My "Sprint. Kill. Eat." mantra is getting pretty popular. Some people have suggested I get t-shirts made. I will look into that and keep everyone posted.
If you have read any of my previous posts, you already know that I am about to rip jogging a new one. This might be one of the all-time fitness go-to's. When most people want to "get in shape" their initial thoughts are to buy a fancy new pair of 10 million dollar running shoes, shoot out the door, and start externally rotating his or herself to death down the sidewalk. Before I send jogging back into the bowels of fitness where it can be digested into a much more useful form (yes, that was a poop joke), I will start with a real life scenario:
Imagine that you are sitting there, minding your own business, reading my snide/sarcastic veiws on how fitness is making you a less efficient human, when all of a sudden you realized you left your front door open. No big deal. Maybe the weather is nice wherever you are. Maybe you did it on purpose. Maybe you live in a barn and the hinges on your stall door rusted off. You continue reading. Then, this guy comes flying through the door:
Yep. That guy is in your living room now and he is pissed off and hungry. Actually, he was so hungry that he ate your neighbors already. Now, he has tasted human flesh and it has put him into a man-craving frenzy that can only be satisfied by your face meat. Your reaction to this situation will put you into one of three catergories of human being:
1. Let's call this one the Jogger. Jogger is not too worried about the killing machine standing in his house. The Jogger is fit. The Jogger jogs everyday and talks to all his/her jogger friends about all the places they have jogged. The Jogger looks at the bear, laughs, and says, "That bear easily weighs 600lbs, there is no way it can catch me because I am in shape!" Jogger then stands up, yells "Fitness!!!", and takes two brisk steps away from the bear to begin his jog to safety. The bear then almost immediately catches Jogger. Jogger is then brutaly murdered by the 600lb serial killer is such a way that if I were to attempt to describe, it would probably get me kicked off the internet.
2. Now it is the Sprinters turn. Sprinter doesnt waste any time at all. As soon as Sprinters, now terrified, brain recognizes one of natures perfect weapons of destruction wants to take Sprinter on a human meat picnic with no picnic basket, Sprinter heads towards the back door. No need to waste time unlocking or opening the door. Sprinter is generating enough forward momentum to lower a shoulder explode through the door like a heat seeking missle. Sprinter is just fast enough to evade the bear... or at least fast enough to get in front of the first jogger they see so that the bear eats them instead.
3. The third person that could turn up, and that will be discussed in great detail later on, is called the Alpha. The Alpha recognizes the danger but calmy stands and walks around the bear. The Alpha keeps direct eye contact with the bear the entire time. Once he reaches the front door, the Alpha closes and locks it to ensure the bear cannot escape. After he has beaten the bear to death, he cooks and eats all 600lbs of him.
So, assuming you don't want to die, lets talk about why sprinting as hard as you can will make you a more efficient human. A lot of people think they can't handle the impact from a maximal sprint. Well, thats stupid. The ground reaction forces of jogging and sprinting are almost exactly the same. The difference between these two actions are the amount of time you can sustain the movements. A normal healthy person could probably lightly jog, I don't know, forever. A maximal sprint could only last for about 10-15 seconds AT MOST. Any longer than that and it's not sprinting anymore. Ever go for a jog and get that "swole" feeling in your lower back? That is not a good thing. The propelling force, if you can even call it that, during a sprint is gravity. The harder you fall down and catch yourself, the faster you will run. When most people jog, they jog straight up and down. Knees lock on ground contact, the foot strikes from heel to toe, and at some point the knee, ankle, and hip are all being crushed by the weight of your body. You fall so far forward when you sprint that is is impossible to now land on your heel and you push off of just the balls of your feet, which is the way humans were meant to run. So, because of the angle at which your body must maintain in order to sprint and the short amount of time you spend actually doing the movement, there is significantly less impact force on the joints. Imagine a caveman. If it hurt too much for him to sprint, guess what happened to him? He either couldn't catch, kill, and eat his dinner or he was too slow to not become dinner to any of the numerous badass killers mother nature has perfected since the dawn of time.
Which one looks like they would stand a chance when Mr. Smiley the frenzied grizzly bear comes storming through the front door?
Now, with all of that stuff out of the way, this guy asks:
Well, how do I use sprinting to get ripped abs like my heroes on The Jersey Shore, bro-Namath?
It is true that jogging is a superior method of utilizing fat for fueling exercise. There are several problems though:
1- It's easy. Your body adapts quickly to low intensity work like this. When your body adapts, progress stops. Once this happens you need to keep increasing duration and frequency to elicit training responses. Everyone knows these people. Those people that have to run 50 billion miles a week and eat like a borderline anorexic to stay at that lean, sunken, can-count-every-rib-because-they-stick-an-inch-out-from-your-body frame.
2- You burn calories... only while you are actually jogging. Going off of what I said in number one, you will adapt. You will eventually have to do more to achieve the same results. Which is fine assuming you don't work or have a personal/family life that you would have to neglect. Eat less. Jog all day. Sleep? Just doesn't sound right.
3- Fat people can do it. If you want to lose weight, get "ripped", fit into that old dress, or whatever your goals may be, watch a fat person go about their daily life... then do the total opposite of EVERYTHING they do.
Here is how sprinting kicks the crap out of jogging when it comes to losing body fat:
1- It's not easy. So it's good for you. Stop being lazy. It's hard to adapt to an exercise when you are heaving your brains out trying to swallow any available molecule of oxygen to keep yourself from passing out because you just finished 5 minutes of interval sprinting.
2- You burn calories... up to 36 hours AFTER you finish the workout. When you preform highly anaerobic, no oxygen available, work with short rests you create an oxygen deficit in your muscles. It takes a long time to pay back that deficit. 36 hours from the conclusion of the exercise, your breathing remains elevated and the increased oxygen exchange causes a big increase in your resting metabolic rate (RMR). Calories are only burned in your body in three different ways. Exercise makes up 10-15% of total calories burned. The Thermic Effect of Food digesting makes up another 5-10%. The remaining 75 to 85% is RMR. A higher RMR means more calories burned while sitting on the couch, in class, or in your cubicle.
3- Fat people can't do it at first... because it will probably kill them. Get on a good diet, walk with a weighted sled 3 days a week, walk a mile the other 4 days a week, and once you can accomplish this without being so exhausted you want to kill yourself, start sprinting.
How do you get the most out of sprinting? Using the interval method. What the hell does that mean? Well, settle down, jerk, I'm going to tell you.
10-15 seconds of all out sprinting
20-30 seconds of rest
Do that until you pass out. Aim for 6-10 total sprints. Do this at least twice a week, ideally between heavy weight training sessions, which also creates the oxygen deficit effect. When you get bored, do it up a hill, use a weighted sled, instead of 10-15 seconds try for certain distances like 50 to 100 yards with the same rest intervals, get creative and vary the movements anyway you want. Just make sure the sprint is an all out effort and you are adhering to the rest intervals.
Now you have the knowledge. Don't let the bear eat your face.
Sprint. Kill. Eat.