I have less time to exercise this time of the year, and i've read several articles which say that 15 minutes of sprinting 3 times a week are great for burning fat, gaining muscle etc.
Did anyone try it? What are your thoughts about it? And what other sort of exercise should i do besides that in order to tone faster? (i don't have time to go to the gym)
I think rather than sprinting specifically, you are referring to HIIT training - which stands for High Intensity Interval Training. This is a commonly used technique to stimulate fat loss and to reduce the time spent on cardio exercise. (Body builders are big fans of this technique!)
Personally, I schedule a minimum of 3 HIIT sessions per week into my routine. I use the rowing machine, the treadmill, and the elliptical machine to vary my routine.
However, outside of the gym you can perform sprints, tabatas, walk / jog combos, and / or run / jog combos.
Tabatas alternate 20 secs of intense activity with a rest period of 10 secs, repeated for an 8 minute workout. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-intensity_i nterval_training
If you have an at home gym, you can also try Javorek's Dumbbell / Barbell Complex Workouts. You can find examples on YouTube and via Google.
I hope this helps & good luck! :)
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my only feeling about that is you have to mix it up because at first you will notice a difference but your body quickly adapts and your metabolism will slow down
I am a person who has done a lot of cardio in my time and sometimes see results and sometimes it actually goes another way
Good question. Sprinting is definitely the best form of fat-burning and HIIT training exercise. Personally and from experience, if you are pressed for time and you do other forms of exercises at the gym such as weight-lifing, 15 minutes of sprinting is too much and less efficient. Practically, 15 minutes of sprinting is impossible to do. Ok let me explain what I mean. Here's how it breaks down:
The word "sprint" means to run as fast as you physically can which puts a lot of strains and pressure on your body in its many different systems (muscular, vascular, respiration and so on). So if you do real sprinting, it is highly unlikely you can do more than 1 minute of it. That is why sprinting is a type of HIIT training (High Intensity Interval Training). Now the key question is: what does your 15 minute of "sprinting" consist of? Surely it is not all sprinting. That is why I say cutting it down from 15 minutes may actually do you good. Let me explain.
Depending on your fitness level, you should sprint for up to 1 minute (I recommend 30-40 seconds), then rest for the same amount of time (1 minute or 30-40 seconds) then repeat for about 5-6 times. After you finish this (tortuous) cycle, cool down for 2 minutes and you're done for the session (also remember to warm up for 1 or 2 minutes before sprinting). Just note by the word sprint here I mean real sprint, the one that you cannot physically go any faster). If you cannot sprint for this amount of time, DON't WORRY. What is important is to stick to real sprinting. You WILL build up on the timing. So if you can only do 10 or 20 seconds, it's fine, but just stick to real sprinting. You will do far better in timing in no time. Also, if you have any medical conditions (or are not a regular runner) take it slow and talk to your doctor if you feel you need to.
I myself do 14MpH on a 1.5% incline, which is hard, of course. But that is what it's meant to be! The benefits of sprinting are numerous! For example:
Sprinting is far more efficient than normal running because you burn a lot of calories in less time. Because sprinting is an anaerobic excersice, your body doesn't only "burn calories", it literally burns fat which otherwise would just sit there in your body and not be touched. Remember, your body instinctly doesn't want to touch fat (for survival in famine, etc) and burns sugar instead. This is the default process which always happens unless you reverse it (anaerobic exercising).
Another good news is, despite the above almost magical benefit of sprinting, by sprinting, you supercharge your metabolism for 24 hours. That means burning more calories even as you sleep.
So, in a nutshell, yes, switch to sprinting for the very many benefits it has and you'll spend less time in the gym doing it! If you like, by decreasing the timing to 10 minutes, you can do it more often (let's say 4 or more days a week) in which case you'd still end up spending less time at the gym in total!
Well, this message became a bit large, but I hope it was useful to you. If you have any questions/doubts, please do not hesitate to let me know. :-)
So, happy sprinting and Happy Holidays!
Awesome post, farkshadow! Only thing I disagree with is the warm-up. 1-2 minutes is definitely not enough. I'm sure a few people get away with that, but a lot don't. Especially in the winter. I've even strained my right quad from doing sprints without a proper warm-up.
I think 5 minutes would be the absolute minimum. Depending on your fitness level, that's either a very fast walk, or a slow run to warm up the legs before sprinting.
Correct, I do agree more warm-up will be better. The recommendation was in case you're pressed for time and I should clarify by warm-up I meant 2 minutes of running, not streching (which should be done anyway). Again, it depends on your fitness level and your body's experience but 2 minutes of running to build up for a session of sprinting does it for me.
If you feel uncomfortable with the warm-up time, increase it to your needs (everybody's body is different, that is why it's called personal training). Just remember, the beginning of everything (especially starting something like sprinting) is bound to be hard and does need adjustment, so start slow(er) and easy(ier) but make sure to toughen it up as you progress.
I should mention, I have problems with both of my knees due to old Ju-Jitsu injuries. So in my case, I have to run fast (or else the pain kicks in!) and use running shoes. So believe me, if I can do it, anyone can. In case of joint problems, you can take Glucosamine which helps the joints. Adjustment and making it personal, that's the key. But the principles I mentioned earlier stay the same. Stay motivated, the results will appear sooner than you think...
Hope this helps :)
Thank you so much for the answers, they were really useful! I also do karate, so especially in winter, my knees are pretty sore...but i'm gonna try your method, i;m sure it'll work out.
I have another question..i've read about being "skinny fat" and i think that's what i am at the moment, and i would like to gain some muscle...is it true that you have to eat more than you burn in order to do that? I've heard people say so, but it sounds weird..
Sprinting is also a great way to injure yourself!
If you are generally out of shape, nothing will put your joints and muscles in the hurtlocker faster than all out sprinting.
I do sprints, but I have a few years of consistent running expereince and am not overweight. Even then, I warm up for at least 15 minutes before going into the red. For 12 repeats of 30/30s (30 sec sprint and 30 sec rest), I typically run over 5 miles during the workout.
Yes, that is true.
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Now the question you want to ask yourself is what is your priority at the moment? The single most important fact to keep in mind (and I cannot stress this enough!) is your overall physical shape forms based on:
Diet>50% Strength training>20-30% Sleep>10-20% Cardio~10%
If this is the first time you hear about this subject it might sound unorthodox to you but take my word for it (and always do you your own research too). So what you eat is the single most important factor in "adjusting" your figure. Remember that the word "diet" here does NOT mean a fad diet, it is true to the actual meaning of the word: your eating habit, regardless of it being high or low in fat, carbs etc. So what should you eat? Well, calorie is just a measuring unit for energy. So not all calories are equal! For example not all fats are equal. X amount of calories of olive oil is a world different from the same amount in sunflower oil! If you want more info on this, I can write you more, just let me know.
Now back to the subject, your diet should consist of: 40% protein, 40% carbs and 20% fat.
Again, we have good and bad carbs, good and bad fat...
That formula is to maintain your shape (and building mass). If you want to do cutting, you should cut on the carbs. There is a kind of diet called low-carb diet which extremely restricts the intake of carbs. In such a diet (wait for the good news....) the intake of fat is not restricted at all! So basically you can eat all the fat you want but given you are following the carbs intake instructions, the fat will not be absorbed by the body. Again, if you want more info on this let me know as I'm straying from the subject here.
Hope I could answer your question... If you need more info let me know. I'm happy to end here as its painstakingly difficult to type such a long message on my HTC phone...