What’s the best way to lose weight, cardio! Right?? But which type of cardio? Do you Jog, use the treadmill, use the stepper? And what is the effective timeframe for cardio? And how much time do you have to commit to cardio? MensHealth.com concluded; a 10-minute Sprint Interval Training will burn more fat and give you the same cardio gains as a 50-minute endurance workout. (1)
Sprint Interval Training (S.I.T.) is doing high-intensity exercise for a short period of time, followed by a shorter period of time of rest, then onto the next interval and repeat until the number of exercises is completed or the set time frame is reached.
S.I.T. can last for a total of between 7 and 20 minutes to complete all the intervals. Also, You can configure your S.I.T routine or follow videos. In addition to S.I.T., there are other types of Sprint training which we will review below. They are called Moderate-Intensity Interval Training (M.I.I.T), which uses more difficult exercises and a total timeframe of 20-30 minutes, and High-Intensity Interval Training (H.I.I.T), which uses more strenuous exercises with a total timeframe of 30-40 minutes. In short, all produce great fat-burning results and terrific cardio results.
What is a Sprint Interval Training Exactly?
The Sprint Interval Training includes 6 factors:
- The number of exercises,
- The total time spent doing each exercise,
- The intensity of doing each exercise,
- The time spent at rest after each exercise,
- A well-balanced combination of muscle groups to accomplish a total body workout, and
- S.I.T. per week. A Sprint is an exercise done at 100% exertion aimed to increase your heart rate; like fast jogging in place, jumping jacks, squats, mountain climbers, lunges, planks, etc.
The goal is to do each exercise at 100% push. Everyone reaches a peak during the 100% push where they start to slow down. That is why the total time doing each exercise is kept between 20 and 50 seconds. It sounds short but, remember; the goal is 100 % push.
If you push 1st exercise at 100% for 30 seconds, rest for 12 seconds, push the 2nd exercise at 100% for 30 seconds, rest for 12 seconds, push the 3rd exercise at 100% for 30 seconds and so on until the end of 7 minutes you will complete 10 exercises. You will be breathing heavily, and your muscles will be screaming a feel-good scream.
Let’s go over the 6 factors:
- The number of exercises is not the most important factor. It is just the total workout time divided by the total exercise time + rest time (7minute workout x 60 seconds = 420 seconds) / (30 seconds + 12 seconds) =10 exercises.
- Time doing each exercise is how many seconds can you do the exercise at 100% push.
- Intensity is 100% push and is the most important factor.
- Time spent at rest should be minimal, 5-15 seconds. Remember the goal is not to rest completely, just enough to get your breath and slow your heart rate a little. (2)
- The combination of selected exercises is an important factor. The goal is to work for as many muscle groups in the entire body as possible. A Health and Wellness magazine article recommends combining exercises that include multiple muscle groups like pushup and squats. Add explosive movements like tuck jumps and long jumps. And include exercises for cardio like burpees and mountain climbers. (3)
- The experts recommend a 7-minute S.I.T. 3 times a week. You absolutely will burn fat.
Is Sprint Interval Training Effective?
First, Cardio has long since been known to burn fat and increase heart health. Many fitness gurus have tout H.I.I.T., Crossfit, and Orangetheory as being the best alternatives to treadmills, running, bicycling, and steppers; because the workouts are approximately 30 minutes or less. CNet.com Health and Wellness says 20-minute sprint workouts are better than an hour at the gym. (4) So less time but getting the same or better results. However, further research now proves that Sprint Interval Training will results in a 39.59% higher reduction in body fat percentage than HIIT in 60.84% less time. (3)
Second, how many times have you said “I’m going to the gym before work”, or “I’m going for a run after work”? Either of which will take an hour out of your day. It sounds like a great idea at bedtime; but in the morning or when the weather is bad, it is so easy to change your mind.
How about bringing up a YouTube video or a phone app and let someone talk you through a warm-up and a 7-minute fat-burning, heart-healthy workout in less than 10 minutes? A warm-up, a workout, and a shower in less time than it would take to do your gym workout or finish your run. A Sprint Interval Training workout is a no-brainer! A 7-minute workout that burns fat…..Well, you got this!
Third, you can do S.I.T. anywhere, in your house, in a hotel room, or outside. Also, all you need is a rug or a mat, a stool or chair; if you want to do step-ups or tricep dips, and a wall if you want to do wall sits. How easy is that?
