Workout Wednesday #4
Workout #4 is all about Sprinting!
Sprinting is a powerful tool to have in your exercise arsenal. It has many benefits that extend beyond just the physical and works the mental side of fitness too.
If you're not doing it already, here's a host of reasons why you should be!
- Increases Cardiovascular Fitness
- Increases Muscle Mass
- Increases Speed & Power Output
- Increases Endurance (Increased Anaerobic Threshold = Work Harder, For Longer)
- Improves Heart Health
- Improves Lung Function
- Builds Mental Toughness
- Reduces Stress
- Saves Time
So now we know why sprinting is such a good exercise and all the benefits we can obtain from regularly utilising it, let's cover 'how' we sprint.
Sprinting is an incredibly demanding form of exercise. If you do not exercise regularly, I would not advise you to jump straight into it. Instead take some time to build up your fitness and strengthen your muscles first. For those that are already exercising let's go over how a sprinting workout could look (although bear in mind that if it's not something you have done recently you should still start with a low volume).
A thorough warm up is essential to avoiding injury and getting the most from your sprints. Including practice laps or lengths, high knees, heel flicks, skipping, plyometrics such as bounding, bunny hops and accelerations (the starting/push off phase of a sprint) over short distances, as well as dynamic stretching.
Pick your distance or working time length. Your rest time should be at least 2 minutes when sprinting for distance or 2 times longer than the working time length (eg: 30 seconds sprint = minimum 60 seconds rest time).
Warm Up Sprints
*Never stop suddenly when sprinting, this is a sure fire way to pull a muscle, instead run beyond your set distance and come to a gradual stop.*
First Sprint - 50% Maximum effort
Second Sprint - 70% Maximum effort
Third Sprint - 85% Maximum effort
All sprints should now be performed at maximum effort.
Complete a minimum of 5 working sets, making sure you take adequate rest between each sprint (the rest time may increase as you complete your sprints, make sure you are fully rested before attempting another set).
So there you have it! Why not introduce sprinting into your training regime and reap the many benefits that come with it?
Of course sprinting is not just limited to a treadmill, track or park. You can perform them on a bike, rowing machine or using another method of your choice. This post is aimed at traditional sprinting but the principles laid out above can be applied to other methods.
Do you sprint already? Do you prefer working with a different method? We'd love to hear from you...
The Springhealth Team