – 90 seconds. Do the same to the rear and to the side.

·        Unstable strength exercises – This has been narrowed down to a few key movements. Primarily the overhead barbell lunge and the overhead squat. These are unstable movements with a high centre of gravity, forcing the body to stabilise itself while handling a heavy load.


Flexibility goes hand in hand with stability. Without stability flexibility cannot be established and used in a practical and moving environment. Flexibility is the ability of joints to be moved through their full range of motion and muscles to reach a sufficient length during movement.

Flexibility drills and exercises used

·        Dynamic stretching – Dynamically moving a joint rapidly through its full range of motion. For example front leg swings.

·        Static stretching – Statically holding a stretch for each of the major muscle groups, with more emphasis on muscles that are specifically tight. Each stretch held for between 30-90 seconds.

·        Active stretching – Muscles stretched through their full range of motion in an actively held movement requiring the subsequent contraction and stretching of a muscle. An example is a hamstring strength where the muscle is stretched and at the same time you are contracting against the stretch, or the yoga sun salutation pose.

Core Strength

Core strength refers to the strength of the abdominal area, middle part of the spine and all supporting structures of the trunk.

Drills and exercises for core strength

·        Ab wheel roll-outs – This can be done from knees or standing, either with a standard ab wheel or a home-made single arm ab wheel.

·        Leg lower – Lie on your back, lift the legs in the air with straight knees, use your abdominal muscles to pull your back flat to the floor then lower the legs toward the floor. Aim to maintain the back flat to the floor throughout.

·        Leg raises – Hold a pull-up bar and raise the legs as high as possible.

·        Russian Twist – Get into a half sit-up position, hold a medicine ball or a weight plate, extend the arms and rotate rapidly down to each side.


The EVOLVE sprint training system was designed to develop maximum sprinting speed and maximum physical capacity in durations of 60 seconds or less. This applies to athletes and those wanting to specifically improve sprinting speed, or for those utilising this form of conditioning to develop a greater level of power output and work capacity.

Team sport athletes such as rugby players derive an obvious benefit from learning the finer points of sprint training and how to train for it specifically. The same goes for track athletes. However less obvious are endurance athletes and the general population.

Endurance athletes benefit from the EVOLVE training system through increasing their body's engine capacity, their ability to go at maximal or near maximal levels of output for a longer period of time.

Members of the general population will build fitness like they have never had before and in a time frame they have never experienced. Building the body of a sprinter and increasing their physical capacity across all the body's systems.

Return to our home page from The EVOLVE Training System.

