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Transform Your Body
August 30, 2015
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This issue focuses on sprint training as a way to transform your body from both a functional and aesthetic (appearance) point of view. Sprint Ninja offers face to face coaching and online sprint training programs, personally designed for YOU.

All athletes and individuals capable of high level sprinting speed have one thing in common, they are all lean and muscular.

What is Sprinting?

The term sprinting is a simple one. However the majority of the population is not entirely sure exactly what it really is. Sprinting is NOT just fast running. I hear of people doing a sprint workout on a standard treadmill in a gym environment. The gym treadmill goes up to 20kph. A max effort sprint is far different to this. Those so-called sprints on the treadmill can be considered high intensity intervals, but they are not sprints. Not for the majority of people anyway.

Sprinting is an absolute maximum effort. During a sprint you are moving with as much force and velocity as you can possibly muster. The legs apply maximum force into the ground and they turn over from one stride to the next as rapidly as possible. The arms swing with as much force and velocity as they are capable of. Sprinting utilises an extreme amount of energy, force and velocity. It is not just a faster form of standard running. To grasp what sprinting is you need to understand how literal the use of the word “maximal” really is.

Why Sprinters Are Lean and Muscular

Just about all sprinters are lean and muscular. This goes for track sprinters as well as athletes that sprint as part of their overall training. But why are they built that way? Sprinting is often seen as being the same as running, just at a faster pace. Running itself is relatively poor for enhancing physical appearance. Strength training is the gold standard of body recomposition. Sprinting is often underestimated in its ability to create a lean, strong, powerful and muscular physique.

So we have established that sprinting is a great way to induce aesthetic (appearance) changes. When combined with all of the other secondary training methods surrounding speed development, sprinting is one of the most effective ways to transform your physique. But why?

1 – Sprinting is extremely intense. It involves maximal energy output over a short space of time. During a sprint session the body is being pushed to the absolute upper limit. The result is massive energy expenditure during the session, increased energy expenditure in the 24-48 hours following the sprint session and metabolic/hormonal adaptations that ensure the body burns stored energy more readily.

2 – Maximal force and maximal velocity is applied. When you sprint at maximum pace you are putting hundreds of muscles to work, both upper and lower body. Those muscles are contracting with maximal force and maximal velocity. As a result these muscles are receiving a stimulus to adapt, similar to the way strength training induces adaptations of muscle size and strength.

3 – Sprinting is an anabolic activity. We know that a max squat or max deadlift is anabolic. Doing a max squat signals the body to release hormones such as testosterone and growth hormone. The end result being greater muscle size. Standard running has no such effect. Sprinting on the other hand stimulates anabolic hormones and muscle growth due to the sheer force of muscular contraction and the massive stimulation of the anaerobic energy systems.

How to Transform Your Body With Sprinting

Sprinting is a high intensity activity. High volume and high frequency is not required in order to produce the desired result. Sprint sessions are relatively time efficient. 20-40 minute sessions are ideal for producing body composition results.

1 – Learn correct sprint technique. It is advised to learn how to sprint properly and apply the most effective mechanics. This sets you up for later down the line and lowers injury risk.

2 – Utilise short sprint distances with maximal force and explosive power. These can be anything from 10m starts up to 25m sprints.

3 – Utilise long sprint distances with sustained maximal or near maximal pace. These are sprints that are greater than 25m and go up to 400m.

4 – Incorporate 2-4 sprint sessions per week. Sessions can be anywhere from 20-40 minutes long. The emphasis is on quality instead of quantity.

5 – Sprint, don’t run. You can’t use a treadmill for these, they need to be outdoors. I can’t emphasise the term max speed enough. Sprinting is explosive and requires absolute maximum effort.

Weekly Training Program Example

Sprinting is a primal and minimalist training method. It is not complex at the basic foundational level. The following is just a sample and only provides a single week’s worth of sessions. Athletes that require more specific programming for sprint performance will need more than just this sample program.

The program is based on three training sessions per week…

DAY 1 – 10m sprint starts x 25

DAY 2 – 25m sprints x 5 from a static start, 25m sprints with a rolling start x 5. A rolling start involves a moderate paced run up to the start line before pushing at maximal speed for 25m.

DAY 3 – 100m sprint x 2, 200m sprint x 2, 400m sprints x 1. Online and face to face sprint coaching - Click here. Unleash your physical potential,

Chris Lyons Click here to send us an email.

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