Ahh, the track – a never-ending oval of hellish pain. As I stand at the 100 meter mark, I ask myself how I ended up here. Who decided dumbbell curls are not ‘functional’? Why do I feel like my lungs are collapsing? By the time I slow my panicked breathing down to a mild gasp, my minute of rest is up and I’m on to my next 100 meter sprint.
Sprint (verb) \ˈsprint\: To move at full speed over a short distance.
What is full speed? Did you ever get that feeling as a child, that as you were going up the stairs, something was behind you? The pace you ran up the stairs was full speed. What is a short distance? It could be anywhere from 50-800 meters; the distance you choose to run depends on the goal, and how much pain you would like to endure. If you are sprinting on the farther side of a “short distance” (400-800 meters) the rest intervals should be longer, such as a 1:1 or 1:2 ratio, and the amount of intervals should be short (4-6 intervals). Remember, you are going for maximum effort. If you cannot maintain a pace over 90% of your maximum effort, give yourself a longer rest period or dial the amount of intervals back. Running, cycling, swimming, rowing – you can pick your own poison. Just make sure you are hustling. Here’s why… Research shows that sprinting temporarily increases Total Testosterone, Free Testosterone, and Dihydrotestosterone for up to an hour. While the increase in testosterone levels go back to normal within the hour, you have what’s called a “Golden Window”, which is a twenty minute time frame, post-exercise, to replace your bodies glycogen stores. With proper post-exercise nutrition, along with the temporary increase in testosterone, your body will recover faster and stimulate muscle growth. Rather than spending money on all sorts of testosterone boosting supplements, try this simple sprint workout instead. On the air bike, rower or at the track….
30 seconds Max Effort On
30 seconds Rest
6-10 Minutes Total
Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC): Also known as the “afterburn” effect, EPOC is another reason why sprinting gives us the most bang for our buck. Research has shown that just six weeks of high intensity sprint training results in “an equal reduction of fat mass compared to moderate aerobic training over the same six-week period with a fraction of the time commitment.” Thus, depending on your goals, instead of running 12 miles, you can run for a total of 12 minutes, at a high intensity, and have better results. EPOC can lead to an increased metabolic rate for up to 24 hours, which means increased calories burned AFTER you have exercised. On top of that, your body will preserve muscle glycogen and also prolong your ability to train at a high intensity.