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Sprint Training - Are you ready to ignite your results?

Posted May 06 2009 1:25pm

Sprint Training

Sprint Training

Sprint training is essential to accelerate your fat loss, but it's hard, so people don't do it. How have those 2-hour-long, People-magazine-reading treadmill sessions been working out for you? Satisfied with the results?

Didn't think so!

I know it's been a long time since you've run at full speed, probably since you were a kid, and while you'll definitely need to ease into it, I promise it's just as exhilarating as an adult to do a few all-out sprints!

Interestingly in the area of cardio exercise, studies have shown that high intensity interval workouts really help in burning fat, while also increasing flexibility, cardiovascular health, and muscular strength which are the building blocks of true fitness.

What high intensity interval workouts intend to do is to improve performance in shorter training sessions which is to say that in taking on a HIIT workout, you will lose just as much fat in about 15-30 minutes as compared to lower intensity aerobic exercises that are much longer in duration.

And we all know how precious time is in today’s world, with us hardly having the luxury of spending hours in order to work out, due to an endless list of errands, responsibilities and other much more pleasurable activities that can’t (and in some cases, won’t) wait.

Let’s try and examine the difference, using a simple example of a HIIT workout. This workout should be conducted outdoors (yes, say goodbye to the treadmill, just this once!). For the sake of clarity, let’s also use a scale of 1 to 10 to measure the intensity of running action (1 being a casual walk and 10 being sprinting as hard as you can).

Step 1: Begin with a five minute warm up jog at about a 4-5 followed by a couple of minutes of stretching.
Step 2: Jog at about a 5-6 intensity level for 60 seconds
Step 3: Immediately switch to a sprint at an 8-9 intensity level for 30 seconds.
Step 4: Repeat steps 3 & 4 for about 6-8 times depending on your fitness level.

Now if haven’t noticed already that this entire routine spans about 12 to 15 minutes and that the jog time to sprint time ratio is about 2:1, which explains the increase and decrease in intensity at regular intervals.

Here’s a video that illustrates this point further:

It’s interesting to note that this might seem a bit short and simple, but there are complex routines that have been designed specifically for people who are used to elliptical trainers and treadmills, which involve increasing or decreasing speed, intensity and incline levels.

And just as a precaution, before you think about taking up one of these routines, please ensure that you talk to your physician or trainer in order ensure that you're ready for this type of training.

So, have you tried HIIT or sprint training? If so, what are your thoughts?

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