So, I already explained in this post how tempting it is to skip your sprint day. I mean really, it’s a rare breed who looks forward to going out and running as hard as they can for any distance!
But here are 3 reasons why I personally never skip my BURSTClub Sprint Day when it pops up as the next workout of the day.
1. Sprints Are a Complete Body Workout
The more lean muscle you build, the more fat your burn. Therefore, if you are doing an exercise that works the highest number of muscles in your body at one time you will in turn build more lean muscle quicker. Plain and simple.
Although many of our BURSTClub exercises simulate a sprint, nothing can quite hit every muscle like a sprint does. You are exploding into the move from your quad muscle, using your hamstring and glute muscles in every stride, getting stronger feet and ankles, pumping your arms which is working your shoulders and biceps, and even contracting your abs the entire time. If you smile while you sprint, you’re even working 26 of the 40 muscles in your face. If you frown a few times too, that’s ok. You’ll hit the other face muscles as well. 🙂
2. Sprints Work the Longest Muscles of Your Body
This is similar to my first reason, but important enough to stand alone as it’s own reason. Sprints work the largest, individual muscles of your body – your quadricep and hamstring muscles (legs), as well as the glute (butt) muscles. When you sprint, you are developing BOTH fast and slow twitch muscle fibers in these long muscles (versus when you go at a much slower jog-type pace, which only works slow twitch fibers). By developing more muscle fibers in these large and long muscles you are increasing your body’s ability to burn fat and have a healthy metabolism for hours post-workout.
Remember, the more lean muscle you have in your body the more fat you burn. Therefore, if you are building lean muscle in the largest muscles of your body, you will in turn burn more fat. Sprinting is one of the best exercises to accomplish this.
3. Sprints are a Great Ab Workout
In addition to working the longest muscles of your body, as I stated in #1 & 2, sprints are a TOTAL body workout, working small stabilizers muscles, biceps, triceps, shoulders, and even your abdominals.
You can see me explain how to do this in more detail in my video on sprint day, but before you get ready to go, pretend you are taking your belly button all the way to your spine. Hold it contracted there and then take off, never letting up on the contraction until your sprint is complete. You can practice this contraction while your eating dinner or having a conversation with a friend. I say to practice it because you still want to be able to speak while holding this contraction. If you are running out of air while you contract then you are sucking your stomach in (and holding your breath) versus contracting your abdominals in to your spine.
This difference is subtle but key to doing this correctly when you’re sprinting. If you can get this contraction properly, you should still be able to breath out your nose or mouth while you sprint AND hold your abs in tightly.
Anytime you can get an additional ab workout in without having to hit a mat on the floor that is like the icing on the cake.
Whereas women are prone to carry extra weight in their hips, butt, and thighs and men tend to carry extra weight in their mid-section, sprinting will condition your body to be a fat-burner for 24 hours a day and tell your body to burn fat wherever you need it.
B.U.R.S.T. stands for Body’s Ultimate Response Shock Training. When we founded BURSTClub, our #1 goal was to get our body’s the ultimate response through workouts that are made up of short shocks (or bursts). We are parents and own multiple businesses so our desire was to get more out of our workouts in less time. We love to maximize time for ourselves and others.
So we have many exercises that simulate sprint-style training, but the “Grand Poo-Bah” of all of our B.U.R.S.T. exercises is the acclaimed sprint itself. Beyond burning fat, building lean muscle, and increasing endurance, burst training has so many more benefits for your health as well!
So man or woman, young or old, fit or not fit, I challenge you to rethink your stance on how you are training every day because the benefits of going harder for a shorter period of time just might outweigh the obstacle standing in your way. And the benefits of doing a straight up sprint certainly do! Start slow and work up to a higher intensity.
Just start somewhere.
Even if your sprint doesn’t look very much like a sprint to start with, that’s ok! You’ll get stronger and faster and be able to push yourself harder over time! But the good news is, if you’re going your hardest (even if it kind of looks like you’re jogging), you’re body knows it and will respond by burning fat. You’re body will always burn fat directly proportional to your intensity. So go harder and get more out of your workout – even if to start with your hardest doesn’t feel or look very hard.
Getting fit requires an unspoken commitment on your part to the discomfort of change, the inconvenience of the process, and the disruption to your “normal” life. – Jenni Oates