How Sprint Training can Improve your Physical Conditioning

Adaptations to Sprint Training

Looking to improve your physical conditioning?? Sprint Training is one of the best ways to do so. Many individuals prefer sprint training because it requires less time than the more traditional cardio workouts that have you working for thirty to sixty minutes at a time. Also, you will observe more benefits when you do an intense form of sprint training workout.

EPOC (Excess Postexercise Oxygen Consumption)

Sprint training creates an EPOC effect where in the body needs oxygen at a much higher rater then before beginning the sprint training. The EPOC effect creates a situation where the body will expend a great number of calories to return the body to the former state before the workout. Due to the intensity of sprint training, you will experience a large calorie burn after finishing your workout. EPOC effect can be further increased by doing hill sprint training as this is even more intense in nature and more challenging to your body.

Metabolic Adaptations

Performing a number of sprint training workouts will cause the body to increase its ability to produce the enzymes that work at increasing the storage capacity of the muscle of energy substrates such as Adenosine-5′-triphospahte (ATP). This allows you to work our harder for longer without experiencing fatigue. Note that this occurs when you are working more on the aerobic side, so while it is intense, you are still utilizing oxygen. If there is no oxygen present, regardless of how well conditioned you are – you will only be able to last 5-20 seconds.

Bottom line: the better condition you are, the harder you will be able to work during that time.

Phosphate Metabolism

The following is what Vince Del Monte has to say about Phosphate Metabolism . . . .

“The next benefit you’ll get with sprint training is its effect on phosphate metabolism. Phosphate creatine stores comprise a major component of the body’s fuel source for muscular activity, so anything you can do to increase this is going to be beneficial.

Myokinase is an enzyme that is responsible for resynthesizing the energy from phosphate creatine, and with sprint training, it will increase its concentration within the muscle tissue by up to 20%. ”

Glycolysis -the metabolic pathway that converts glucose into pyruvate.

The next adaptation to occur after you’ve been doing sprint training for a while is that of glycolysis. Vince says that “this is the primary form of metabolism used during a 10 second all out sprint and contributes between 55 and 75% towards energy production during exercise.”

Vince also states, “Phosphofructokinase (PFK) – an enzyme that catalyses the phosphorylation of the glycolytic intermediate fructose 6-phosphate- has also been shown to increase when sprint training is performed . . along with the enzymes of lactate dehydrogenase and glycogen phosphorylase (other enzymes responsible for the slycolysis system).

Intramuscular Buffering Capacity . . .

is the last adaptation seen with sprint training. During glycoglysis byproducts are created, i.e, lactic acid and the accumulation of these cause extreme feelings of fatigue in the muscle tissue forcing you to stop exercising more often resulting in the end of your workout. Overtime sprint training will increase your ability to buffer these byproducts allowing you to workout for a longer period of time and maintaining a high level of intensity.


Given the option to do a sprint training sessions or a moderately paced cardio session for 40 minutes – opt for the sprint sessions. The benefits you’ll receive are far more numerous and your fat loss will be kicked up a notch as a bonus. You should note that for these types of benefits to occur – you will want to last somewhere in the vicinity of 20 seconds to 40 seconds with a work to rest ratio in the range of 1:2. Repeat this routine a total of 6-8 times beginning and ending with a 5 minute warm-up and cool-down.