Sprint Training – My 3 Simple Sprinting Workouts (Part1)

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This is a two-part article series where I will discuss sprint training, benefits of sprinting, and how you can get started with my three simple sprinting workouts.

OK…I’ll admit it.

I get this very confused look when I tell people I like to sprint for fun.

Once a week, I make my way to a local high school track and perform a few simple sprinting workouts. Nothing crazy.

But a lot of people tend to confuse the word simple for easy. These sprinting workouts are far from easy.

If you want to get lean, ripped, cut (or whatever adjective you can think of that represents a solid muscular physique), sprint training will get you there, and get you there fast.

Sprinting is a very functional exercise – something that may come in handy in your every day life. Think about that bus you’ve been trying to catch.

Sprinting may be one of the most efficient and intense exercises you can add to your training repertoire. It requires no equipment and you can always find an open field if you don’t have access to a track. All you need is a little over 50 meters of unobstructed space and a little bit of time. My sprint training very rarely lasts longer than 30-40 minutes.

Sprint training is a full-body workout that targets a number of muscle groups.

A sprint consists of a series of short but very intense concentric contractions by several muscle groups. This consists of flexion and extension in your calves, quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes (maximus and medius), hip abductors, pecs (chest muscles),  lats, biceps and triceps. There is further horizontal rotation and flexion of the abdominal obliques as well as contraction of your deltoids (shoulders). Each muscle contraction during a sprint consists of explosive accelerations and decelerations that leave your body sore from head to toe.

One of the amazing benefits of sprint training is its effect on weight/fat loss. Aside from dramatically improving your athletic ability, sprints have been shown to have a very positive effect for elevating your metabolism for multiple DAYS!  Regular jogging elevates your metabolism during the run and for a very short period afterward (small oxygen deficit). But if you include some simple sprinting workouts once or twice a week to your routine, you could have your metabolism continously revving in high gear for maximal fat loss.

To get a better understanding of how this works, read my article on epoc training.

Before I get into my three sprinting workouts, here are some things to consider about sprint training:

Before you start
Sprinting is an extremely intense form of exercise. Start off easy and try and improve a little bit every week.

Warm-up
A dynamic warm-up is CRITICAL before sprinting. You need to loosen up your muscles and prepare your tendons, joints and ligaments for intense stress. This is the warm-up I perform before I begin sprint training. You can modify it to suit your needs.

  • Jog 2 easy laps around the track (roughly 800m at an easy pace)
  • Wall swings – find something you can hold on to and perform wall swings forwards and wall swings sideways (10 each)
  • High knees – run with high knees (as high as you can) for 20m
  • Butt kicks – run and kick your butt with your heals for 20m
  • Lunges – perform bodyweight lunges for 20m

Hydration
Water is extremely important. Make sure you are drinking it before, during and after all your workouts.

Sprinting Technique
The manner in which you sprint is very important in terms of preventing injury.  Check out this article on sprinting mechanics to get a better understanding of proper technique.

This is the end of Part 1 of this article series – all about sprint training. In Part 2 I will be going over my 3 Simple Sprinting Workouts.

Check it out at Sprint Training – My 3 Simple Sprinting Workouts (Part 2)

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Comments

  1. That is an awesome picture! Where did you get it? I try to go sprinting at least twice per week. I have been slacking lately and haven’t gone in the past few weeks but next week I’m back on it. I actually purchased a gymboss timer and a 40lb weighted vest for my intervals training. Sprints are great for both men and women and are great for calorie burning.

    -Thomas

    • Thomas, it definitely took me a long time to find that picture but it fits well. Sprinting two times a week is tough but the only way to get crazy results is to step outside of your comfort zone. I’ve never tried intervals with a weighted vest so let me know how that works out! Thanks for the comment.

  2. Hey Srdjan,

    Great post, I love that you talked about ‘dynamic stretching’ before running instead of the conventional static stretching. The conventional static stretching leads to a higher risk of injury instead.

  3. Great Post Man!

    Like you I also find sprinting to be very fun. That is when I am full of energy haha. (going to be going for an intense sprint workout in a couple hours actually)

    The benefits of sprinting are huge and it has a dramatic effect on body composition much life weight training. I mean it should only take one quick loot at olympic sprinters to realize that this activity is incredibly valuable. One of my favorite benefits of sprinting is the huge HGH release you get.

    I like how you emphasized the importance of the warm up. This is critical as sprinting can cause injuries if done without a proper warm up. Dynamic exercises like you recommended are the key. Good Job.

    Greg O’G.

