I get this question a lot….what should I do for cardio?
My answer is simple. Sprints.
If you are training properly with weights and resistance 2-3 days per week, adding 2 days of higher intensity sprint training is going to skyrocket your results.
When I talk about sprinting, that means an all out effort. But, at first it’s an all out effort for YOU. When you start out, you’re not going to be a Carl Lewis but as you get used to it and you supplement with your strength training, you will get faster.
The key is to push your effort during each set. This is not traditional cardio where you have to maintain a certain speed for several minutes. You’ll be done in 15-30 seconds so give it your all and then rest.
Here are just a few reasons why sprinting is awesome:
1. You will lose fat
A study from 1994 supported the theory that sprints are superior to steady state cardio for fat loss in a shorter amount of time.
Participants did either 20 weeks of steady-state aerobic training or 15 weeks of intervals (15 sprints for 30 seconds each). The interval group lost nine times more body fat and 12 percent more visceral belly fat than the aerobic group.
A 2010 study found that just 6 sprint sessions of six 30-second all-out cycle sprints with 4 minutes rest over 2 weeks led to a leaner waist by 3 cm., and a much greater use of fat for fuel.
2. You will build muscle
Don’t stop reading here ladies. You KNOW you want muscle. You’re not going to get all jacked up and bulky, that just isn’t happening. You do want to look lean and ripped though, so stay with me.
Sprints have been shown to increase Growth Hormone production and that GH surge helps to burn fat and build lean muscle.
3. Improves Insulin Sensitivity
Alternating high work rates with short rest periods (interval training) has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity and blood sugar tolerance. What does that mean in regular language?
Basically your body will respond better to carbohydrates, process them quicker and they won’t get stored as annoying and clingy belly fat.
4. Improves Brain Volume, Cognition and Helps Prevent Depression
Am I suggesting this is the end-all, be-all for mental illness? Nope, but we KNOW that exercise can release a surge of feel-good hormones and sprint training is high on that list.
You feel energized, strong and it also improves hormone balance and decreases inflammation in the brain.
5. It Saves Time
How many times have you skipped your training session because you just “didn’t have time?”
We’ve all done it.
If you’re pressed for time, a short sprint sesh will do the trick. These are meant to be short and intense, so plan these in on the time crunched days and you’re good to go.
I could go on and on about all the benefits of improving your conditioning, heart health, boosting your confidence because you’re doing something challenging, improving your lung function, mobility and overall movement skills but let’s be honest, those are not the #1 reason that you’re reading this.
You want to look awesome. I get it.
So here’s the deal. 2-3 days of structured strength training and 2 days of sprints and you’ll not only look awesome, you will BE awesome.
Here’s one of my favorite sprint training workouts for you:
- 5-7 minute foam rolling work
- Warm up with lateral lunges, inchworm and walking lunges (10-15 of each)
- Sprint for 50 yards Walk back as your rest. Do 5 sets
- Rest 2 minutes
- Sprint for 50 yards. Walk back as your rest. Repeat for 5 sets
- Sprint for 100 yards. Walk back and repeat 2-3 sets
This will take you about 15 minutes of actual work. You should spend about 8-10 minutes on your warm up (this is super important before you sprint). 25 minutes maximum and you’re done.
Be sure to “Like” this post on Facebook and leave a comment if you are doing a sprint workout this week.
Click here to schedule a 60 minute training consultation with me and get your fitness on track with no diets or wasted time. Just fun workouts that will get you RESULTS. See you soon.