This causes you to drop fat AND makes you faster
We recently talked about the benefits of sprinting, now we will talk about how to actually go about adding sprints into your routine.
Variety of sprints
When people think about sprints, they picture people running. Running sprints is an awesome exercise, but not the only way. You can sprint using any cardiovascular exercise you can think of.
Here are few to choose from:
-biking (or stationary bike)
-arm crank ergometer
So even if you have bad knees, you can get the benefits of sprinting with one of these forms of cardiovascular exercise. If you find a steep enough hill, a fast walk may be your all out effort.
There are few things you have to be careful about when you begin a sprint training program.
1. Always warm-up thoroughly
Sprints place a large demand on your body and if you aren’t properly warmed up, you could easily get injured. Make sure you go through a full body warm p and that you break a light sweat before beginning.
2. Avoid doing too much, too soon
I recently went out and ran a bunch of sprints after not doing them for awhile. Feel free to do exactly that if you enjoy pain. And falling into chairs, instead of sitting in them. Slowly integrate sprints into your current program.
3. Listen to your body
If you feel sharp pains (not just the pain from sprinting) you need to stop and find out what is going on. Could be poor footwear, an injury, muscle imbalance, etc… You know when something is off with your body, you need to get it taken care of before continuing.
4. Give it a rest
You don’t want to sprint on back to back days. It’s like going to back to back Justin Bieber concerts. Yeah it is awesome, but human ears are not meant to handle the high pitched screams on back to back days. Sprinting is awesome too, but your body needs recuperation before sprinting again.
5. Doctor’s clearance
If you have any heart issues or other health problems that would be negatively effected by intense exercise, go to your doctor first. Boring advice, but can be life saving.
Adding sprints to your training
Choose your sprint exercise from the list above or whatever form of cardiovascular exercise you are doing now. You will be using something knows as Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE). RPE is basically a scale from 1-10, with 1 being the absolute least taxing thing you could do and 10 being “I will die if I do this much longer”.
This is assuming you are a beginner at sprints. If you have more experience, you can increase the volume of the training. Where it says “resting”, that does not mean stop. If you are on a bike for instance, it just means you keep pedaling slowly.
Sprints for fat loss
Do 2 sprints at a 6-7 on the PRE scale for 30 seconds, resting 1 minute in between.
Next do 2 sprints at a 8-9 on the PRE scale for 30 seconds. Rest 2 minutes in between each sprint.
Finally do 1 all out sprint for as long as you can. If you make it to 30 seconds, you will be doing really well. This should be approaching that 10 on the PRE scale. Awful. Just in case you thought it might not be.
If you were performing sprints to get faster, you would increase the rest periods until you were fully recovered before starting the next sprint.
If you wan to get a day’s worth of work done in 4 minutes, this is your workout. All out effort (PRE of 10) for 20 seconds, rest 10 seconds, repeat for 8 total rounds. If you do this one correctly, you will be wiped out in 4 minutes. This will challenge you mentally as well as physically.
Somebody has to do something about this Usain Bolt guy, he’s dominating. Maybe it’s you? No, it’s not you sorry. But you can channel your inner Usain and get your bolt on. See what just happened there?
If you are the running type, the track is a great place to do a sprint workout. You don’t have to look at a watch, just run for distance.
400 meter sprints
Try this one for a tough, but efficient workout.
-Sprint 1 lap (on most tracks that is 400 meters), walk 1 lap. Repeat this pattern until you have sprinted 4 laps and walked 4 laps. Each lap you sprint should be the absolute fastest you can do it. Great fat burning and cardiovascular system challenge there.
100 meter sprints
If you are looking to improve your speed, try this workout. If the track is not marked, I would recommend you put up a cone to mark your distance. 100 meters is 1/4 of a lap.
-Sprint all out for 100 meters, finish walking the lap, sprint again when you get back around.
This is a good way to gradually build up to your top sprinting speed. You will do 30 slow reps (steps, pedals, strokes, etc…), then 30 medium reps, and then 30 all out reps. Upside, you will feel like a race car, going through it’s gears. Downside, you do have to have the ability to count to 30.
There are hundreds of different sprint workouts you can do, these are a tiny sample. Don’t get caught up in the details if they are overwhelming you. Just get out and do something as fast as you can! Whether it is running, spinning, cranking, swimming, or whatever it is you choose to do, it is exhilarating and exhausting in a good way. Your body fat will go down and your level of performance will go up. Go forth and sprint.