(This blog was originally published on December 15, 2014 at LianPrice.com.)
Do we really have to do cardio?
That is a loaded question and the answer is, it’s different for each person. What are your goals? What do you want to look like? What kind of exercise do you enjoy doing most? Also, what kind of time do you have to devote to exercise?
If you are like most people, the answer is not very much. I personally like to sprinkle in a variety of exercises each week, but if this is not an option for you and we could only pick one, my answer would be HANDS DOWN sprint work. It is your #1 exercise that will yield the fat-burning, muscle-sparing results most workout enthusiasts are looking for.
I used to be skeptical about this. I come from a long-distance lineage shall we say, and it was really hard for me to wrap my brain around this fast-and-furious style cardio workout. I mean seriously, how 15–20 min possibly be enough time to burn fat?
The answer is your EPOC, or Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption. During a slow and steady 30-60 minute cardio session, you WILL burn some fat and calories, (how much entirely depends on where you currently are metabolically) but then once you stop moving, the burning slows down significantly.
However, after a fast-and-furious sprint sesh, the EPOC will cause your fatigued fast-twitch muscle fibers to literally spend the next 48-72 burning fat and calories to replenish and repair.
Pretty cool right? I could go on and on about the other benefits of sprint work, but I will save this for another time. This past weekend I went out and made two quick videos for you, illustrating two of my favorite ways to get my “sprinting” in. The youtube links are below. I hope this helps get the ideas rolling as to how you could fit sprint work into your fitness routine!