    • Sprinting has had a huge effect on my body composition as well, man. The results are insane. And the best part is that it literally takes 30 minutes of my time MAX. Plus I can do it anywhere. What more can we ask for??

      Just out of curiosity, what kind of sprint training do you do?

  4. I usually do sprints 2x per week.

    I keep the duration of my sprints pretty short. Around 6-15 seconds all out and I’ll usually do about 8 sets total. After I complete each sprint I walk back to the starting point and repeat. Some days I do them on a track and other days I’ll do them on a hill.

    Sometimes I’ll perform longer intervals on the treadmill instead. Around 30 to 60 seconds work with 90-120 seconds walking at 4mph. For the treadmill intervals I ramp the speed up every single intervals. Usually i’ll start at 6mph and increase by 1 mph every interval until I hit 12-15mph. (I always use an incline of 3 degrees on the treadmill)

    As you can see I definitely like my rest. I also like to keep the intervals pretty brief. I find this more enjoyable and more conducive to my goals. In addition I find that I can maintain a pretty high level of endurance without really training for it. Example – I ran a 5km race in 21 minutes with just these short intervals. And that was when I was about 10 lbs fatter than I am now.

    When I go over to a local hill to do my hill sprints I often see a group of joggers all the time. Most of them are 15-30 lbs overweight. I wonder what they think when they see me sprinting like a mad man up the hill with my shirt off, ripped abs and everything. They could definitley get way better results if they stopped jogging and instead focused on sprints, intervals and low intensity cardio (walking).

    Greg O’G

    • That’s very interesting. I usually don’t keep my sprinting intervals that short, but I’m going to give it a shot. I’ll try 8-10 sets of 6-8 second sprints and see how it goes. It’s also an interesting point that you made – short duration sprints improve your long distance endurance. Most people wouldn’t see it that way, but I’ll test it out regardless.

      I didn’t talk too much about hill sprinting but I do it very often – killer on the legs! I did this a lot when I trained Muay Thai in Thailand – up in the Northern parts it’s all mountains so they love their uphill battles.

      Maybe you should go over and talk to them. Show them that there’s a better way!

  5. Hi, this is a great post! Thanks..

  6. I’m extremely impressed with your writing skills and also with the layout on your blog. Is this a paid theme or did you modify it yourself? Either way keep up the excellent quality writing, it is rare to see a nice blog like this one today..

  7. you are a genius. i have been looking for a good tutorial on skipping and you have a great way of explaining things and you get to the point of what i want…a good workout. i love the simplicity of sprinting and jump roping….come check out mt. trashmore in virginia beach that is where i like to sprint.

  8. Hey, nice guide on sprinting, still in the progress of reading it. However, I find that when I sprint, I’m not as tired as I think as I should be. I feel as though I have plenty of energy left. Is that a good thing? Or do you recommend me to do something whilst sprinting to optimize speed?

    • John that’s perfectly normal. Every time I go sprinting I feel like I could do so much more. Energy levels are through the roof. This is from all the hormones that are flooding your body due to the maximal intensity you just reached. You don’t need to do anything else with your sprints. Just make sure you get a good stretch in and go home. Enjoy the amazing feeling :)

  9. Great post. I think the current Olympic games only proves your point. All of the sprinters are ripped up. And it seems like the shorter the sprinting distance, the more ripped they are.
    This actually goes the same for the swimmers. The swimmers who are “sprinting” in the water are all totally cut in their upper bodies – shoulders, pecs, and backs. But the land sprinters all have amazing cores.
    With that said, I live by the beach, and do my sprint workouts in the sand. I find it to be a lot harder. For one thing you run slower, since you are in the sand. And there is never level footing, so the chances of twisting an ankle or bad form increase. But the end result is just as intense as a normal sprint, if not more so.
    Please let me know if there are any special tips or instructions for sprinting in the sand.

    • Awesome comment Greg. There definitely seems to be a correlation between the distance of the sprint (either on the track or the pool) and the body composition of the sprinter. I should make a graph about that.

      I’ve read that sprinting in the sand (when done barefoot) is great for improving stabilization and increasing the strength of the connective tissues and small muscles in your feet. I can definitely see the increased risk factors with heavily uneven surfaces. I’ll do some research on the topic and see what I can find.

      I really wish I had sand to run on.

Trackbacks

  1. […] After her second weight training session, Jessica jumps back on the treadmill and does another 5 minute cardio interval session alternating 30 seconds of jogging with 30 seconds of sprinting. Learn more about the power of sprint training. […]

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