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The Best Way To Drop Fat and Build Muscle At The Same Time

Do you ever watch those fitness video blogs of super hot fit chicks who claim, “I swear I never do cardio”?  

Yet here you are, burning hours on the treadmill or elliptical wondering what you are doing wrong because you still feel like you’re carrying a few (dozen) Christmas cookies in the form of extra weight.

While weight training is a great way to build muscles that allow your body to eat the fat it intakes in a more efficient way, there are other things you should do alongside it if you are looking to shred fat. 

Few of us enjoy running except maybe when the cops are after us or when there are donuts in the breakroom at work.  However, running in the form of sprints is tough to beat when it comes to dropping weight and building strong legs and toning your abs.  

Why You Should Sprint

Sprinting is an anaerobic exercise, therefore, it helps in build muscles in the same way that weight training does. However, while weight training you focus on one body part at a time. Sprinting, on the other hand, uses dozens of muscles at the same time, making it one of the most complete muscle training exercises available.

In a recent study in the International Journal of Sports Nutrition, Exercise and Metabolism, the researchers found that 2-minute sprint interval sessions done 3 times a week for 6 weeks elicited the same fat burning effects as a session of 30 minutes of endurance exercise.

If fat burning is the goal of your training, it is more efficient to move faster in less time to get the same effect of longer cardio sessions.

What Sprinting Does For Your Body

Sprinting does more than give you a good leg burn and shred fat.  It works your core and abs as well.  Each step engages your core muscles and works to tone muscles and lower body fat percentage.  Have you ever seen a world-class sprinter without a 6 pack?  Rarely are they doing every day ab workouts.

Sprinting does two great things for fat and abs.  First, high-intensity sprint work will increase the rate of your metabolism and make it last longer.  Meaning calories will continue burning long after a sprint session is completed.  Sprinting burns off the layer of fat that hides the muscles we love while simultaneously building up and toning the muscles underneath.  It’s the perfect scenario.

Two Kinds of Sprints: Flat and Hill

If you are wanting to incorporate building strong legs and drop weight, you will get the full package if you do hill sprints.  You can do this on a treadmill set at an incline, or you can find a hill at a park and do the same thing there.  

Proper Warm Up and Protection

Since sprinting is a very taxing activity on your body, it is essential to warm up and protect your muscles and joints in the best way possible.  

You should warm up and stretch your entire body (not just legs) for at least 5 minutes before attempting sprints.  A light jog followed by stretches is a good way to warm up.

Consider wearing calf compression sleeves during your sprint and after to circulate better blood flow into your legs.  This will lower the risk of shin splints and help with muscle recovery time afterward when worn for an hour after your workout.  

If we have convinced you to start adding sprints to your weekly workout routine, then here is a great guide to get you started.

One Month of Sprints - How to Get Started:

Remember, the best sprints are done on an incline to help build the legs and incorporate more muscles.  You can do these sprints outside or in a gym.  Don’t forget to wear calf compression sleeves during your warm-up, during the exercise, and while you cool down.  It’s even better to wear calf sleeves for an extended period of time after your finish your sprint sets.

Week 1 & 2 - (3 workouts a week)

Perform a light jog to warm up.

Increase treadmill speed to about 80% of your maximum effort for 30 seconds

Decrease speed to jog for 1 minute.

Repeat 6 times

Week 3 & 4 (3 workouts a week)

Perform a light jog to warm up

Increase treadmill speed to about 80%-100% of your maximum effort for 40 seconds

Decrease speed to jog for 1 minute.

Repeat 6 times

If you've read our blog and decided to add sprints to your weekly workout, let us know how it went.  We'd love to hear your story, hear any tips you might have and share them with our Survival and Cross community.  Feel free to comment below on this blog and share with a friend!

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