Sprint workouts are my favorite. Hands down.
Hitting the track on a warm spring day. Feeling the sun on your back after a long and frigid winter. More often then not the first time you get to pop your shirt off in months. And then you see it…
The extra poundage still hanging around from Thanksgiving dinner and Christmas dinner. Don’t forget all of the drinking on New Years Eve. Then there was the Valentines Day candy that you bought for your girlfriend but had to help her finish. Right after that it’s St. Patrick’s day, and you can’t say for certain but you’re sure the dye they used to turn the beer green must have added 2000 calories to each pint.
Good thing you’re looking to do sprint workouts…
Because you’re going to need it pal!
Look on the bright side buttercup, sprint workouts are some of the most effective and simple to do workouts known to man. So getting in prime condition to pop your shirt off and NOT jiggle by Memorial Day isn’t out of the question.
Hell, you might even be ready by Cinco De Mayo.
The Sweetness Behind Sprint Workouts
The entire concept behind hey sprint workouts are so damn effective is spelled out in four little letters…
Excess post-exercise oxygen consumption. Aka afterburner. Aka the reason fat drips off of you like it was on a candle. Aka it’s incredible awesome and I can’t think of any more metaphors.
After you sprint, and after any type of training session really, you’re body is doing it’s damnedest to get back to baseline. Or homeostasis of you’ve recently watched Bio-Dome. It’s only concern is making sure you survive to do the wiggle dance on top of a member of the opposite sex and pop out some kiddos.
All of the damage you just did from sprinting, or lifting weights, or running a marathon takes you’re body away from homeostasis. You’re body doesn’t like that because now it has to go to work to make sure the damage you’ve done is repaired.
These repairs don’t happen magically. There are no tiny cousins of the Underpants Gnomes cruising around your muscles fixing them up and hoping to turn a profit. You’re body takes care of it on it’s own and it takes energy. Repairing muscle tissues, repairing other cells in the body, replenishing fuel stores, balancing hormones, building bones etc. These are all metabolic processes that take energy.
And that is EPOC. The increased consumption of oxygen that is seen after strenuous exercise as your body begins to repair and rebuild from whatever workout you just put it through. EPOC is present after all types of exercise, but it’s present after high intensity exercises for the longest. Sprint workouts fit that definition perfectly.
Since we’re all inherently lazy and want the quickest route to best solution you might want to pay attention to the next section…
Sprint Workouts = less time doing work, less fat and more sexiness
All of these workouts take less than 20 minutes to do and will be more effective than 98% of what you’ve ever done before in your attempts to lose fat. If you normally work out for 90 minutes that’s over an hour of extra time you have to partake in any of the following activities:
- Read a book
- Cook a nice meal
- Attend a musical performance
- Do the wiggle dance with a lovely young lady you met at the musical performance
There’s a wide world of awesome shit out there. If you have the opportunity to cut the time out your training sessions and still get the same results you’d be crazy not to do it.
On to the actual sprint workouts…
Pick a distance between 60m and 200m. Start off slow and gradually work up to a sprint at 80%-90% intensity. From there you can hold that intensity for the rest of the distance or you can ease back down to around 60% to re-accelerate back up to 80%-90%. Shorter distances are best done with a single continuous workup and the longer distances are ideal for multiple workups. Do 600m-800m of total distance and rest 2-4 minutes between sprints.
Pick a distance between 150m and 600m. Gradually work up to a sprint at 80%-90% intensity and maintain that pace for the entire distance. Tempo sprints are going to test you mentally because a) after about 300m your legs will be on fire and b) you can’t go nearly as fast as you think you can. The idea is to keep a consistent pace for the whole distance so have a little humility and start slower than what you think you can do. Do 800m-1800m total distance and rest 2-4 minutes between sprints.
For a more explosive and plyometric workout you can do starts. These only need 10m to be effective, but they can be done for up to 60m. Stand at the starting line (or the line you drew in the dirt/sand if you’re not on a track), get in a 2 point or a 3 point stance and explode out for whatever distance you chose. Make sure you’re chest is staying low on the first few steps and gradually raising up as go. The last thing you want to do is come out of a start standing straight up. These are effective with as little as 4 total starts but can be done for up to 12 if you have ability. Rest is crucial here because the emphasis is on power and being explosive. Between 1.5-4 minutes is good.
Hit the track. Hit the road. Head to the beach. Find a football field. Find someplace flat. That’s all you need to do. No need to wait because you know you want to be ready once it’s warm enough to go shirtless. Knock out these sprint workouts starting this week and you’ll be ahead of game.