I alternate days between my ab circuit workout and high-intensity sprinting walking interval training. Sprinting is a high-intensity short-duration movement at the highest speed you can safely muster. It’s fun. It’s easy. You go at your own pace. And it’s great for fast fat loss.
…two minutes of intensity equals 30 minutes of steady-state exercise…
Increase Metabolism, Burn Fat
According to LiveStrong, a study published in 2012 in The International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism concluded that sprinting interval training done three times per week for six weeks resulted in more body-fat loss than endurance training, even though participants spent less time doing sprints. The significant body-fat losses are partially due to increases in metabolism after sprinting.
In fact, two minutes of intensity equals 30 minutes of steady-state exercise, which proves that sprinting is more efficient at burning calories.
How to Sprint
Be certain that you have medical clearance before attempting any strenuous workout.
My Sprinting Routine
Three nights a week I go to the small park very near my home and do sprints in my cherished MBT sneakers, with my Boxer dog Blue, on the circular sidewalk that surrounds the park. The MBT sneakers have a rocker-shaped outer soul and, according to the manufacturer, this approximates walking barefoot on sand. As for my personal experience, these sneakers are a godsend.
I don’t have foot or back pain when I wear my MBTs. I discuss MBT sneakers a little more in-depth in my article on Resistance Band Training for Beginners.
Are you familiar with Pavlov’s Conditioned Response? As soon as I pull out my MBTs, Blue begins his happy dance in anticipation of our run. It’s a fun workout for us both!
Here’s How I Sprint:
- I warm-up before my sprint by walking to the park, then walking three laps around the park at a leisurely pace.
- Then I run one lap around the park as hard as I can, which compared to Blue’s gate I am not very fast. But it is a start. By the end of my lap I am breathing very hard.
- Then I do it all again. I will walk three more laps around the perimeter of the park followed by one all out sprint.
- Then I do it once more. After my final sprint, I walk three more laps to cool down and catch my breath.
- To finish my routine, and sometimes even during my routine if I need a break, I stretch out on a cement bench and do stomach vacuuming isometric contractions.
I am left feeling energized after this routine, in a way that I cannot achieve with my ab circuit. I like that my mind is totally focused on just being in the moment when I run, very alive to the beautiful surroundings of the park, and the companionship of Blue by my side.
I had similar feelings of aliveness this summer when I did aqua sprints (swimming) at the Jersey Shore. I loved the ocean waves crashing against my now firm body, and that I could swim like I did when I was a teen. I guess that a skill once learned is never forgotten.
Bring Sprinting Indoors
When the weather turns colder, it’s time to bring my workout indoors. I’ve got my treadmill setup in a large naturally lit room with lots of windows. And it faces out to the scenic landscape that will invigorate me more than watching a mind-numbing TV would (thinking of all the gym treadmills facing monitors that play CNN all day – so uninspiring).
Indoor Endurance Running
I now belong to a fitness center with a large indoor track. Since building my endurance with sprinting at the park, I’ve taken to running a 3k on days when I don’t sprint. That’s 7x around the track! This type of endurance running versus sprinting provides different cardiovascular health benefits.
Unlike sprinting, long distance running will increase your VO2 max. Not only will your blood flow improve, but training will increase the amount of mitochondria in your cells, the powerhouses that provide you with energy. But that’s a topic for another article.
Living larger than ever,
My Bariatric Life