Have you ever seen a fat sprinter in the Olympics? The fact is that sprinters, whether it is a runner, swimmer or cyclist, tend to have the best muscle to fat ratio in sports. Short duration high intensity exercise not only burns fat, but also builds muscle and increases bone density.

Generally, when most people want to lose weight they cut back on calories and begin a cardio program usually in the form of prolonged low-moderate intensity exercise such as a 45 minute walk or 3 mile jog, etc. Now where this practice would improve cardiovascular health and burn a number of calories while performed, you get virtually no significant bump to metabolism after stopping. In fact without resistance exercise large amounts of cardio can actually lead to a loss of lean body mass thus lowering metabolism.

male sprinter standing up straight - Ultimate Health Personal Trainer Studio City, CA

Enter sprint training. It’s easy to distinguish the difference in body structure between an Olympic track sprinter versus a long distance runner. The sprint athlete has more and better defined muscle mass. A recent study at NSW University in Australia found that test subjects who used a sprint format of 8second sprints with 12 seconds rest in between lost 3 times as much weight in 20 minute sessions as compared to a group working at moderate intensity for 40 minutes. There maybe two reasons for this.

1) High intensity training increases the release of a family of chemicals from the adrenal glands known as catecholamines. These chemicals are known for their fight or flight response in the body. Another effect is an increased release of fatty acids from the cells.

2) High intensity training, being more vigorous, causes more tissue damage, therefore necessitating more body repair. This requires greater resources and elevates metabolism for an extended period. This is called afterburn.

Because of the demands of this type of training you should already be in fairly good shape.  Consider this a progression to your routine rather than a starting point. Also, if you have health  issues this may not be an advisable course for you. Those of you who want the benefits of sprinting but have bad knees may do better with swim or cycle sprints. If it’s shoulder problems cycling should work. Let’s get started.

Program 1

10 minute warm up.
Active stretching (toes touches, jumping jacks, straight leg stretch kicks)
30 second sprint
60 second active rest
Repeat for 20 minutes.
Cool down
Static stretch. (stretch and hold)

Program 2

10 minute warm up.
Active stretch
60 second sprint
90 second active rest
Repeat for 30 minutes.
Cool down.
Static stretch.

Program 3

10 minute warm up.
Active stretch
4 x 60 second sprints
4 x 30 second sprints
4 x 15 second sprints
Cool down.
Static stretch.

The goal is to increase the speed of the sprints. Start with ½ perceived max speed and work toward ¾. 20 to 30 minutes of mixed sprints should be plenty for most. Do these no more than twice a week and vary the programs often. If you are looking for a personal trainer in Studio City / Los Angeles feel free to contact us for more info.