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The Best Exercise You (probably) Aren’t Doing

15 Jun

Sprinting. If you were expecting some old secret Russian training technique than only 6 people in the world have ever heard of, sorry to disappoint. Sprinting is an amazing tool that few people think to include in their training. Don’t get scared away by the word “sprint” because you don’t run a 4.5 40-yd dash. Sprinting simply means moving from point A to point B as fast as possible.

Why sprinting? Good question. If you read ‘Fat Loss For Freaks’ then you’ll be familiar with the term oxygen debt. (If not, go check it out.) Sprinting is a tremendous way to create oxygen debt in the body and burn through calories all day long.

You'll never find a sprinter who isn't shredded and athletic.

Sprinting elicits a release of growth hormone in the body. We’ve all heard that term a lot, but what is it really? Growth hormone is released by the anterior pituitary gland and stimulates all of the following responses: tissue uptake of amino acids, synthesis of new protein, long bone growth, glucose synthesis in the liver, and mobilization of fatty acids from adipose (fat) tissue.

Sprinting can generate forces up to 8-10x your body weight. Think about that for a second. This would be similar to a 200lb person squatting 2,000 pounds – on one leg. Simply put, there is no exercise in the gym that can mimic actual sprinting in terms of power and force production.

Lastly, sprinting will provide a huge boost to your cardiovascular fitness. Whether you’re a competitive athlete or not, it sucks to be out of shape. And no, being strong as hell is not an excuse to be a fat slob. Unless you are a professional powerlifter, maximal strength should not be the ONLY important factor in your training.

If powerlifting isn't your goal, fat and unathletic should be out of the question.

You aren’t going to feel like Usain Bolt on your first sprint workout. Understand going in that if you haven’t done any type of sprint training for a while it’s going to be tough, painful, and probably miserable. Suck it up. Start out small with some 50-yard sprints and work your way up to longer distances in time. Sprint up hills if you have any nearby. Also, utilize sled drags and prowler sprints if you are (un)lucky enough to have the equipment available to you. If you’ve never experienced the prowler flu first hand, I won’t bother even trying to describe it.

Train hard, train smart.

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