Meep Meep As I mentioned in yesterdays tip sprinting is a fantastic way to get lean, in fact, I would say it's the fastest conditioning training method to burn fat. However, that is just one benefit that this mode of exercise can offer you so let us take a glance at all the benefits.
The Roadrunner knew how to train!
1 - Fat Loss Numerous studies have shown that sprint training protocols are extremely effective at reducing body fat, this is due to the inherently high-intensity nature in multiple bursts. This causes a massive metabolic response post-workout meaning a great increase in calorie burning for many hours after training. So in short, doing sprints equals a better body composition.
Sprinters get lean. Period.
2 - Muscle Building Sprinting will help you develop size, strength and power in your fast-twitch fibres as it activates the lower body musculature to a high degree. It also increases the anabolic hormones in the body meaning a favourable environment for the body to build muscle. This elicits better testosterone to cortisol ratio in men which is ideal to lose fat and increase muscle mass. Women won't experience the increase in testosterone but instead will see changes in Growth hormone (GH) which will see favourable changes in body composition also.
"I haven't sprinted in like....an hour or so"
3 - Bone density It has been shown that like resistance training sprinting can bring about positive changes in bone health. The force inherently involved in the biomechanical action of sprinting places a considerable load on the bone structure which induces remodelling and an increase in bone density. This is a fantastic way to reduce chances of fractures, breaks and ward off osteoporosis in later life.
Adamantium bones? Nope he just does a lot of sprints
4 - Athleticism and Explosiveness Most sports require some element of speed or explosiveness to some degree, be it sprinting for the ball in football (soccer), running for the try line in rugby, or tracking back to defend in basketball. Being able to accelerate is a valuable component in any sport and sprinting is a superb way to develop power and anaerobic capacity which will carry over to performance increases in any sport.
"I'm feeling sooooo explosive!"
5. Cardiovascular health (Heart Health) Sprinting has been shown to affect many of the mechanisms that are related to cardiovascular health such as decreasing inflammation and a reduction in systolic blood pressure. This makes it a great form of exercise to utilize in relation to heart health. Consider using intervals with older trainees as in conjunction with the bone health effects it makes this mode of exercise ideal for maintenance or improvement of health.
Your heart will love you for it!
6. Time, Brain function and much more. A sprint training protocol can be completed in 20 minutes, as the intensity is hard to maintain for much longer. You don't need to train like a professional athlete to reap the benefits of fat loss, muscle building, reduced inflammation, bone health and that is just scratching the surface of what performing sprints can do for you. This form of training has also been linked to improvements in insulin sensitivity, lung function, conditioning, brain function, prevention of depression and mental toughness. So how exactly do you start sprinting?
If only he had done his sprints....
Run, Forest Run! Well, now that I hopefully have convinced you of how awesome this type of training is I better give you some ways to implement it. It can be hard to introduce this type of training in to your schedule and today's commercial gyms certainly don't cater towards the sprinter. So I will give you some suggested formats that I have been exposed to in my learning to make the transition easier and include different methods to induce a similar metabolic effect as sprinting around.
It's really catching on.
Note: Always warm up.
Workout 1: Cycle Sprints Level: Beginner Goal: Fat loss, Muscle building, Instructions: Jump on a bike 8 seconds sprint, 12 seconds active rest. Repeat for twenty minutes.
Workout 2: Wingate Protocol Level : Intermediate Goal: Fat loss, Power development and Conditioning. Instructions: Use sprints, rowing machine or stationary bike. 4-6 sets of 30 second maximal sprints with 2-3 minutes rest.
Workout 3: Strength/Power Sprints Level: Advanced (ideal for anaerobic athletes) Goal: Strength, Power and Conditioning Instructions: 30-40m x 6-12 All out sprints with 10 sec rest in between.
Workout 4: Maximal Tabata Level: Varied (requires mental determination and toughness). Can be used multiple times throughout the day. Goal: Metabolic Boost Instructions: Pick a demanding exercise (jump squat, burpee, squat, jumping alt lunges etc). 20 seconds work, 10 sec rest. Repeat 8 times for a total of 4 minutes. Perfect for someone who is inactive throughout the day, perform 2-4 times across the day.
Workout 5: Long Sprints Level: Advanced/athletes. Goal: Fat Loss, Conditioning, Power development and Muscle building Instructions: 400m x 4-6 with 60-120 sec rest (fitness dependent). If you have a track or field and you wish to get in serious shape then this is the protocol for you, keep the intensity at about 80-85% of maximal speed in the beginning and build up to 90-100%.
There you have it, 5 workouts to transform your body into a lean, mean and muscular machine. Enjoy, share with your friends and find a buddy to try these workouts with. Good Luck!
Here is a summary of some research but by no means the only studies in this area.
Study 1 (Fat loss) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2991639/ Study 2 (Muscle gain) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22268492 Study 3 (Bone Density) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6028830/ Study 4 (Athletic ability) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2402211 Study 5 (Cardiovascular health) https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11332-018-0498-2 Study 6 (Cognitive function) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4929070/