If you want to get fit faster, adding high-intensity efforts, such as 30-seconds sprint training, will give you impressive results. For anyone who doesn't have time for long, steady endurance exercise, but wants the same or better cardiovascular benefits, consider sprint workouts. Although many exercise guidelines recommend up to sixty minutes of moderate exercise three times a week, most people fail to get that much exercise for many reasons, including lack of time and lack of results.
If you're short on time, but want to improve your heart health and overall fitness, sprint workouts might be a perfect solution. Evidence shows that short, high intensity sprint workouts improve aerobic capacity and endurance in about half the time of traditional endurance exercise.
Research on Sprint Workouts
Sprint training is becoming a popular way to train for elite as well as recreational exercisers because it works. Recent studies of sprint training with cyclists showed greater cardiovascular results in less time. In fact, one study found that just six sessions of four to seven all-out thirty-second sprints (with four minutes of recovery between sprints) could be as effective at improving cardiovascular fitness as an hour of daily moderate-level aerobic exercise.
The subjects in one study showed an astonishing 100 percent increase in endurance capacity (from 26 minutes to 51 minutes) versus the control group who showed no change. In another study by the same researchers, subjects improved their cycling time trial performance by nearly 10 percent in the two weeks.
Similar to Interval Training
These short bouts of intense exercise (not unlike interval training) improved muscle health and performance comparable to several weeks of traditional endurance training. The muscles of the trained group also showed a significant increase in citrate synthesis (citrate is an enzyme that is a marker of the tissue's ability to utilize oxygen). Other findings have shown that short, high intensity exercise burns more calories than the same amount of moderate-level cardio exercise.