We love sprinting in all kinds of forms. And we’ve probably shared our love of sprinting at some point with you.
Maybe it was on the rower doing 250 meter repeats. Or maybe on the treadmill sprinting for twenty seconds, resting ten seconds, and then doing it all over again. Or maybe you have even been lucky enough to push that crazy contraption we affectionately call the “Prowler” through the parking lot.
And at some point, you’ve probably wondered something like, “How is this going to help me lean out for summer?”
Perhaps defying conventional wisdom, short sprint intervals are actually more effective than continuous aerobic exercise for influencing body composition and fat loss.
A new study shows that sprint intervals will help you lose more fat while training a fraction of the time it would take to lose a comparable amount from continuous endurance exercise.
The study, published in the journal of Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, compared the effects of a high intensity sprint interval program with an endurance running program on two different groups over six weeks. The sprint program consisted of 30-second sprint intervals and the endurance program consisted of running 30-60 minutes at approximately 65 percent of maximal effort.
The results were dramatic. Fat mass decreased by 12.4% among the sprint group compared to only 5.8% amongst the endurance group. What’s more, the sprint interval group decreased their fat mass by training 1/18th of the time as the endurance group–6.75 hours compared to 13.5 hours over the six week program.
In other words, the sprint group lost more fat mass in a fraction of the time.
The results are likely due to the fact that doing sprint intervals increases post-exercise oxygen consumption which elevates your metabolic rate and energy use after the workouts.
So, the moral of the story? Sprint.
Ask your FIT coach about how you could maximize your training time to get lean and save time by doing sprint intervals on the rower, on the bike, on the road, or, yes, even on the Prowler.