Sprint for fitness
Saw an interesting segment recently on Australia's A Current Affair, stating that a good 7 minutes of sprint drills is sufficient to burn enough calories for cardio, fitness and strength. Of course this won't build muscle mass, such as a bodybuilder, but still, in this time poor lifestyle, 7 minutes didn't sound like much. And only 7 minutes to get fit? Even better. So I thought I'd try 7 minutes of sprints a go once a week. Now the 7 minutes can be slightly misleading. In the segment it was advised to sprint flat out for around 30 seconds a time, again it didn't sound or seem like much. On my first attempt I put in a good 100m sprint, took about 15 seconds flat out (I know it sounds slow when compared to Usain Bolt, but I am almost 46 now! :). I actually did 5 sets of these, sprint 100m , walk back 50m, then slow jog the last 50m, then go again. So all up at around 15 seconds for each sprint, that was really only 1min 15 seconds of sprints. And I was feeling it too. Then I thought I'd stretch it out, 5 sets of 200m! These took longer, around 30 seconds (on average, bearing in mind the first would be quicker than the last), again, run 200m, walk back 100m, then slow jog the last 100m. These were killers, especially sets 3, 4, and 5. So all up the 5 sets took about 2 minutes 30 seconds for the actual sprints. So add it up, that's only 3 minutes 45 seconds so far! Just over half way, and I'm feeling it. So I thought let me end with 2 sets of 400m. Now you can't really run 400m flat out, you sort of push between half pace to three quarter pace but try and keep it up to the end of the 400m, because the last 100m you want to stop but you just try and keep going. These 2 sets took well over a minute each, by this time I was dead on my feet. So all up the sprints themselves took me about 6 minutes, but taking into account catching my breath and walking between drills, the session took around 30 minutes to complete. I can say that once a week I definitely felt the pain, felt the heart beat faster than ever and sweat pour from every pore, but felt brilliant after them. And my FitBit suggested I burnt close to 500 calories only doing around 3km in total. So I would definitely recommend fitting sprint training into your routine for cardio, strength and conditioning. You will burn fat, you will tone, you will feel pain, you will feel great. Who needs the gym?