And Fourth, the cost is $0.00 for a workout? No membership fees. Download a free app from Johnson & Johnson on the App Store or search for S.I.T. or Sprint Interval Training on YouTube to watch a free video. (5)
As in all exercises, the form is very important. If you do an exercise with bad form, you will not get the expected results and you could injure yourself. I recommend watching a YouTube video just to make sure you’re are doing your planks, wall sits, squats, crunches, and other exercises correctly to experience the best overall results.
Sprint Interval Training Vs HIIT
H.I.I.T is recognized by Fitness experts to be better than an hour workout in a gym because; it burns more fat and provides cardio benefits equal to other cardio exercises. Also, further research proves that S.I.T burns 39.59% more fat in 60.84% less time. Basically, that means in 7 minutes you will burn more fat than spending 20-30 minutes doing H.I.I.T. Be happy knowing it only takes 7 minutes to get the results you want.
If you find you cannot physically do the High-Intensity Interval exercises or do the high intensity for 20 minutes; you don’t have to. You can do 7-minutes of exercises and if you mix up the exercises to alternate between different muscle groups; also, you won’t feel the stress to your upper body or lower body as much, which will make it seem the exercises are easier.
If you are overweight, have an injury, or have a disability; you can still do some of these exercises for 7 minutes. Also, just check with your doctor and show the doctor pictures of the exercises and; ask if you should change how you do the exercise or avoid an exercise completely.
In addition, S.I.T. participants spend 81.46% less time (20-50 seconds) doing each exercise than what is required doing the H.I.I.T.; which might be up to 2-4 minutes on each exercise.
Back to one of the important factors of S.I.T. is doing the exercises at 100% push. It is easier to get in 100% for 20-50 seconds than to maintain 100% for 2-4 minutes. Any time doing an exercise at less than 100% push will result in less fat burned. And that is why S.I.T. burns 39.59% for more fat than H.I.I.T.
Your body is constantly trying to maintain a “comfort zone”. When you kick in the 100% push you are taking your body out of its comfort zone and into the fat-burning zone. Then during rest, your body is quickly trying to race to its “comfort zone”; but it won’t get there with a rest time of less than 1 minute. Then you start your next exercise kicking in the 100% push and back to burning fat. This continual cycle is the reason for the success of S.I.T over H.I.I.T and M.I.I.T. (1)
Still, if you want to stick to the HIIT workouts, check the articles below:
Sprint Interval Training for Fat Loss
Here are 4 sample S.I.T workouts:
7-minute workout – Do each exercise for 50 seconds, then rest 10 seconds
- Squat Punch – Squat, come up and punch with right fist, squat, come up and punch with the left fist, repeat.
- Jumping Jacks
- Mountain Climber – on the floor, face down, arms extended, shoulders over hands, legs extended, bring one knee up near your chest, other leg extended, straighten out the bent leg, and draw other leg to the chest, repeat.
- Curtsy Lunges – standing lunge right leg to the side, cross left leg behind right leg, bend both legs down & up like a curtsy 10 times, stand up, lunge left leg to the side, cross right leg behind left leg, bend both legs down & up like a curtsy 10 times, repeat.
- Sprint in place as fast as you can.
- Tricep dips – sit on the floor, lean body back and support with both arms, bend knees, lift hips up off the floor, tap left knee with the right hand, lower hips to floor, lift hips up off the floor, tap right knee with the left hand, lower hips to floor, repeat.
- AB crunch – Lie on your back, arms behind the head, elbows out, flatten back at the waist to the floor, bend right leg to the chest, touch the right knee with the left elbow, straighten the leg, next bend left leg to the chest, touch left knee with right elbow, repeat.
8-minute Super Cardio workout – Do each exercise for 40 seconds, then 20-second rest
Do these four exercises and then repeat them a second time
- Clap Jacks – Do regular Jumping Jacks with legs except do not swing arms up overhead, instead of open arms to the side with arms level with shoulders, when legs come together clap hands in front of you.
- Skater Lunges – Stand legs together, lunge to the right side with the right leg and left arm crosses the body, stand legs together, lunge to the left side with left leg and right arms crosses the body, stand legs together, repeat.
- Pendulum Swing – Stand, arms in front with bent elbows out to side chest high, jump from side to side swinging legs out to the side like a pendulum.
- Walk Out – Stand, then bend forward at the waist with knees slightly bent, take arms to the floor in front of you and walk the arms forward until you are just about straight, walk arms back and stand up, repeat.
