Back to the exercise side of things this week.
I’m going to start off straight away by saying if you just like to go through the motions with your exercise routine and not really leave your comfort zone (there’s nothing wrong with that) then this article is not for you.
This short article is for people who love a challenge, have a good level of fitness and want to burn off some serious fat.
So today I’m talking about the benefits of sprinting.
It’s not just for athletes believe me.
It’s also not just for use on the treadmill or around a running track.
You can even do it in the garden.
So why sprint?
- Can more than double the calorie burn of your average workout
- Dramatically improves fitness levels
- Produces fat burning hormones to help burn body fat
- Means you don’t have to workout for as long
- Maintains lean muscle mass
- Less cortisol release than longer workouts
- Supresses hunger
Like the sound of that?
I certainly do and that’s why I use sprints in my training routine.
How to do it.
Well the best place to use this workout is outdoors. If you can do these uphill even better, it makes it a lot tougher. A hill 30-40m long is perfect.
If you can’t find an appropriate space (you should be able to easily) you can use a treadmill.
If sprinting is too much for you due to the pressure which it will place on the joints or if you’re not quite confident enough with your fitness to try it. You could do:
- High knees on the spot
- Explosive ¼ squat with arm raise
So there are a few options if you’re not quite ready to sprint.
Like I said earlier you must be reasonably fit and healthy before developing onto this type of workout. These workouts are aimed at people who have built up their fitness and are ready to push themselves a bit more to achieve some results.
Example workout (after each hill sprint rest 30s then walk back):
Hill sprint 30-40m x 2
20 bodyweight squats
Hill sprint x 2
Press ups x 20
Hill sprint x 1
Sumo squat x 20
Press ups x 15
Hill sprint x 1
Lateral hops x 20
Hill sprints x 3 to finish (rest 60s after each sprint)
This is one hell of a workout. Won’t take much longer than 20 minutes and you will burn off some major calories. Make sure you time your recovery efficiently to get the most out of the workout.
Instead of the sprints you can perform the high knees, skips or explosive squats as fast as you can for 20s followed by a 40s rest.
For treadmill runs find a speed which you would classify as sprinting and then perform 30s at that speed followed by 30s on a low walking/light jog speed and perform 10-20 intervals of these for a great workout.
One simple quick 10-12 min workout I do is right outside my front door. I have 3 lamposts on my road (which is uphill) about 15-20m apart. I start at the bottom of the hill and perform 3 runs to the first lamppost (25-35m), 3 runs to the second and then three runs to the 3rd lamppost which is about 60-70m. Simple but challenging.
So don’t spend hours a week walking on the treadmill or jogging slowly if you’re fit enough to do more, intensity is key.
Jamie ‘Go Fast’ Stedman
PS Like I said sprinting isn’t for everyone. If you’re used to the standard cardio gym workout (10-15 mins on each machine) then try intervals. You can do these on the bike, rower, cross trainer, treadmill etc. Go fast (70-90% effort) for 30s then rest on a low speed for 30s. See how much of a difference that will make to your 10-15 min workout.