As a sprinter, I have been dismayed by the number of people that decide they want to get in shape and they automatically go for a jog. It has always bothered me because the body type people desire to have is much more like a sprinter than a distance runner. People will go for a long run and then lift weights when it makes more sense to sprint and lifts. Speed and agility training can help you lose weight, tone your body, and get workouts over with quicker.
People do what they see other people doing. You never have to go far to see someone going for a jog in your neighborhood or at the park. You rarely see people sprinting through unless you go to a track. Subconsciously this tells you that Jogging is an acceptable way to exercise but sprinting is not. By the end of this article, you will understand why sprinting is the way to go.
Speed and agility training can help you lose weight, tone your body, and get workouts over with quicker.
How Speed and Agility Training Almost Cost Me My Marriage
Before my wife and I got married and we were just dating I almost made her hate me for good. Early in our relationship, she let me know that she wanted to lose a bit of weight. I loved her body but she thought she could lose some lower body fat. I told her I could help her do that no problem. She would go do these boring jogs at the track in circles and then quit and wonder why she was not motivated. At that point, I had been running track for 15 years and I had seen this time and time again.
I told her that if she wanted my help she had to listen to me and give me a shot and that she probably would hate me. I was joking but she really did hate me during those workouts. They were short, fast, and intense but they produced results. My track coach used to have a saying that “fat does not fly” meaning that if you want to be a good sprinter, you can’t have a lot of access fat laying around.
When I looked at all the people I grew up sprinting with they were never fat. They always had lean muscle mass. Genetics can play a role of course, but my guess was that the training had more to do with it. No one was looking into this though because sprinting is not a go-to exercise.
My track coach used to have a saying that “fat does not fly” meaning that if you want to be a good sprinter, you can’t have a lot of access fat laying around.
I Proved Sprinting and Agility Work Was The Way to Go Over and Over
The reason sprinting makes you lose weight and get into shape is because of the amount of energy you expand. To take your body from standing still to running as fast as possible in a few steps requires an insane amount of energy. If she did not sprint she would be on the bike and doing exercises like bear crawls and burpees.
Do you know why people hate burpees? Because they involve your whole body and they are HARD. I saw my wife doing them one day and she was so mad at me but you know what it did not take the result long to show up. So much that her friends started asking me for workouts.
At this point, I'm a D1 college sprinter giving white girls sprint workouts to help them get into shape. Not at all where I thought my life was going but I was happy to see how this played out. I help lady after lady loses weight by exercising and full speed and effort, changing directions, and lifting heavier weights. There was no secret sauce here.
Do you know why people hate burpees? Because they involve your whole body and they are HARD.
Speed and Agility is The Forgotten Health Habit
Just because you can’t sprint fast like an Olympic athlete does not mean you can't sprint. It just means that you're slower at it. So many people have not run full speed in so long that they are not sure if their bodies even can do it. Here is the sad part. It’s a great skill to have! You never know when you are going to need to run for a bus or even more importantly get away from a dangerous situation.
You can go for an hour run that is boring and you just kinda drag along and still produce no results. A big reason is because you are not putting in enough effort. When you sprint though you have to involve more muscles. You don’t even need to do this at 100% to start to reap the benefits. Anything above 70% will produce results.
When you sprint though you have to involve more muscles. You don’t even need to do this at 100% to start to reap the benefits. Anything above 70% will produce results.
Speed and Agility Workouts
There are a few different sections that I break the workouts into. What I call cardio is what I would do for a warm-up as a track athlete. You stride the straights and jog the corner. A stride is like a 50-60% sprint in this case. So you are running but not trying super hard. Just focusing on your form and getting the body warm. Instead of jogging a mile, you can do this and get excellent results.
Short speed is anything to about 30m. These workouts are all about acceleration. The goal is to take longer rest periods but do more reps. Standard may be doing 3 sets of 3 x 20m sprints. That means you do 3 x20m with 2 mins rest in between each. Then you take 3-5 mins rest between sets and do it again.
Longer speed runs would be anything from 40m- 150m. The goal here is to take the same rest but take a bit off of the gas. I would not get into these until you have been working out consistently for at least a month or two. These types of workouts make you flat our dead tired.
6 x 150 (3 mins rest)
2 x 40,50,60 (2/3 mins rest)
90,120,150 (5 mins rest)
Short speed is anything to about 30m. These workouts are all about acceleration. The goal is to take longer rest periods but do more reps.
The killers are the exercises you can do anywhere. You can do them at work if you are brave enough. They can be added to the end of the workout and they really push you mentally. They suck, there is no way getting around it but when you get them done you get to live the rest of your day like a champion.
Time High Knees
Speed and Agility training can be your secret weapon for your health. You don’t need to just go for slow-ass jogs until your board out of your mind. You can come to get an intense workout in and be done and get in the weight room to compliment what you just did for training. You don’t need to make this more complicated than it needs to be. We are picking up the intensity in everything we do and giving more effort.