8-minute Workout – Do each exercise for 30 seconds, then 10-second rest
You will need a stool or chairs for one of these exercises
- Jumping Jacks
- Wall sits – stand with your back against the wall, feet hip-width apart, arms out in front, slide down the wall to a sitting position with knees at 90 degrees, hold for 30 seconds, slide up, repeat.
- Pushups – On the floor facedown, hands under your shoulders, have feet heels up and balance on toes, push your body up off the ground keeping your back, hips, and legs level, lower down, and repeat. Easier alternative: bend knees and keep on the ground.
- Toe Touches – Lie on your back with your legs up pointed toward the ceiling, crunch shoulders up, touch your toes, lower down and repeat. If you can’t touch your toes, touch as high as you can, if hamstrings are tight, bend your knees slightly.
- Step-Ups – Stand facing a sturdy chair or stool, step up on the chair with your left leg, bring your right foot up to stand with both feet on the chair, lower right leg, and then left leg. Step up on a chair with the right leg, bring your left foot up to stand with both feet on the chair, lower left leg first, and then the right leg, repeat.
- Squat and High Knee Hop – Squat down, come up & hop with the left foot and right arm up, squat down, come up & hop with the right foot and left arm up, repeat.
- Tricep dips – sit on the floor, lean body back and support with bent arms, bend knees, straighten arms and lift hips off the floor, tap left knee with the right hand, repeat tri-cep dip, and tap right knee with the left hand, repeat.
- Planks – Lie on the floor, face down, arms bent lay on forearms, heels facing up and balance on toes, push torso up and back, keep hips and legs up off floor and level, round back between shoulders, squeeze glutes, hold for 30 seconds.
- Sprint in place as fast as you can, lift knees as high as possible.
- Swimmers – Lie on the floor, face down, arms extended in front thumbs up, heels facing up and toes down, raise right arm & left leg as high as you can, hold for a count of 5, lower, raise left arm & right leg as high as you can, hold for a count of 5, repeat.
- Lunges – Stand with hands-on hips, step forward with left leg and lower till knee is 90 degrees, hold for a count of 3, stand, step forward with the right leg and lower till knee is 90 degrees, hold for a count of 3, stand and repeat.
- Ball Twists – Sit on the floor, knees bent a bit, lean shoulder back slightly; imagine holding a large exercise ball in front of you, chin up, twist the imaginary ball all the way to the right, then twist the imaginary ball all the way to the left, repeat.
7-minute workout – do each exercise for 50 seconds, then 10-second rest
- Side to Side Squats – Stand with feet together, step to the right and squat, step to center, step to the left and squat, step to the center, repeat.
- Sprint in place and fast as you can.
- Knee Slide Crunches – Lie on your back, bend knees, feet flat on the floor, flatten back, put hands on thighs, tuck your chin, slide hands up your thighs to your knees, slide down your thighs, repeat.
- Knee Kick Backs – Get on hands and knees, extend right leg straight back and point toes, move the leg up & down in flutter motion for 12 seconds, then switch to left leg and flutter for 12 seconds, then switch back to the right leg and repeat.
- Curtsy Lunges – stand, lunge right leg to the right, cross left leg behind right leg, bend both legs down & tap left toe, move left leg behind you & tap left toe, stand up, lunge left leg to the left, cross right leg behind left leg, bend both legs down & tap right toe, move right toe behind you & tap right toe, stand up and repeat.
- Pendulum Swing – Stand with arms across the chest with elbows out, jump from side to side, kick legs out to the side like a pendulum.
- Dead Bug – Lie on your back, arms up with wrists over shoulders, bring both legs up until over your hips, keep the legs straight, flatten you back at the waist to the floor, drop right leg & left arm toward floor, draw both back up toward the ceiling, then lower left leg & right arm to the floor, repeat. Always keep the non-working leg and arm pointing toward the ceiling.
There are more home exercises for weight loss, just check the articles below:
The great news is you have many exercise choices available. If you like working out at the gym 3 times a week, then that is what works for you. However, if you find you are not getting to your gym or just do not have 3 hours a week to spend at the gym; then check out the Sprint Interval Training workout programs.
Studies prove you can do a 7-minute Sprint Interval Training workout and realize better fat burning and higher cardio results. It is a great alternative to; attaining the body tone, strength, and energy that will make you look and feel great.
Finally, let us know in the comments if you’ve found this article helpful.
Thank you for reading.
Sharon Del Pietro