Sprint For Size?


You just have to watch the athletics on TV to see what I am talking about, as the camera pans across the sprinters in their starting blocks you see the lean, Greek god  like figures standing over the starting blocks Usain Bolt , Asfa Powell and Tyson Gay to name a few. Who wouldn’t want to have a body like a sprinter?

So the question is: Why not train like a sprinter?

Benefits of sprinting

  • Sprint training helps recruit muscle fibres which are greater in resting diameter thus helping to produce thicker and leaner legs and not the slender legs you see in marathon runners
  • An aerobic training which is sprint training helps increase lean muscle thus helping to burn fat at rest and helping to get those six packs showing for summer.

For example: Sleeping burns about 1 calorie per minute. Driving in heavy traffic burns about 2 calories per minute. Walking slowly burns a little over 4 calories per minute. Jogging burns about 10 calories AND sprinting burns 50 calories per minute not that I am a big calorie counter but it does illustrate the effects sprinting can have on burning energy.

So not only does sprinting increase thigh strength, explosiveness and all round speed but also helps in  burning fat at rest which is most important as you are “Resting” (meaning not partaking in physical activity) most of the day.

  • Another added benefit of sprint training is the better secretion or production of hormones such as Growth hormone. This is an important hormone as it regulates the secretion of Testosterone which we all know helps with building muscles and will thus aid in your gym training routines!
  • GH serves just as an important role in “fat burning” as it helps control the regulation of fat burning hormones.

Let’s put it in perspective:

Research has suggested that after sprint training the body’s metabolism is raised for 2-24 hours. IF your body usually burns 2 calories a minute sitting and watching TV and after a sprint training routine you are burning 4 calories for the next 2-24hours, you burn 2 extra calories a minute for 2 hours. That’s 240 calories burnt doing nothing just sitting on the couch watching “two and a half men”. All you have to do to reap these benefits is incorporate sprint training into your routine!

Some sprinters have been known to have raised metabolisms for 24 hours after sprint training. Just imagine you burned one extra calorie a minute for 24 hours! That’s an extra 1440 calories burnt at rest!



Before starting sprint training it is important to have some sort of base fitness level . So if you haven’t run before it would be best to start slowly and build to sprinting fitness.

Before sprinting it is important to do a 10-15 warm up to get the muscles loose and warmed up as with sprinting there is a greater risk of injury due to the intensity of the exercise

1)      Start off on shorter sprints 40-50 meters at 70-75% intensity. Repeat 6-8 times

2)      After approximately 4-6 weeks move to a slightly longer distance 80-100 metre at the same intensity. Repeat 4-6 times

3)       A further 4-6 weeks of training and a drop in distance should occur. Namely 40-50 metres and increase the intensity to 85-100%. Repeat 4 times

Remember its not necessarily how long you can train in the gym but how effective and efficient you can make your workouts!


The benefits of sprinting cannot be ignored; the evidence is there you just have to watch the athletes on TV to see the proof. So next time you devising your ultimate body smashing, gun busting gym program, try adding sprint training to it. It could change the way you train forever.

Yours in health and fitness

Brendan Blackburn