While many Australians spend endless hours a week plodding along on treadmills and bikes, or running at a slow to moderate pace outside, sprinting can offer bigger benefits in a fraction of the time. This article explores the five reasons why we should sprint train, and the benefits of regular sprint training.
- Improves athletic performance:
Although some sports may never need the 100% running speed, most sports require fast running. Whatever sport you play, you will benefit from a speedy workout.
- Sprinting burns more fat during and after your workout
Sprinting is one of the best exercises to do to help with weight loss and lower body muscle growth. Speed training increases the metabolic disturbance and decreases body fat. Exercises, for example, running or HIIT are more exceptional and quicker than a movement like running. During very intense exercise your body will use more oxygen than it can take in. Once your workout finishes, your body must re-oxygenate and recover from that amount of stress. Not only will you burn calories during your session, but you continue to burn calories long after your workout has finished.This process is called post-oxygen consumption (EPOC).
- Increases muscle growth
One of the best way to develop muscle growth is by Sprinting. It is apparently the best exercise for building your hamstrings, glutes, calves, and quads. It’s not in the same category as a squat or deadlift, but there are two unique mechanisms through which sprinting builds muscle directly and indirectly.
Sprinting increases the number of fast-twitch fibres (type 2) in the legs. This has a direct link with increased muscle mass and strength. Slow-twitch muscle fibres do not get any bigger the more you exercise them however, the fast-twitch muscle fibres do. If you want to get bigger and look defined, you must train fast-twitch fibres such as sprinting.
Sprinting increases protein synthesis, boosting testosterone, and human growth hormone production. Moreover, it will facilitate positive hormonal adaptations that make it easier to grow and recover across your body. It will not only build up the muscles in your legs but stimulate growth throughout the rest of the body.
- Active-ageing benefits
If muscle growth isn’t your thing, let’s consider the active-ageing benefits.
As we get older, our fast-twitch (type 2) muscle fibres can weaken. High-intensity training such as sprinting can increase the fast-twitch fibres and maintain muscle mass throughout the aging process. Getting your sprints in can help ward off osteoporosis and protect your balance and coordination.
- Improved VO2 max
Sprinting increases the efficiency and health of your lungs due to increasing the ability to absorb and process oxygen. The more you sprint, the better your lungs get at absorbing oxygen and sending it through your body. Basically, your muscles need oxygen to keep working, particularly during exercise, otherwise you quickly start to feel the burn and fatigue.
Things to know before you start:
- Start Slow: While sprinting is a fast action, accelerating into a 100% sprint is not a good idea at the start. This is an activity that needs to increase both your speed and your distance/time duration over a period of a time.
- Warming up is so crucial: Warming up before sprinting is essential as this activity uses so many muscles, and thoroughly tests them.
- Prepare to be sore:
As any new activity, sore muscles are to be expected, since bodies take time to build new muscles and adapt to new exercises. It’s best to stretch before and after sprinting, and to walk or jog a bit afterward to help your muscles cool down, rather than working out in an abrupt start/stop manner. This will help mitigate soreness to a large extent, but you should still expect some soreness.