Have you ever noticed how impressive a sprinter’s physique is ? You wouldn’t think someone who sprints would have such an impressive physique all round. Sprinting is one of the fat burning activities that actually promotes muscle tissue development, rather thancatabolising it …
Sprinting is classed as a high impact, high intensity cardiovascular exercise that will provide faster and more efficient fat loss than low intensity exercises such as; walking, jogging or riding a bike. Low intensity exercises are mainly used people who want to lose lean body mass. Long distance runners for example, rely on extremely small body fat percentages, so often lose most of their lean body mass, along with the fat, as they simply don’t need it. To do this, these athletes use low intensity, long distance cardiovascular exercises. Now compare a sprinters physique (high impact, high intensity cardiovascular exercises) to that of a long distance runner (low intensity, long distance cardiovascular exercise) and tell me which one you would rather.
Obviously if your goals are that of a long distance runner then you would want to train like a long distance runner. However if you are just willing to improve your physique and “look good naked” then sprinting is the best cardiovascular exercise you can do to achieve this!
Well if you haven’t gathered by now how good sprinting is for your fat loss goals I should just give up now! I am joking, if you are still unsure let me go into further detail for you:
- Sprinting involves muscle contractions which requires much more work in less time when compared to a slow constant run. More work = more calories burnt. Simple yeah ?
- The short maximal burst of speed and power releases greater amounts of testosterone and growth hormones which are anabolic in nature and are responsible for muscle development. Funnily enough long distance running releases cortisol, known as a catabolic hormone, meaning it breaks the body down – body fat and lean body mass.
- Sprinting activates your fast twitch muscle fibers, which are thicker than slow twitch muscle fibers and continue to grow further with the right training.
- You don’t need any equipment just an open track.
- A healthy and ‘head turning’ physique in no time?
Now we don’t expect you to sprint as fast or to have the form of a professional, however we have a few pointers for you to consider when it comes to good form:
- Your arms should not cross your body. They should swing frontwards and backwards at a 90 degree angle. Your hands should be running past your pockets and not clenched into a fist.
- You’re not a ballerina so don’t run on your toes! Instead run on the balls of your feet.
- Try not to over-stride as this can cause a hamstring injury.
- Relax your upper body. Running tight will make you run slower. If you are running relaxed your cheeks will be bouncing everywhere.
HIIT Sprinting Workouts
- Walking Lunges – Really focus on stretching your legs on each lunge however don’t over do it.
- Lateral Shuffle – Shuffle from side to side for around 10-20 steps then turn around and repeat.
- Stretch up – Stretch your hamstrings, quads, groin, calves and your core muscles.
- 200 Repeats: Sprint for 200m then walk back. Once you arrive at the starting line sprint again. Continue until you are satisfied. Also works for 100m or 300m etc.
- Intervals: Works best on a running track or oval. Sprint the straights at 70-80% then walk/jog the curves as recovery.
- Building Up Intensity: Set out a sprinting track either 100m, 200m, 300m, etc. On the first sprint work at 70%. The second sprint should be at 85% and the last sprint at 100%. Repeat if you are not satisfied.