Get Shredded for Summer | Sprints | Erin Stern
One of my favorite ways to lean down is to add sprints into my training routine. Sprints don’t have to be done at the track; you can use any piece of equipment or exercise that allows you to go “all out”. To begin, warm up for about 10 minutes by jogging, biking, and dynamic stretching. You want to be loose and ready for maximum effort. The sprint workout itself should be short and intense. Aim for each sprint to be between 6-20 seconds. After each sprint, check your heart rate. It should be at about 80% of your max (220 – age). I measure my heart rate by placing two fingers on my neck at the carotid artery, counting the number of heartbeats during a 6-second time frame, and then multiplying by 6. If you prefer, you can use a heart rate monitor. Either system works well – I just prefer simplicity! Rest long enough to allow your heart rate to get back down to about 60% of your max.
As a general rule, the faster the sprint or the greater the effort, the less volume you will do. Today, I’m running deadmill sprints. This is done when the treadmill is off and you move the belt with your own power and speed. I try to keep my body at a 45-degree angle, as this helps to mimic the acceleration phase of an actual sprint on the track. If you don’t have access to a treadmill, you can do the same intervals on the bike, elliptical, stairs, in the pool, or with a prowler. This workout is 8 sets of 10 seconds, with a 5-second “run in”. The run in gives you some time to get your knees up and to get the belt moving. Check out the corresponding video for more details and for a demonstration.
Regardless of the equipment you choose, sprints have a cumulative effect on the body. You’ll find that the first couple of sprints are easy to recover from, while the last 2-3 sets are brutal! It’s important to not rush your recovery between sets, as you won’t be able to give the following sprints your full effort. Once you start the workout, it should only last about 20 minutes, recovery time included! If you’re new to sprinting, try to do a longer interval time and do fewer sprints. For example, you might start on the bike with 4 sets of 20 seconds. You can incorporate a speed day and a sprint endurance day into your routine. Speed days are short intervals, while sprint endurance is more volume and longer intervals.
One to two days of sprints/HIIT is all you need. Really push it through the last couple of sprints. I love PEAK ATP, as it gives me the energy to go all out through my entire workout! It has really helped my training! Thanks for reading – until next time, train hard, y’all!
- Erin Stern, 2x Ms. Figure Olympia