Personal Trainer in Kuala Lumpur (KL), Cyberjaya, Putrajaya, PJ, KLCC, TTDI, Damansara

10 September 2013

Sprinting vs. Jogging by Martin Rooney

When I address groups of people, I ask them if they think ingesting 1000 calories of junk food has the same effect on the body as ingesting 1000 calories of fruits and vegetables. Without fail, every attendee answers the same way – they believe that a calorie isn't just a calorie. So in terms of energy intake, most people agree that due to the way the human body was designed and has evolved, there are particular foods that can act as keys and unlock specific pathways to either promote health (muscle gain, fat loss, etc.), or allow detrimental effects (diabetes, cancer, heart disease) when those proper pathways aren't accessed.

Well if we can all agree on energy intake, I'm confused why people rarely discuss caloric output in the same manner? If there's an optimal input mechanism of calories to achieve optimal health, what about an optimal output mechanism?

If muscle growth, fat loss, and health are what you're after, I argue that sprinting may be the key that no one's using – because those thousand calories you're burning when you jog aren't nearly the same as when you burn them off at a sprint. Not even close.

That's because when you jog, you're not using your body the way it's designed to be used. That's what sprinting is for. I mean, why have an Achilles tendon if we're supposed to run on our heels? Why have huge glutes if we're supposed to simply jog monotonously and see how long we can last?

Is the reason we have big traps because we're supposed to act as perpetual motion machines for the better part of five hours at a time? And why the hell are our quads so big if we're just supposed to pound them with muscle-eating eccentrics from jogging? It makes no sense to me, and it shouldn't make any to you, either.

Sprinting: The Real Measure Of Fitness

Distance jogging makes your lifts go down. Your muscle mass decreases and you have to accept it. On the other hand, sprinting mandates that you get your numbers higher to complement it.

To lower your marathon time, you need to get out and log miles, cut weight (including muscle), and get ready 
for pain. To lower your time in the 100-meter sprint you need to get strong, pack on muscle, lose fat, and get in some explosive, technical workouts.

So if you want to run faster, you have to do a few things:

You have to increase your relative body strength, so you have to get stronger for the amount you weigh. You can accomplish this by adding muscle or losing fat, or both.
You have to improve your sprint technique. This will be done through technical work, which will improve coordination. Here you may recognize specific areas in which to improve strength while developing muscular endurance specific to sprinting.

So, to review, sprint training involves improvements in speed, strength, diet, endurance, coordination, and flexibility. Sounds a whole lot like fitness to me. To top it off, sprinting will also help any marathon runner. Too bad the opposite isn't true.

But before you fans of distance running fire off your emails defending your chosen sport, I'm not saying that elite distance athletes aren't impressive in terms of time -- I'm saying they're usually not impressive in terms of physique.

A guy that can run an under 5-minute mile pace for 26 miles is impressive in ability, no doubt, but he's probably not concerned with having bigger arms or legs, or is even reading T-Nation for that matter.

My articles are for guys concerned about building mass, getting strong, and being able to clean clocks. And if I have to scrap, I'll choose to battle the jogger over the sprinter every time. -- MR


Source: T-Nation Facebook Post