Sprint Training and It’s Main Benefits
A really good way to start and improve your physical conditioning is sprint training, it really is one of the better methods out there.
It is also one of the better methods because it also takes up less time than many other forms of cardio training.
The great thing about sprint training is the EPOC effect you receive after it or excess post-exercise oxygen consumption. This is basically where your body even after training will still continue to expend many hundreds of calories trying to get the body back to its natural state. So make sure you include some serious hill training to your workout to get the full benefits of EPOC.
Another good benefit of this is that your body will up regulate it’s abilities to produce enzymes that get to work at increasing the storage capacity of the muscle for energy substrates such as ATP.
The good side effect to all this is it will allow you to work out even harder and for longer next time without the fatigue kicking in to early. Also understand that although this is occurring you are still working on the aerobic side of things, so although very intense, you are still utilizing oxygen. If you weren’t you would only be able to last around 10 to 20 seconds no matter how well conditioned you have become.
Another great benefit you will get with your sprint training is it’s effect on phosphate metabolism. Phosphate creatine stores comprise a major component of the body fuel source for all muscular activity, so obviously anything you can do to increase this will be extremely beneficial.
Myokinase is an enzyme that is responsible for resynthesizing the energy from phosphate creatine, and with sprint training, it will increase its concentration within the muscle tissue by up to 20%.
The next adaptation that will occur after you’ve been doing sprint training for a period of time is that of glycolysis. This is the primary form of metabolism used during a 10 second all out sprint and contributes between 55 and 75% towards energy production during exercise.
Phosphofructokinase (PFK), an enzyme that catalyses the phosphorylation of the glycolytic intermediate fructose 6-phosphate), has also been shown to increase when sprint training is performed, along with the enzymes of lactate dehydrogenase and glycogen phosphorylase (other enzymes responsible for the glycolysis system).
Intramuscular Buffering Capacity
Finally, the last adaptation that’s seen with sprint training is the buffering capacity of the muscle. During glycoglysis, various byproducts are created such as lactic acid, and when these accumulate, it causes the extreme feelings of fatigue in the muscle tissues.
This then forces you to stop exercising as the fatigue sets in and often will be the end of your workout.
Overtime, sprint training will increase your ability to buffer these byproducts so that you can then workout for a longer period of time while maintaining that intensity.
So, next time you’re debating about whether to do a sprint training session or a moderate paced cardio session lasting for 40 minutes or so, opt for the sprint session.
The benefits you’ll receive are far more numerous and fat loss will be kicked up a notch as an added benefit. Keep in mind that for these type of benefits to occur, you want your sprints to last somewhere in the neighbourhood of 20 seconds to 40 seconds, with a work to rest ration of about 1:2. Repeat this process a total of 6 to 8 times and begin and end with a five minute warm-up and cool-down.
By James Davis