Speed Gains Part II - Three Sprint Workouts

Speed Gains Part II - Three Sprint Workouts

June 19, 2013 0 Comments

Unlock and harness the power of sprint interval training to help build a lean, strong physique. The positive benefits of this type of workout on losing fat, building muscle and improving athletic capacity are clear and well-documented.

To re-cap, short duration, maximum intensity interval workouts:

  • provide an efficient workout in minimal time, with maximum results
  • increase the post-workout fat oxidation (read: fat burning) period longer than steady-state running
  • preserve muscle by creating an anabolic hormone response and by using fat for fuel during working sessions
  • positively affect the aerobic systems in addition to the anaerobic system, thereby helping increase endurance while not actually having to do endurance work
  • does not induce some of the potentially harmful effects of steady-state running, such as prolonged cortisol elevation and joint damage
  • promote better focus and determination from the mental energy required to push through discomfort

Here are a few interval workouts commonly done by sprinters to help build speed, explosive power, and strength. These workouts are best done on a track, and after some brief dynamic stretching.

Workout 1: Pure Speedwork

This workout will help build fast-twitch muscle fibres and increase speed. The purpose is to do each set at about 80% of full capacity, and begin each set EXPLOSIVELY.

3 x 30m
3 x 40m
2 x 50m
1 x 60 m

Walk for 30 seconds between intervals of the same distance and walk 60 seconds before moving to a set of increased distance

** For an added level of difficulty, begin each set lying face-down and jump up into a full sprint.

Workout 2: Jumping Around

3 x 50m sprint – Do each interval at 75% of full capacity, resting for 60 seconds between sets

2 x 50m skipping – Keeping knees high but aiming for quick foot turnover, skip from one foot to the other
2 x 50m bounding – Similar to a skip, gracefully launch from one leg to the next, aiming for long, light strides while maintaining balance. The quality of each jump is key, rather than speed.
2 x 50m double leg hops – Squatting down, explode upwards and forwards using both feet. Upon landing, immediately squat down into another hop. Swing arms upward to aid your movement.

3 x 50m – sprint – These final sprints should be done at full capacity. Walk enough to fully recover between sets

Workout 3: Power-building and Conditioning

600m sprint – 90 second walk
400m sprint – 90 second walk
200m sprint – 90 second walk
100m sprint – finished!

A decreasing order of distanced used in sprint-work has been shown to produce a greater increase in growth hormone, blood lactate and testosterone response meaning these efforts can lead to better fat loss while helping build muscle.

Lastly, a few tips to help produce a top-notch sprint session:

- Walk during rest periods rather than sitting or standing. Active recovery periods have been shown to remove lactic acid (a substance that causes the burning sensation often felt during sprinting) most effectively from muscle. Although you may want to sit during a rest period, walking will better prepare you for your next interval by flushing the lactic acid built up from your previous sprint.

- Maintain focus. Begin each interval with renewed focus and determination. Each sprint attempt should be made with full awareness and concentrated effort. This will provide for a deeper, more demanding workout while also help develop a more profound mind/ body connection as you will the body to push through discomfort.

- Don’t underestimate the effect of the sprint. A mere thirty seconds of running may not sound like much, leading many inexperienced runners to overestimate their abilities. Be honest with yourself and your body, beginning with shorter intervals if needed. Maintaing the quality (technique and velocity) of the sprint workout is the key to achieving optimal results.

- When combining sprinting with heavy strength training, particularly lower-body work; place the heavy resistance training workout in the morning (ie. Squats 6 x 4) to help charge the nervous system, and then perform sprint training in the late afternoon.


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