Weather is getting better and people are leaving the gym. Most people want to lose some weight for the summer and cardio seems like the best way to do it, doesn’t it? Yea, right… 😉 Calm down, I wouldn’t believe the last sentence even if I was under strong medications! I understand people who run just because running gives them pleasure. It’s some kind of meditation for them. I can’t argue with this. After all if this makes you happy, go ahead and run but do not fool yourself that this is the best way to get rid of the extra pounds!
If you’d like to work out outside, one of the best things you could do for yourself, your health and your body, are sprints! Steady running, lasting 45 minutes and longer is boring and it is not the healthiest thing you could do. On the other hand sprints are a challenge! You can’t get bored sprinting, because you are always trying to beat the timer or your last record! I’ve noticed that most people lack the challenge in their daily lives! What could be better than having a challenge every day you go at the stadium?
Personally I include sprints on Monday and Thursday. Usually I workout Monday through Friday and I rest on Saturday and Sunday. Thus on Mondays I do shorter sprints but more sets.
For example 15 sets of 20 seconds on and 20 seconds of. Or 60 sets 10 seconds on, 30 seconds off.
On Mondays I feel rested and that is why I do shorter sprints with max effort.
On Thursday I usually do longer intervals. For example 8 sets of 400m run with a rest as long as it took me to complete the lap. That means if it took me 1min and 10sec. to complete the lap, I will rest 1min and 10sec.
Besides that you can do sprints, combining them with some movements like burpees and pull ups. I love doing 100 m. sprint, then drop down for 10 burpees. Walk back and repeat it but this time do 10 pull ups. Do that for 5-10 sets and you have a complete workout!
One of the reasons that make sprinting so effective when it comes up to losing weight and getting in shape, has to do with sprints mimicking the physical activity of primal people . Do you think that they used to spend hours running in a steady mode? I doubt it. As far as we know their physical activity consisted in slow steady movements like doing chore, looking for food and etc. Besides that they did physical activities that resembled interval sprints- they ran fast to chase their prey, then stopped, after that ran fast again and so on.
They didn’t do it trying to lose weight and get in shape but this is the information that got encoded in our genes. In order for our body to function properly, we should create conditions that will activate appropriate genes and block the once that harm our health. I already wrote an article about reprogramming your genes and reasonable workouts are the first step in the right direction!
Sprints are so effective because “anaerobic exercises elevate gene expression up to 75% more than aerobic exercises( cardio). Besides that the genes that are activated after anaerobic exercises are the once that regulate fat metabolism and the growth hormone factors. You could read more about genes, sprints and the positive effect of anaerobic exercises here.
And now instead of talking more about sprints, take your shoes, go to the stadium and start doing some sprints!