Sprint interval training (SIT) is one of the most effective ways to transform your body in the least amount of time. While high intensity interval training (HIIT) has really cemented itself as one of the most efficient and fun workouts out there, sprint interval training is becoming more and more popular. Sprint interval training workouts require you to exercise less than HIIT workouts and they boast better results when it comes to fat loss and metabolism. If you haven’t incorporated SIT workouts into your fitness routine, check out the benefits of this type of training and how you can get started with it.
What Are Sprint Interval Training Workouts?
Sprint interval training, or SIT is a sub-type of high intensity interval training. HIIT workouts involve repeated bouts of work interspersed with periods of recovery. They often consist of high intensity movements for 2 to 4 minutes, followed by a recovery period at a lower intensity for 1 to 3 minutes.
SIT workouts combine short bursts (10 to 30 seconds) of maximal effort sprints, balanced by long rest periods (3 to 4 minutes). Sprinting is a form of anaerobic exercise where your body requires more oxygen than your lungs can provide, so it can only be maintained over very short periods.
During HIIT, you’re working yourself almost to your max during your work intervals, but with SIT, for those 10 to 30 seconds, you’re working out at your highest intensity possible. This is incredibly demanding on your body, but also gives you incredible benefits. It allows you to put in maximal effort in minimal time for the best results.
SIT should be an addition to your overall fitness routine. Even if you’re at a higher fitness level, when you’re starting out with SIT, try implementing 2 SIT workouts per week and work up from there. As your body adjusts to these types of workouts, add one session to the week or increase the work interval or number of intervals – making one change at a time. You can work out the day after a SIT workout, just stick to lower intensity cardio or strength training to allow your body to recover.
What Are the Benefits of Sprint Interval Training Workouts?
- Improves athletic performance
- Boosts aerobic and anaerobic fitness
- Burns calories and fat during and after your workout
- Allows for maximal effort in minimal amount of time
- Strengthens your core
- Boosts your metabolism
- Lowers blood pressure and improves heart health
- Improves speed and endurance capacity
- Builds strength and stamina
5 Sprint Interval Training Workouts for Women
The most common sprint interval training workout is running. Running sprints tones your legs, glutes and core, and builds muscle overall. It improves your heart function and blood circulation and also boosts your metabolism.
After a 15-minute warm up, run for 30 seconds at your full max effort, either on a treadmill or outside. Take 3 minutes active recovery (walking) and repeat the 30-seconds on/3-minutes off pattern 5 to 6 more times. Finish with a 10 minute cool down. Quick tip: during your warm up, add a few 20-second bursts at the end to prepare for the workout.
Cycling or bike sprints can yield amazing health and fitness benefits. They improve muscle mass, muscle power and maximal oxygen consumption. If you don’t have a stationary bike at home, you can try one at the gym. If you have a road bike but are new to sprint cycling, start with a stationary bike until you get more experience with sprinting. In terms of the sprint workout, follow the same pattern as is laid out above for running.
3. Hill Sprints
Using a treadmill, set the incline to 3.5 to 4.5%. After a warm up, sprint on an incline for 20 seconds, followed by 2 minutes of walking at 0% incline. Repeat this pattern 10 times. The goal is to maintain an even effort on your sprints and use the walk as your recovery. Hill sprints will help improve your running form, lengthen your leg muscles and challenge your lungs. It will get your heart pumping hard and burn calories fast.
Rowing is an amazing full body workout that’s great for your cardiovascular system too. It engages almost all of the muscles in your body and reduces the risk of injury to weight-bearing joints like your hips, ankles and knees. Using a rowing machine, do a 15-minute warm up, then row for 30 seconds at full-out effort. Take 3 minutes of active recovery, then repeat the pattern 8 to 10 more times.
5. Jump Rope
If you feel like shaking up your cardio routine, jump rope exercises are excellent. You can do them just about anywhere and all you need is one piece of equipment. Jump rope is full-body strengthening, especially targeting your legs, but also working your core, biceps and shoulders. It increases agility, improves coordination and enhances balance.
For jump rope sprints, jump as fast as you can for 20 to 30 seconds, followed by an active recovery for 2 to 3 minutes. Repeat 7 or 8 times. The key with jump rope sprints is making yourself as compact as possible and barely jumping off your feet off the ground – this will help you go as fast as you can.
If you’re looking to lose weight and get in shape, sprint interval training is one of the best things you can add to your workout routine. Try one of these workouts the next time you need a serious boost
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