Sprinting is the apex predator of speed, conditioning, and fat loss training. No other exercise will make an athlete faster, more powerful, and stimulate fat loss like sprinting.
The reality is that anyone who is training to improve their performance and physique can benefit from adding sprinting to their training program. If you are chasing improved performances in your sport or looking to lean out, there are 3 reasons why you should start sprinting.
A) Sprinting Is A Lesson In Time Management
One of the main reasons (with the main one being a lousy diet) why many lifters and trainees cannot lose body fat is because of how they use their time.
Do you want to know where most people waste the majority of their time when they are at the gym? The “cardio” section. Do you truly want to stay on a soul-draining device like a treadmill, elliptical, or Stairmaster for 1-2 hours just to have the machine tell you that you burned 100 calories? Are you kidding me?
Unfortunately, many trainees will repeat this process over and over for years, but when they look in the mirror, they do not see the lean physique that they wanted to build. Instead, they see a below average body and realize they have wasted many years doing nothing productive.
Time is the most valuable thing we have on this planet and once it has passed by, we can never get it back. With this knowledge, you do not want to waste your valuable time in the “cardio” section of a commercial gym. Your time would be better served out on the track. The difference between using a machine and going outside to sprint on the track is massive, like the Solar System. No “cardio” machine can compete with the supreme power of sprinting.
Sprinting will allow you to get an effective workout done in a fraction of the time. A full sprinting workout for fat loss (not specific speed training) will on average take anywhere from 15-25 minutes to complete if you perform it correctly. The old adage of quality over quantity applies here.
The process for a sprinting workout looks just like this:
- Eat your pre-workout meal (about 1.5-2 hours before you sprint).
- Show up at the track.
- Perform a sprinter warm-up for 10-15 minutes
- Realize the workout is going to hurt.
- Perform the sprint workout for 15-25 minutes then collapse.
- Dust yourself off, go home, and have your post-workout meal.
While you are sprinting, you will be decimating body fat, building glutes of steel, and developing thick hamstrings. I have never met anyone in life who does not appreciate naturally built, round glutes that sit high and tight like a military fade haircut! You cannot achieve this effect in the lame “cardio” section.
Use your time wisely and get your butt to the track.
B) Sprinting Will Help You Build Muscle And Drop Body Fat
Sprinting stimulates fat loss more than any other exercise.
The energy demands from performing sprints cannot be matched by any other exercise. And sprinting, when combined with an intense lifting program turns your body into a muscular, calorie burning machine. On the other hand, when a lifter spends hours slogging away doing mindless “cardio” and consuming a bad diet at some point they begin to sacrifice muscle mass. Losing muscle mass is never the goal when it comes to performance enhancement.
Think about this. When was the last time you spotted a serious athlete or lifter who was in phenomenal shape, pounding away on a treadmill while watching a sitcom on the gym TV? Conditioning like sprinting, which is short, intense, and to the point, will build and retain your muscle mass while kicking body fat in the rear.
Sprinting is similar to lifting weights, in that the contractions of the muscle during the exercise are intense. When you consistently repeat sprinting over time the muscles in your legs will grow and become more powerful. Your whole body will also become leaner.
When you combine sprinting with the proper diet and training program, you will create an opportunity for you to build a high value physique.
C) Sprinting Develops Mental Toughness
I have done many types of lifting and conditioning workouts, ranging from bodybuilding to bodyweight training.
These are some of the hardest training methods of all time, but I would choose any of those workouts over running repeat 300-meter sprints any day of the week. Hard sprinting workouts can make you feel like you want to die at times. They can be that unbearable, as there is no worse feeling then these things happening simultaneously:
- your heart is beating out of your chest
- your glutes and hamstrings are pumped up beyond belief (Bootylock!)
- your abdominals are cramping
- your shoulders are getting tight
- your mind wants to quit
- and you still have 100 meters to go on your second of three 300-meter sprints for the day
Without mental toughness, you will fold at the first sign of adversity. Repeatedly completing these sprinting workouts will undoubtedly forge that toughness into your being. Mental toughness can only be forged through adversity.
4) Sprinting Develops Ridiculous Athleticism (Bonus)
Many athletes and coaches are under the illusion that you can develop all of your athletic ability in the weight room.
Many high schools all across the country, specifically most football programs place the highest value solely on what happens in the weight room. These programs have bought into the notion that speed and athleticism is primarily developed in the weight room.
The problem is that most of these football programs don’t produce the athletes that can run elite times in the 40-yard dash. Their methods don’t produce the outcomes they are looking for. Even worse, when heavy, high volume, bad form lifting and “conditioning” workouts fail, they just do more of them. I can’t tell you how many athletes have come to my gym expecting pure speed training to feel like running repeat 110-yard gassers with limited rest periods.
The weight room is a great place for an athlete to be to build muscle, get stronger, and build team morale. But the strongest lifter is rarely the fastest sprinter. If you want your athletes to be fast and athletic they need to consistently sprint and jump.
There is no reason why if you are healthy and injury-free that you should not be sprinting.
You won’t be good on day 1, but have you ever met anyone who was good at something on day 1? We all need to put in the time, work, and consistency to become great.
I’ll holla at you next time.
The People’s Trainer,