Benefits of Incorporating Sprints into Your Workout Routine
There’s no doubt that traditional running and/or jogging for an extended period of time or distance can result in noticeable heath and weight loss benefits. Improved cardiovascular functioning, reduced body fat, and increased stress relief name only a fraction of the positives that come from adopting and adhering to a running program. More often than not, however, the monotony of daily 30 minute runs results in a dip in motivation and devotion towards your routine. Worst case scenario: you abandon running altogether. (NO!)
Shake up your workout routine with sprints!
Sprints are a form of high intensity interval training, or HIIT. To those of you who might be unfamiliar with the practice of running sprints for exercise or weight loss, they are exactly as they sound: 8-10 “reps” of 20-30 second bursts of maximum speed running, with rest periods in between. Running sprints can be done in a variety of ways, including uphill sprints and resistance sprints. They can also be performed in almost mode of cardiovascular exercise: cycling, swimming, running, etc.
An example of typical sprint workout, and one I personally prefer and recommend, is Tim Ferriss's sprint routine. It goes like this:
- Sprint as hard and as fast as you can for 20 seconds
- Rest 10 seconds
- Repeat for 10 rounds of sprints
If followed correctly, this routine will end five minutes after you begin. Not bad!
Additionally, sprints yield impressive benefits and results. 5 pro-sprinting results:
- Effective muscle builders and improved muscle health
- Increase overall running speed, endurance, and performance
- Improve cardiovascular functioning and aerobic capacity
- Result in similar, if not better, weight loss (when compared to traditional jogging routines)
- Ideal for those pressed for time
Due to the repeated bursts of maximum muscular exertion demanded by sprints, it’s not uncommon to feel sore in the days following the incorporation of sprints into your fitness routine. Stretching before and after can significantly lessen the chances and severity of any soreness. It is also important to stay fully hydrated before and after your workout, hydration tips available here.