What’s a Sprint?
A sprint is a short, fast run, that lasts less than a minute. Think Olympics — bring your knees high and kick back to your butt, and speed up as fast as you can go. Incorporate sprints with enough rest to be fully recovered for at least one workout a week.
1. Big Time Fat Burn
Some studies show that sprint workouts burn fat 9 times faster than slow cardio, even when incorporated with easy active rest sets, or short bouts of sprinting, followed by walking to recover. One look at Olympic sprinters and you’ll see the chiseled, low-body fat physique that is achievable with sprint interval workouts. Sprint workouts also raise your metabolism, resulting in fat burn when you’re at rest as well.
2. Cardio Health
Your cardiovascular system — especially your heart — reaps big benefits from sprinting. Long, slow cardio can cause unnecessary stress on your heart, where bursts of maximum cardio output keep your heart working for less time. That increases your endurance and enables you to make even your longest sets more manageable.
3. Less Time Invested
You’ll burn as many (or more) calories, while digging into your fat stores with shorter cardio sessions when you add in sprints. Your time is valuable, so get on with it and dump those long, boring sessions. Add sprints to your outdoor runs as well by sprinting for a specified distance (one block, between two light posts, or for a length of time) and get your workout done in 15–20 minutes.
4. Quick Results
Powering through sprint workouts produce more significant results quicker than the months it would take you to do the same if you are droning through your cardio. Because sprints, combined with active rest like walking, activate both fast and slow twitch muscle fibers, toning happens quickly. Your higher metabolism helps crank up the burn while you’re out of the gym as well.