Sprints for Fat Loss & Lean Muscle – Your Ultimate Guide

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If you’re looking for an effective and efficient way to achieve maximum fat loss, look no further than sprints!


Yes, sprints — the fast-paced running drill that offers aerobic and anaerobic exercise in one workout.


Think about it this way. When you watch the Olympic Athletics and follow the 100-meter and 200-meter races, do you see a fat runner and out of shape? No, you don’t. They train for high-intensity sprint bursts to accelerate and run faster AND remain lean!




All your results for your fat-loss goals rely on a pair of training shoes and some outdoor space – Yep, you read that right! It’s free and depends on you to put in the time and effort!


In this blog post, we’ll discuss what makes sprinting a great form of cardio exercise and provide a comprehensive guide on using it safely and effectively to shed those unwanted pounds.


So let’s learn how to adopt this training style to lose body fat fast!


How Are Sprint Workouts Good For Fat Loss?

Sprints are a form of high-intensity interval training that force the body to use slow twitch and fast twitch muscles!


Sprints require energy (fuel) from glycogen and fat stores, and the more you push yourself, the greater demand on the body!


This means that you will use muscle glycogen AND fat stores as you perform the sprinting sessions.


But it doesn’t stop there! There is also something called EPOC (Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen)


EPOC results from oxygen consumption and metabolism elevation once you stop the sprint HIIT training. But the effect of EPOC means that your metabolism remains higher for up to 24 hours! You heard that right! 24 hours! 


So you must keep your diet and nutrition in check to take advantage of the higher metabolic rate and let the body optimise fat burn and, therefore, fat loss!


The Benefits of Sprints for Fat Loss

Fat loss isn’t the only benefit of sprint training. Oh no!


The beauty of this intensity training is that it impacts both the biological and metabolic pathways of the body resulting in numerous benefits, including :


  1. Sprints boost your metabolism. During a sprint, your body has to work hard to provide the energy needed for intense exercise. This can increase your metabolic rate, which is the rate at which your body burns calories. This means you can continue to burn calories at a higher rate even after your workout.

  2. Sprints burn fat. When you exercise at a high intensity, your body has to turn to its fat stores for fuel. This means that sprinting can help to burn fat directly, resulting in weight loss and a reduction in body fat.

  3. Sprints improve overall fitness. In addition to burning fat, sprints can also improve your general fitness levels. This can include cardiovascular fitness, muscular endurance, and power improvements.

  4. Sprints are time-efficient. One of the most significant benefits of sprints is that they are a very time-efficient way to exercise. A typical sprint workout can be completed in 15-20 minutes, making it an excellent option for busy individuals.

  5. Sprints are versatile. Sprints can be performed almost anywhere, making them a versatile option for fat loss. This can include sprinting on a track, field, or treadmill.


Overall, the benefits of sprints are numerous. By incorporating sprints into your regular workout routine, you can boost your metabolism, burn fat, improve your fitness levels, and do it all in a time-efficient manner.



How do sprints compare to other forms of exercise?

Sprints differ from other forms of exercise in a few key ways.


High Intensity: Sprints are typically performed at a higher intensity than other forms of exercise. This means that they can be more challenging, both mentally and physically, but also that they can provide more benefits in a shorter amount of time.


Anytime, Anywhere: Sprints can be performed almost anywhere, making them a versatile option for individuals who want to incorporate high-intensity exercise into their routines. This can include sprinting on a track, field, or treadmill.


No Equipment: Sprints can be performed on any flat surface, and as long as you have the correct training footwear; you can perform this virtually anywhere


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Getting Started with Sprints

If your goal is to lose weight, lose fat or enhance muscle building, you need to plan your sprinting sessions correctly.


Your first few workouts must enable the body to get used to sprint interval training. You do this by ensuring your all-out effort and active rest periods are adjusted to your current physical fitness level.


We do this to avoid injuries and allow the body to adjust to the training stimulus.


