Quick, dirty, and effective. The benefits of sprinting
Not sure if you know this about me, but I’m not a big fan of running. Particularly, long distance running. The main reason? It hurts and I get bored. If I am going to run, I prefer to do sprints. It also hurts, but it is over much quicker and has some awesome benefits that long distance running does not.
Benefits of sprinting
1. Accelerated fat loss
You may burn more calories overall with running, but sprinting has been shown to burn more fat. A big part of this fat loss is caused by this fancy term, excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC). EPOC is the body’s way of getting things back to normal after you have wreaked havoc on it. This process takes an enormous amount of energy, which means you are burning calories even after the workout is over.
Some people call EPOC ”after burn “. I mainly just tell people it is Tupac’s little brother. Don’t worry, they don’t laugh either.
2. Legal drug use
If you keep up with sports, you have probably heard of illegal HGH (Human Growth Hormone) use amongst athletes. This is your chance to get some legally! HGH and testosterone are both produced during anaerobic exercises, such as sprints. These both help you restore muscle tissue and build lean muscle. Preserving tissue and building muscle are very important, particularly as we age.
3. Better race times
If you are a runner, you can really improve your race time by mixing sprints in. If you always train by running slow, guess what you will be? Slow right? Sprints will help increase your aerobic performance overall.
4. Shorter workouts
I touched on this earlier, but sprint workouts are over pretty quickly. If you are pressed for time, sprints are a great addition to your exercise routine.
5. Not as stressed
Cortisol is the stress hormone that goes up when you get stressed, either physically or psychologically. Continuous high cortisol levels can lead to belly fat storage, chronic inflammation, lowered bone density, and a host of other nasty things. Runners who do 45 minutes plus of cardio tend to have these high levels of cortisol. One way to explain the person who runs 60 miles a week, but still has a big belly.
Definitely not telling you to stop running. My goal is to get runners and non-runners alike to start sprinting. My next article will cover how to actually do different kinds of sprints.
FYI-sprints can be done by people with joint problems.