5 Benefits of High Intensity Sprinting

As you go about your workout program, one of the main things that you should be focusing on is adding some high intensity sprinting into the mix.  Whether you are looking to lose body fat, improve your physical conditioning level, or simply improve your health, sprinting offers numerous benefits that you need to be aware of.

Far too many people pass up sprinting just because it is such an intense exercise and something that does push them out of their comfort zone, but doing this is a big mistake.

The right sprinting workout can really lead to a much greater degree of long-term results.

Let’s have a quick peak at five of the top benefits that high intensity sprinting has to offer.

1. Shorter Workout Sessions

The very first big benefit that sprinting has to offer is a shorter workout session.  You can easily get in and out of the gym in 20 minutes flat with a hard sprinting session, while reaping more benefits than the typical 60 minute cardio workout had to offer.

For anyone who is looking to fit in their workouts on a tight time schedule, sprinting should be your chosen variety of exercise.

Sprints can last anywhere from 15 to 60 seconds and are typically paired with an active rest period that is two to three times that length.

2. Greater Post-Workout Calorie Burn

Second, another big benefit of sprinting that cannot go overlooked is the post-calorie burn it will provide.  Because sprinting is so physically demanding on the body, this is going to create a large degree of muscle tears and trauma after the session is completed, which then must be repaired.

This repair process can burn a significant amount of calories over the course of the coming 48 hour period, essentially boosting your metabolic rate for this time.

So in terms of fat loss results, this is ideal since not only will you burn a high number of calories while doing your sprints because you are exercising so hard, but you’ll continue to burn off calories faster after they are completed.

This is a win-win as far as your weight loss progress is concerned.

3. Improved Glucose Sensitivity

The third benefit that high intensity sprinting has to offer is improved glucose sensitivity.  This refers to how well your body is going to utilize glucose and how likely it is to end up moving into the muscle cells versus the fat cells.

Those who are very insulin sensitive tend to have a much easier time getting leaner and staying leaner, and will also be at a lower risk of diabetes as well.  Diabetes is very much a condition that focuses around your ability to clear glucose from the blood, so if you have poor insulin sensitivity, you just won’t be able to do this effectively.

Furthermore, improved glucose sensitivity will also mean a faster recovery after each workout session is performed due to the fact that you’re able to replenish the muscle glycogen stores faster as well.

4. Reduced Risk Of Lean Muscle Mass Tissue

Moving along, another of the critical benefits of sprinting to note is that this form of exercise is going to help to reduce your risk of suffering from lean muscle mass tissue breakdown.

If you’re currently on a reduced calorie diet and have been performing hours and hours of cardio training per week – training at moderate intensities, chances are you have lost some lean muscle tissue in the process.

This moderate intensity training isn’t going to be challenging the muscles to much degree and this makes it highly easy for the body to start utilizing them as a fuel source. When your energy intake is low and the body requires energy, it can begin breaking down lean tissue to get this energy.

Furthermore, since there is no physical challenge in terms of muscular strength required to perform these workout sessions, the body won’t see any real reason to keep this lean muscle mass tissue.

All in all, it would do better dropping some lean muscle mass because this is heavy tissue that only weighs it down as you aim to perform those long endurance based workouts.

Sprinting is considered a much more anabolic activity compared to say endurance workouts, which are considered catabolic, so if you hope to maintain your toned, defined, and ‘fit’ look as you go about your workouts, sprinting is what you should be doing.

5. Improved Ability To Tolerate Fatigue

Finally, the last reason why you should be considering adding sprinting training to your workout program is because it will help to improve your ability to tolerate fatigue.

If you’re sprinting at an intense pace, your body is going to have to get better at clearing away the lactic acid build-up in the muscle cells, meaning that you’ll grow accustomed to working harder at these high intensities.

This then means that when you go to perform your next session, you’ll be in better physical condition than the last, thus progress will occur.

If you’re performing your sprinting workouts properly, you’re going to see much greater gains in cardiovascular and anaerobic performance improvements than if you were just doing the same old endurance cardio session over and over again.

While endurance cardio workouts can help you workout for a longer and longer period of time, this isn’t doing much to actually offer physical improvements.

In everyday life we rarely have to exercise for 60 minutes or over, so from a functional standpoint as well as in terms of transferring over to other forms of exercises you might be doing, endurance cardio comes up short.

So there are the primary reasons why you should consider adding a high intensity sprinting workout or two to your workout week.  They are very intense workouts and will definitely push you beyond your comfort zone, forcing you to work harder than you are likely comfortable with, but if you do put in the effort, you won’t regret it when you discover the results that these workouts have to offer.

[stextbox id=”grey” caption=”About the Author”]Shannon Clark holds a degree in Exercise Science from the University of Alberta, where she specialized in Sports Performance and Psychology.  In addition to her degree, she is an AFLCA certified personal trainer and has been working in the field for over 8 years now.[/stextbox]

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