With the huge success of the 2012 Olympic games and Team GB, here at FitnessBeans we thought we’d jump on the band wagon and take a look at the advantages of one of the most popular athletic events out there; sprinting.
You don’t have to be Usain Bolt to enjoy the benefits of sprinting. Don’t get me wrong, it would be nice but let’s not get ahead of ourselves just yet! So how can you reap the rewards of sprint training and what advantages will result? This article hopes to answer all these questions and more.
Sprinting is a useful tool in many team sports such as football, rugby and basketball but it can also positively impact on many other events. Despite previous beliefs that the best way for a bodybuilder to burn fat and ‘strip down’ is through low intensity, continuous aerobic cardio, research now suggests that sprint training invokes a greater fat loss response. Believe it or not, sprinting can even enhance the performances of long distance athletes such as marathon runners.
So what does sprinting offer in terms of adaptation?
Although on first reading, it may sound extremely technical and scientific, this relates to the body’s ability to deal with lactic acid. Sprint exercises can bring about enhancements in your muscle’s ability to deal with this anaerobic by-product. Lactic acid ultimately results in fatigue, so any increments in your response to this would mean you can work for harder and longer anaerobically. Significant performance increments have been noted within as little as 2 months when athletes have undertaken sprint training as part of their weight training workouts.
As with all exercise, if performed at the correct intensities over a period of time then adaptations and development will result. Sprint training is no different. With the sprint exercises acting as a stimulus to bring about change, your body will enhance numerous aspects in order to cope. Initially, enzymes such as creatine kinase will be present in higher quantities and this will have a knock on effect with ATP production. ATP is required when working anaerobically to power and fuel the body. Once again, your ability to naturally enhance ATP levels will result in longer and harder training sessions than ever before!
It is this benefit that attracts more attention then most. Sprint training has been proven to enhance your body’s ability to burn calories following an intense workout. This is brought about by a process known as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption or EPOC for short. EPOC makes reference to the additional oxygen you require following exercise compared to your everyday norm. In simple terms, the longer you remain in a state of EPOC, the longer your body will burn calories at an enhanced rate for. This is why sprinting offers advantages over continuous cardio exercise.
So there you have it, three incredible advantages that sprint training can bring about. The above advantages are by no means a complete list, sprinting has also been demonstrated to bring about aerobic developments too.
The important take home message is that sprint training can do a lot more for you and your training then just enhance your speed levels. Its advantages allow it to be applied to almost any sport or activity with incredible success. So if you’re looking to be the best you can be and continue to make leaps with your training, why not consider adding some sprints to your workout today.