Sprinting or Jogging?


If you’ve been doing long, slow cardio, such as jogging, cycling, or swimming, for awhile without losing much weight or becoming much leaner even though you keep increasing your workouts, there is a simple explanation: too much cardio actually makes you fat. Excessive cardio increases stress hormones and down regulates the hormones, such as growth hormone and testosterone, that preserve muscle. In additon, elevated stress hormones make you insulin resistant, which leads to overeating as well as to eating foods that contribute to insulin resistance, such as sugars and starches.

Despite their appearance, many joggers and cyclists are not really lean. They may be slender because they have little muscle mass, but their body fat percentages are often surprisingly high.. In contrast, sprinters are lean and muscular with low body fat percentages. They have high human growth hormone (HGH) and testosterone levels–good for both females and males. Think back to the last track meet you saw. Who would you rather look like: the sprinters or the distance runners?

3 Good Benefits of Sprinting

1) Sprinting will reduce body fat and strengthen you far more than long, slow cardio because sprinting requires maximal recruitment of muscle. After about 8 seconds, sprinting sends acid signals to the muscles, which activates the fast twitch fibers. Fast-twitch fibers are thicker than slow twitch fibers, and it is fast twitch fibers that grow in size when activated by the right training.

2) Sprinting strengthens your cardiovascular system with brief bursts of high intensity followed by long periods of recovery. You strengthen your skeletal muscles by doing heavy, low-repetition sets with long recoveries. You should strengthen your heart the same way. Sprinting doesn’t cause the continuous stress on the heart that long, slow cardio does.

3) Sprint workouts are short and a lot more fun than long, boring cardio workouts.


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How to Build Explosive Power

These exercises are often done in sets-3 sets of 8

Never attempt any exercise without first consulting a physician to determine if the exercises or program you are attempting are right for you. In addition, contact weight lifting professionals to determine if you are executing lifts correctly as it can be highly dangerous not to.

Here are a few ways for athletes or would be athletes to gain explosive power while training.

This one is simple. Put a barbell across your shoulders as if you were going to execute a standard squat. The difference is that you will have one foot forward and the other back. Bend your knees slightly and then quickly switch foot positions with a small jump. Do this back and forth rather forcefully.

Uphill sprints
Remember this back in high school (for all of you former high school wrestlers and football players)? Uphill sprints. Simple and it works to build explosive strength.

Put on a weight vest and it works even better, or worse, depending on your outlook.

Load Release Jumps
Get a sturdy bench or something similar that can hold your weight because you will be jumping on it. It’s probably appropriate to once again start with no weight until you are used to the exercise. However, when you have dumbbell weight, here’s what you do.

Hold the weight in front of you and quickly drop into a squat (the weight will be between your legs). Just prior to jumping up onto the bench, release the weight. Some use a weight vest while performing this exercise.

Dumbell Jerk
Start with a shoulder width stance and point the toes straight ahead. While doing this, hold dumbbells in each hand up to your shoulders with your elbows pointing straight ahead. One end of each dumbbell will actually rest on each shoulder.

From there, one should drop straight down a few inches and then explosively jump and extend up. Then-and speed is of the essence, here-one should drop straight down into a lunge position with one leg forward and the other back. The weight should be caught with one’s arms fully extended in the bottom position. Stand up with the arms extended until you are upright and be careful not to take elongated steps (these should be small). The arms should be fully extended and behind the ears in the catch position.

Standing Triple Jump
With a shoulder width stance, start with a horizontal jump. Then, landing on one leg, explode up again, this time landing on the other leg. After exploding into a jump once more, practitioners will land on both legs softly and repeat.

Depth Jumps
Depth jumps involve stepping off boxes-heights can vary- and upon landing on the floor with both legs at the same time, practitioners must explode into the air. The use of arm swings adds power to this exercise.

Barbell Quarter Jump Squats

Barbell Jump squats involve performing a quarter squat. Then the practitioner explodes up during the concentric phase of the lift to the point that his/ her hips and knees propel them into the air. In other words, they jump. Upon landing the lifter should stop downward motion as soon as possible and then jump back into the air.

At first, lifters should probably use no weight at all until they get used to the movement. During this stage, they may utilize an arm swing. Then low weight may be added.

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5 Benefits of Sprint Training

Bolt Sprint Finish

If you are looking to improve your physical conditioning, sprint training is one of the best cardiovascular and muscle building exercises. Many individuals prefer sprint training because it takes less time than traditional cardio exercises that have you running on a treadmill for thirty to sixty minutes, still consumes a large amount of calories, and utilizes energy burst training that has shown to provide better cardiovascular health.

The 5 benefits of sprint training include:

1. Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption
2. Metabolic Adaptations
3. Phosphate Metabolism
4. Glycolysis
5. Intramuscluar Buffering Capacity

Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC)
One of the biggest benefits you will get from sprinting is the EPOC effects it creates. This is where the body will continue to burn calories after the finishing the fitness workout routine to bring the body back to its former state of rest.

EPOC is a measurably increased rate of oxygen intake following strenuous activity. The extra oxygen is used in the processes that restore the body to a resting state and adapt it to the exercise just performed. These include: hormone balancing, replenishment of fuel stores, cellular repair, and anabolism. It also is accompanied by an elevated consumption of fuel, and some studies found that included an elevated consumption of fat.

Metabolic Adaptations
When you perform a number of sprint training workouts, the body increases its ability to produce enzymes that are going to work at increasing the storage capacity of the muscle for energy substrates such as adenosine triphosphate (ATP). ATP is a multifunctional nucleotide (molecules which comprise the structural units of RNA and DNA), and is most important in cell biology as a coenzyme that is the “molecular unit of currency” of intracellular energy transfer. In this role, ATP transports chemical energy within cells for metabolism.

Increase muscle energy storage capacity then has the corresponding effect of enabling harder and longer workouts before fatigue sets in. This is particularly noticeable in intense aerobic workouts that require large oxygen utilization.

Phosphate Metabolism
The next benefit you will get with sprint training is the effect of phosphate metabolism. Phosphate creating stores comprise a major component of the body’s fuel source for muscular activity. Increasing this storage capacity will improve your body’s ability to breakdown fat for better energy consumption and encourages weight loss.

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.

The next adaptation that will occur after you have been doing sprint training for a period of time is that of glycolysis. This is the primary form of metabolism used during a ten second all out wind sprint and contributes between 55 and 75% towards energy production during exercise.

Phosphofructokinase (PFK), and enzyme that catalyses of phosphorylation of the glycolytic intermediate fructose phosphate, has also been show to increase during sprint training along with lactate dehydrogenase and glycogen phosphorylase. PFK is is important in regulating the process of breaking down simple sugar glucose within the body that produces more energy.

Intramusclar Buffering Capacity
Finally, the last adaptation that is 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 the next time you are debating about whether to do a sprint training session or a moderate paced cardiovascular session lasting for 40 minutes, opt for the sprint session. The benefits you will receive are far more numerous and fat loss will be kicked up a notch as an added benefit.

Keep in mind that for these types of benefits to occur, you want your sprints to last somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 to 40 seconds, followed by a 40 to 90 second rest period. Repeat this process a total of six to eight times and begin and end with a five minute dynamic warm-up and cool-down.

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