Developing Strength & Power
Sprinting, a simple form of strength and power training exercise, offers more than just calorie burning. Certain enzymes become abundant within the body each time sprinting occurs. These enzymes, along with normal cell functions, help the body store more calories and energy within the muscle tissue rather than the fat storages within the body. Through this process, the body steadily depletes all of its fat storages that normally account for weight gain.
Sprinting also increases bone strength and density and aids the building of new muscle tissue around the bones and throughout the rest of the body.
Sprinting naturally increases the body's endurance strength, making longer cardio and muscle strengthening training sessions easier to complete. Through sprinting, speed training exercises and specific lifting drills (strength and Power focused), the body increases its ability to store oxygen, which helps the muscles function in all forms of exercise.
Another benefit directly related to sprinting involves the increase in mitochondria size. These cell parts store the energy consumed through food sources, then release the energy to the parts of the body that require and endure work or repair. In other words, working muscles receive more energy, because cells become better suited to store and release energy in an efficient manner, ultimately increasing growth.
Top 10 Benefits of Sprint Training
Builds strength – Sprints are a type of anaerobic exercise, this means that they will trigger muscle building, increasing the size and strength of the powerful, fast-twitch fibers. A study conducted in 2012 showed sprinting can enhance protein synthesis pathways by as much as 230 percent! With the right nutrition and recovery, this will lead to muscle building, allowing your body to become leaner and enabling you to run faster, longer, and more efficiently.
Lose fat – Sprint training is one of the most efficient conditioning exercises that can create significant and notable fat loss. Compared to long and steady aerobic training, like running or jogging, sprinting enables you to lose body fat whereas in aerobic training, you are more likely to lose body mass – which includes fat, but also water and lean-tissue weight.
Expand endurance – Short, speedy intervals will improve your endurance capacity, amplifying your maximal oxygen uptake and increasing the time it takes for fatigue to set in. Since sprints train the body to burn fat for fuel, they preserve muscle glycogen and prolonging work capacity.
Increase speed and power – Sprinting is essentially speed and power training. Since sprints build muscle and target the fast-twitch fibers, they increase your speed and power, leading to a faster running or cycling speed. With an explosive start, you are putting a load of power in you muscles and the more you repeat this, the more your power and speed increases.
Improves heart health – Cardiovascular benefits due to lowering blood pressure. The fast-twitch muscles that you are building with sprints can improve your heart function. Doing all those explosions and putting all that extra effort on your muscles, makes your heart work and pump harder which will strengthen your heart. Also like every exercise, you have better circulation.
Builds mental toughness – Sprints are a challenging workout. There may be moments of uncertainty in the middle of your workout that challenge your ability to finish. It is important, however, to not give in. Pushing through the discomfort will enable you to break past records and build your confidence in your emotional and physical abilities.
Reduce stress – Sprinting, like other forms of exercise, produces endorphins which are chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers and provide you with a “feel good” sensation. The release of endorphins stimulates confidence and relief, especially after having successfully completed a workout.
Saves time – Sprints are quick bursts of movements, and as such, they are just as and often more time effective than jogging for an hour. If you are crunched for time, sprints are a great way to maximize your workout with half the time!
Improves glucose control/insulin –A 2009 study by BMC Endocrine Disorders found high intensity workouts substantially improved insulin levels and had could reduce metabolic syndrome risk factors, including high cholesterol, high blood pressure, high blood sugar and abdominal body fat. Sprints work so well for glucose control because they deplete the body of supply of of glycogen, the sugar stored inside of our muscles. The only way our body can get rid of excess sugar in our blood is to first make it run down its glycogen inventories in our muscles. The only way to squeeze glycogen out of the inventories are exercises that involve intense contractions such as sprints.
You can perform this workout in a variety of ways/settings: runouts, distance drills, continuous acceleration drills, ins and outs, hill and resistance running and more. This can be supplemented by a lifting regimen centered on strength and power development and augmented by rowing or cycling interval training!
Initial 5 week Lifting and Sprint Drill Program