Whether you’re taking up running to lose weight or are already a runner who wants to shed a few pounds, running is an effective tool in your weight loss efforts.
The reason is straightforward; pounding the pavement burns a lot of calories. The more miles, the more the calories.
If you are looking to take your running for fat loss and optimum fitness up a notch, here are four ways to help you make the most of every running session.
They are proven to produce fat loss miracles and can be the exact thing you need to get the body of your dreams.
Long-running sessions have their benefits, but to up fat loss, sprinting is the way to go.
A form of high-intensity interval training, sprinting (or interval running), can help you burn three more times calories than opting for a steady-state running pace, research shows.
It also boosts metabolism and will help you develop a killer lower body strength and speed.
Here’s how to proceed.
Start the session with a proper warm-up that involves five minutes of slow jogging, followed by dynamic exercises such as inchworms, knee circles, squats, lateral lunges, and walking lunges.
Begin your first sprint at 60 percent of your top speed for no more than 30 seconds. Take a minute to recover, and perform your next sprints 80 percent of your max effort and higher.
Perform eight to ten sprints, then finish off the workout with a decent cool-down. Jog slowly for five minutes, and stretch your whole lower body. It shouldn’t take you more than half an hour to complete the whole session.
2. Hill Sprints
To take your sprints up a notch, hit the hills.
Hill sprints, also known as hill repetitions, are the most powerful form of sprints that there is.
They help you sculpt a killer core and lower body strength.
Also, hill sprints can help you ward off leg injury because of the position of your body and the shorter stride.
Look around your neighborhood and find a hill with a steep slope that is at least 50 yards long. The longer, the better.
As usual, begin your session with a warm-up, then sprint up the hill at 70 percent of your max effort.
Walk down for recovery and do no more than five sprints at about 80 percent of your maximum effort.
Finish the session with a slow five-minute jog on a flat surface, followed by a 15-minute static stretch for all of your major muscle groups—especially the calves, hamstrings, and the gluts.
3. Weighted Sprints
Adding weighted vests to your sprint workouts makes your workout more challenging, thereby increasing energy expenditure and increasing performance. You’ll feel much lighter on your feet once you remove the vest.
Strap on a weighted vest—weighing no more than 10 pounds for starters—and perform your interval sprints on a track. Don’t go full throttle on your first sessions.
Therefore, do no more than five sprints during your first session.
Get your body familiar with the new workload, the, aim for heavier vests and more sprints,
And Keep pushing your body as hard as you can.
4. Tabata Runs
Made famous by a 1996 experiment by Dr. Izumi Tabata, the Tabata method is scientific interval training methodology proven to boost perforamnce and burn calories.
The session consists of twenty seconds of maximum burst (max effort/max reps), followed by ten seconds of recovery.
You could do Tabata sprints by running as fast as possible for 20 seconds at full speed and resting for 10. But you can also up the ante by adding in some bodyweight exercises to make the workout more challenging.
Performing Tabata sprints with bodyweight exercises is perhaps the most rewarding—and physically taxing—way you to burn mad calories and get into the best shape of your life.
Here is a simple Tabata protocol to try out.
Round 1: Sprint as fast as possible for 20 seconds. Rest for 10 seconds.
Round 2: Perform as many push-ups as you can in 20 seconds. Rest for 10 seconds.
Round 3: Sprint for another 20 seconds at max speed. Rest for 10 seconds.
Round 4: Perform as many squats as you can in 20 seconds. Rest for 10 seconds.
Round 5: Sprint as fast as possible for 20 seconds. Rest for 10 seconds.
Rest for two minutes and repeat the whole circuit twice.