Scratch the elliptical and start sprinting for fat loss

By: Rich McLoughlin – Contributing Writer

You can get a better workout that offers greater benefits in less time than the workout you might be doing right now.
From my observations at many, it appears girls will spend most of their time on the treadmill, bike or the elliptical, while guys can be found mainly doing resistance exercises and lifting weights. You might think I am stereotyping, but I know you all see it too. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing bad with the aforementioned activities, but if you are someone who is looking to get more out of your workout in less time, maybe I can lead you in the right direction.

The science behind the workout
“Metabolism” is a word most students have heard and may know relates to fitness. Simply, metabolism refers to your body’s process of converting food into fuel, which allows the muscles to work.

The main component in this process is adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is a chemical that leads the fueling of muscular contractions. Your body can produce ATP immediately for high-intensity exercise or use oxygen to produce ATP for lower-intensity exercise that continues for a longer period of time.

Pretend you’re 10 years old again and waiting for your bus. You notice the bus skipped you, like it usually did for me, and now you have to sprint to catch up to it. By sprinting, you create the immediate need for energy and use the ATP stored away for immediate activity. The bus doesn’t stop and continues to drive. You slow to a jog and then eventually begin walking again once you realize you’ll never catch it. The energy for this low-intensity exercise is produce from the long-term energy pathway that you receive from breathing in oxygen (respiration).

Less jogging, more sprinting
Jogging, elliptical riding, or biking for long periods of time may make you feel good, but it’s not the best for fat loss. When it comes to running and fat loss, you need to sprint. It’s almost too simple. Sprinting requires no equipment and some hard work.

For the ladies: try sprinting at the end your normal workouts. Sprint three to five times for 20 seconds with at least 60 seconds for rest.

For the men: sprint after your sets of bench press, cleans, or any other resistance training exercise. See if you can do nine total sprints for at least 20 seconds with at least 60 seconds of rest during your entire workout.
This is an effective way to lose weight without sacrificing muscle.

Using short workouts effectively
You should not use lack of time as an excuse for missing workouts. You can get a very beneficial workout in under 30 minutes.

The main focus needs to be on your rest periods. Stay focused and keep your rest short after a particular exercise. One of my favorite methods to get a quick workout in is known as the “Tabata” method, which consists of four exercises, performed for 20 seconds, with a 10 second rest after each exercise. I’ll do those four workouts twice in four minutes, rest two minutes, then repeat. There are many other ways of getting in a quick workout, but the main point is high-intensity exercise with short rest equals huge benefits.

If you feel like you’re putting in a lot of time at the gym and not seeing any results, try using these tips to turn things around. If you’re bored with your current workout routine, add in some sprints and high-intensity workouts to give yourself some new motivation.

Also, if you have any questions whatsoever regarding health and fitness, you can contact me at mcloughlinr2@udayton.edu