Reasons to start Sprinting today!

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Beijing, 100m Final Usain Bolt

After watching Usain Bolt in action at the Olympics I was inspired to write a post on sprinting, Its weird how such a simple event can generate so much interest from the public along with Phelps “the Bolt” has been the most talked about athlete in this years olympics. Maybe this is because we are made to run really fast and enjoy watching the best of the best, whatever the reason is Sprinting holds some great benefits!

Its Free and Fun

Well its as free as we can get for an activity. All you need is a basic pair of shoes and a good stretch of land to run on. Its also something we all know how to do so no teaching is required, just get up and run as fast as you can until your legs lose their bounce, stop, rest and repeat.

You will find that once you start sprinting it will remind you of your childhood when you used to play things like tag which involved short intermittent bursts of running coupled with rest, this is a great feeling and possibly why I enjoy a good sprint workout every at least once a week. Let’s put it this was it just feels good to run really fast once in a while.

It gets you Interval training

When doing Interval training from Sprints of running/cycling your calorie won’t be as great in the actual session as say a long slow jog, but throughout the course of the day your calorie expenditure will be greatly increased as you will be using an Anaerobic process to produce energy (the same process as weight training) this means your muscles uptake of oxygen increases allowing your body to burn fat all day long, while rebuilding the muscle.

To keep sprint training most effective try to keep your sprints to about 10-12 seconds running as fast as you can, anymore than this makes the activity too aerobic and while still good will not benefit as much.

Matt Metzgar did a great little feature on why Interval’s are key

Great for your Hormones

Sprinting has been proven to improve our hormone profiles, it can increase our release of HGH which

-Our bodies natural fat burning and muscle building hormone

-helps our immune system recover

-The most powerful ant-aging substance known to man.

-It Improves our sleep allowing deeper REM periods

-Your energy and general well-being will increase

Sprinting will also keep you from draining yourself like a long run does. A few 100m sprints along with some stretching will leave you feeling refreshed you will have plenty of energy to get on with your day. Plus have a look at sprinters physiques they all look strong powerful and healthy.

Build Strong Legs and Abs

Sprinting will get you strong and powerful legs, Don’t be scared of getting bulky legs through sprinting this will not happen. Your Glutes, Quads, Hamstrings and calves will all tone up and look great in no time once you introduce sprinting. Say goodbye to those chicken legs and if your an experienced weight lifter get ready for a new level of leg definition and performance. Sprinting is also excellent at activating your core as it is contracted to stabilize your body throughout the sprint.

Upon starting sprinting I noticed huge differences in my arms, and shoulders as well as this my obliques started protruding more. This was from 1-2 hard and intense 15 minute sprint sessions a week.

Getting Started

Well start by watching Mark Sisson’s great video on sprinting……….. Luckily sprinting is something we all have in us so no real teaching is required unless you want to become a professional. I actually started sprinting at a hill near my house, and remember after my first session of 10-15 second sprints left my body with a great feeling of soreness  the following morning in my abs, arms and all over my legs.

-Start by stretching out and limbering up your ankles and arms and legs.
-Find a nice stretch of grass or sand
-Run as fast as you can, try to emphasize pumping your arms and powering through with your legs
-When you start to slow down its time to stop
-Take a rest and repeat, depending on your fitness you should be able to do 5-10 intervals

Finish this off with some stretching and some body weight exercises and you will have had yourself a great enjoyable workout, that got you outdoors and didn’t cost anything. Sprinting will get you a lean, muscular and efficient body!

Comments

  1. says

    I have tried Tabata before but the crossfit variation with exercises like pull-ups/pushups etc. It was a killer, will definitely look into Tabata sprints as I am planning a sprint session tomorrow, could do with some leg burn!

  2. says

    I’m definitely more into my distance running but I do still need to work on my sprinting. I occassionally do sprints between the goal posts at my local park but don’t do them regularly enough. I really need to work on this.

  3. resty says

    Would like to do the Tabata’s on the track one of these days. Have been doing them on my bicycle trainer and what can I say, HARD!!!
    Sometimes I can do the whole 8 reps and other times just 6.

  4. says

    Sprints also do one very good thing for your legs, actually two. It brings balance between hams and quads , something most people lack, and it works that part where your glutes and hams connect, usually almost everyone has a fold between the glutes and hams, except sprinters.

  5. says

    @ Victor + Nicho: It makes a great combination workout. If you do a few sets of full-out sprints immediately followed by some pushups (until failure) then rest. You will get a great workout as well as releasing a load of GH which will boost muscle growth.

  6. nicho says

    I am in the 100m in tracks in highschool and I know that i only need a little aerobicwork out so running long distance is bad for sprinters because it makes you sloswer

    so my question is that if i play a lot of soccer would it make me slower?,, beacuse I just join a soccer team where one of my cousins play , so i just was wandering if it that would damage my speed?

    so i was wandering if somebody in here knows?????? please answer!!!…,

  7. Nate says

    Nicho,

    How many “slow” professional / college soccer players have you ever seen? The answer is zero. This is thanks to the mixture of jogging and explosive sprinting. Soccer matches are basically one long interval workout that will do nothing but improve your ability as a pure sprinter.

  8. says

    sprinting is really the best for fast fat loss, but inorder to prevent injuries you will have to progress speed gradually and always warmup.

  9. says

    I love sprinting, though I wouldn’t call it fun! lol. It’s mind wrecking if you ask me! The mental effort required to push yourself to the max each sprint is pretty taxing. But when you think of the long term benefits it all seems worth it. :)

  10. chris says

    you say that you won’t build bulk but that you will get rid of those chicken legs. that seems contradictory.

    @ Chris: Thats a good point you raise. What I meant to say is that sprinting will build lean and powerful legs conductive to sport and athletic ability rather that inflated legs that are big but lacking function. Try some sprints out and see for yourself the results are pretty impressive….

  11. Rizwan says

    would like to add that i’m a 200lb man.
    at my place, gym is expensive.
    so i do sprint 6days a week, while maintaining my low calorie diet.

    as a result, in 2months i down 30lb.

    and this only took me 30minutes sprint a day…

  12. says

    Sprinting and intervals are great for fat loss and keeping in shape. It’s also a great way to get a fast workout and save time.

  13. scott says

    Rizwan, you do 30 minutes of sprints 6 days a week? are your muscles made of steel? how many sprint intervals do you do in the 30 minutes? you must have un-natural recovery abilities to do sprints that often man. Especially on a low calorie diet!

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