We recommend that you prepare for your interval training sprinting with the following in mind


  • Wear the correct footwear and clothes

  • Find a suitable park that has gravel or very short grass

  • Ensure that you can run straight for a distance of at least 100 metres

  • Ensure the location is well-lit and safe for you to sprint

  • Ensure you are hydrated before, during and after the session

    • 60 seconds ON and 120 Seconds Off for a total of 6 sprint intervals

    • 30 seconds ON and 60 seconds off for a total of 10 sprint intervals

      Plan your sessions so that they are no more than 20 minutes in total with the following protocol

  • Listen to your body as you progress through the interval training and adjust accordingly.
  • Be prepared to change the interval lengths based on your physical fitness levels.

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The Sprint Workout For Fat Loss

Follow the three principles below to construct your interval sprint training and also optimise your chances of increased fat loss


  • The basic sprinting pattern: 30 seconds of sprinting followed by 30-60 seconds of rest


  • Increasing the intensity and duration of the sprints as you become more comfortable


  • As you become more familiar and experienced with the sprints, you can reduce the rest periods and increase the intervals. But always limit the total duration to 20 minutes and certainly only perform them three times per week.


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Rest and Recovery

When adding interval sprinting to your workouts, you must refrain from allowing yourself to be overtrained. Interval training is taxing to the human body and will affect your recoverability and central nervous system.


To ensure maximum benefit from sprint training, it’s recommended that you take the following into account


  • Your body recovers when it is rested. Sprint training is an intense form of fat-loss cardio, so please ensure you limit the sessions to at most 3 per week. If you can perform more than a review of your current training protocol, it could indicate that you may need to work harder.


  • Ensure that your overall training, diet and nutrition are set up to adopt and support interval sprint training sessions. Doing too much is worse than doing too little, where sprinting is concerned.


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More anaerobic, Less aerobic: Sprinting forces the body’s muscles to work more intensely, promoting muscle growth! The intervals enable the body to use glycogen and fats for fuel, so the body adapts as needed.


Hit the fast twitch muscles: Sprinting will force the legs to work intensely, requiring fast twitch muscles to work hard! The harder they work, the more energy they need (stored fat and glycogen).


Burn stored fat: Sprinting will force the body to use stored body fat to power the workouts. Through EPOC, it will continue to burn fat for up to 24 hours after! Make the most of this period and reap the benefits of increased fat loss!


Build Stamina: Sprints train the cardiovascular system and enable the body to perform for longer and harder. The oxygen requirements during the rest and recovery periods are high, and the training prepares the body to adapt and supply this.


Mental Strength: Any high-intensity load on the body requires you to have grit and strength to forge and adapt to perform the workout. The mental toughness and strength needed to complete interval training shouldn’t be underestimated.


Time Saver: A 20-minute high-intensity interval sprint session will be quicker than 60 minutes on a treadmill performing LISS (low-intensity steady state).


Lowers Blood Sugar and Decreases Insulin Resistance: Sprint training has been proven to reduce blood sugar and insulin resistance. These benefits to the human body include increased muscle growth, reduced stress hormones, better recoverability, less inflammation and increased metabolic function.


Endomorphin Release: Sprints have been proven to release endorphins that play a critical role in the body in reducing anxiety and stress-related issues.


Recommended Read: >>> How Many Km Should I Run A Day To Lose Weight: An Essential Guide <<<

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Frequently Asked Questions on Sprints For Fat Loss

Can you lose belly fat by sprinting?

Yes. Sprinting and its fat loss effects will cause the body to use its stored body fat, which will be supplied from wherever it can access fat stores. If you naturally store more fat in the belly, then expect that to reduce in size.

How much should I sprint to lose fat?

Sprint at least three times per week and no more than 20 minutes with intervals. Following a 30-second ON and 60-second OFF interval protocol for a total 0f ten intervals will see a significant reduction in body fat.

Does sprinting burn the most fat?

Sprinting has been shown to burn calories and store body fat and so performing it regularly but in a structured style will increase overall fat burn.

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Are sprints better than weight training?

Both are excellent for training the body and increasing fat loss, but sprints are easier to perform and take up little time.

Should I add any other bodyweight exercises to my sprint sessions?

As you progress and get fitter and leaner, you may add bodyweight exercises such as burpees, press-ups and chin-ups. These serve to add variation to the workouts.

Will sprints build muscle tissue?

Sprints will build muscle tissue, especially in the lower half of your body, as it works all the leg muscles.

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