Sydney Sprint Coach Blog
The Sydney Sprint Coach blog will keep you up to date with all changes made to subscribe now to keep yourself updated.
Sydney Personal Training
Sydney personal training with Unleashed Training: Unleashed Training offers Sydney personal training services in the Merrylands, Granville, Parramatta and Guildford area.
About Sprint Ninja
Sprint Ninja is a fitness and physical performance business utilising an effective set of systems and training principles, specialising in sprinting performance...
About Chris Lyons
Chris Lyons is an experienced strength and conditioning coach, having trained athletes of all ages and levels since 2002. Chris specialises in coaching athletes for....
Evolve Training System
The EVOLVE training system is a complete system of sprint training in all its forms....
Sprint Workouts - Sprinting WOD
The sprint workouts section is designed not as a complete training program in itself, but as a section providing sprint workouts...
Sprint Training
Sprint training is a form of training applicable across a large range of domains for both the individual and the athlete....
Super Human Strength
Super human strength is something all athletes and most of the general population would love to achieve. ...
Power Training
Power training is often a very confused and confusing component of training, for both the general public and among coaches/trainers. ..
Psychology of Speed
The psychology of speed, an often underestimated aspect of the development of sprinting speed...
Ideal Fitness Program
The ideal fitness program is something people have been searching for ever since we discovered that regular and planned training can change the....
Training Principles
Training principles are the universally applicable guidelines that should be met in order to achieve a given training objective...
Training Objectives
This is a comprehensive set of guidelines, training objectives and an overall plan to be applied to all training programs...
Ten Components of Fitness
The ten components of fitness are the aspects of physical development that UNLEASHED Training aims to facilitate. Most programmes focus on only one or a small number of these fitness components...
Definition of Fitness
The definition of fitness is so difficult to pin down. I have searched for a definition for years, ever since I first started my studies in fitness, strength and conditioning. I have witnessed...
Unleashed Challenges - Official Unleashed Training Fitness testing and ranking.
Welcome to the UNLEASHED Challenges section. Here you will find benchmark challenges and fitness tests based on the UNLEASHED Training methods....
Body Weight Exercises
The following is a list of body weight exercises used by Unleashed Training as part of the Evolve fitness program. This page includes just simple text descriptions of each exercise...
Body Weight Workouts
Welcome to the UNLEASHED body weight workouts. Here you will find workouts of all kinds in a mostly randomised manner....
Ideal Strength Training Program
The ideal strength training program is difficult to find. It is difficult because, in terms of any kind of physical conditioning...
Minimalist Fitness Programs
Minimalist fitness programs are simplified fitness programs that can be used for total development of one or more components of fitness. ..
Art of Movement
The art of movement is something you will see discussed in many texts, in one way or another. This is a concept that was visited, studied and developed hundreds and even thousands of years ago...
Strength Articles
Welcome to the strength articles section. Here you will find articles relating to strength training in all its forms....
Sport and Athletic Conditioning Articles
Welcome to the sport and athletic conditioning articles section. Here you will find articles pertaining to specific sports and athletic events....
Weight Loss Articles
Welcome to the weight loss articles section. Here you will find articles and information specifically targeted at weight loss/fat loss....
Military Fitness Articles
Welcome to the military fitness articles section. Here you will find articles and information that applies to military fitness....
General Fitness Articles
Welcome to the general fitness articles section. Here you will find articles and information that applies to fitness as a whole but does not fall into other categories....
Sport and Exercise Science Articles
Welcome to the sport and exercise science articles section. Here you will find articles and information that explains the science behind fitness and performance training, how the body works....
Nutritional Guidelines - The Unleashed Training nutritional prescription
The following are the basic nutritional guidelines and recommendations for Unleashed Training. It is written in plain language and is easy for you to understand.....
Paleo Diet
The paleo diet is a recently popular way of eating. It is gaining traction in the health and fitness world and is especially popular with fitness movements such as CrossFit.
Boosting Testosterone
Boosting testosterone and other hormonal functions is a somewhat obscure topic to all but the hardcore bodybuilder or strength athlete. Everyone likes to focus on training hard....
Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is a nutritional habit that involves periods of time throughout a 24 hour period where no food is consumed. To clarify, a period of fasting involves...
Strength Training for Kids
Strength training for kids is a controversial topic of conversation. Old wisdom suggests that strength training is dangerous for children and will lead to failure to grow...
Strength training for children
Strength training for children has been a debated topic for many years now...
Exercise For Children
Exercise for children is one of those new-age topics of conversation and a major money spinner for corporations trying to cash in on “what’s hot”...
Early childhood physical development
Early childhood physical development is just as important as childhood mental and psychological development...

Recent Articles

  1. About Sprint Ninja

    Aug 31, 15 12:20 AM

    Sprint Ninja is a fitness and physical performance business utilising an effective set of systems and training principles, specialising in sprinting performance...

    Read More

  2. Sport and Athletic Conditioning Articles

    Aug 30, 15 06:29 AM

    Welcome to the sport and athletic conditioning articles section. Here you will find articles pertaining to specific sports and athletic events....

    Read More

  3. Being Competitive

    Aug 30, 15 06:24 AM

    Being competitive is often seen as a negative thing. No doubt you have heard that you shouldn’t compare yourself to others, just do it for yourself....

    Read More

YOUR COACH – Chris Lyons

Chris Lyons is an experienced strength and conditioning coach, having trained athletes of all ages and levels since 2002. Chris specialises in coaching athletes for speed and power specific to fast-moving sports such as rugby league, rugby union, soccer, Aussie rules football etc. Since 2002 Chris has conducted close to 15,000 hours of training and coaching directly with athletes and members of the general population. From this experience comes Sprint Ninja, based on tried and tested training methods combined with up to date research. Chris continues to challenge himself not only as a coach, but also as an athlete, competing in sprinting events, strongman and Olympic-style weightlifting.

View Chris Lyons's profile on LinkedIn