If you are like most bodybuilders you prefer to do the weightlifting and skip the
cardio or do as little cardio as needed to keep your body fat low. The “cardio
sucks” mentality runs deep in the bodybuilding community and I agree it does
suck. However, it is a necessary evil and it can take your physique to a new
level if you do it right.
When it comes to cardio you can do the long and boring steady-state cardio
for 45 minutes to an even an hour and you might lose some of that hard-
earned muscle in the process which no one wants.
What you should be doing is hitting the track or treadmill for some sprints. The
benefits of sprints are something you should not take lightly and are also
something that could take your physique even further than before. Let’s break
down some reasons why you should add sprints to your routine.
Sprints Burn Fat
This is a huge benefit of sprints, they get you ripped! When it comes to sprints
versus steady-state cardio there is no competition, sprints blow steady-state
cardio out of the water in terms of fat burning.
This is really emphasized by the 12 Weeks of Sprint Interval Training study by
Jenna B. Gillen et al. in 2015 where they found that just 10 minutes of interval
sprint training burns just as much fat 50 minutes of steady-state cardio.
While you may think that they did a lot of sprinting in that 10 minutes you
would be wrong. They actually only did 3 sprints of 20-second sprints. Each
sprint was followed by 2 minutes at an easy pace and they would then repeat
the sprinting and easy pace intervals three times. The 10 minutes also
included a warm up and cool down.
What this essentially means that doing just 3 20-second sprints in an interval
fashion burns as much fat as 50 minutes of jogging. Now just imagine how
much fat you can burn if you do 6 or even 10 sprints in an interval fashion.
This study shows just how powerful sprints cab be when it comes to fat loss.
This means you can burn a lot more fat with sprints than you can with steady-
steady state cardio in a lot less time, saving you more time for the weight
Sprints Preserve Muscle
Another great thing about sprints is the way you can preserve that muscle you
can lose when doing steady-state cardio. As many of you know long distance
cardio while it can burn fat it can also strip away that hard earned muscle.
Think about it have you ever seen any jacked long distance runners?
Probably not, many of them look like something a bodybuilder would use as a
The good news is you don’t have to worry about muscle loss with sprints. If
anything, they will cause an increase in muscle mass which we will discuss
Sprints Build Muscle
Not only do sprints burn fat like crazy and preserve muscle but they can actually build muscle particularly in the quads, hamstrings and glutes.
While sprinting is a full body exercise, the legs of course, do the brunt of the work.
Starting and building speed requires strong glute activation while sprinting at top speed works the quads and hamstrings.
Mixing in some sprints can be just what you have been needing to stimulate new growth in the legs and glutes, just look at a sprinters legs and you will know what I mean.
Now Get Out And Sprint
Now that you know the benefits of sprints it’s time to get out there and do it. If you want to take to the next level trying doing sprints uphill or with a weighted vest on.
Your physique will thank you and you will have a body that is made both for show and go.
About the author:
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