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Is Sprinting Good for Fat Loss? Everything You Need to Know

Tyler Sellers
Published by Tyler Sellers
Last updated: October 3, 2022

Sprinting is a full-body exercise that targets the thighs, hips, leg muscles, and quadriceps. But is it good for fat loss?

Being in the fitness world for over a decade, I’ve implemented sprints into my workouts numerous times. To investigate the impact of sprinting on body fat burn even further, I talked to a friend doctor and put the puzzle pieces together.

Here’s what I found out.

Quick Summary

  • Sprinting is an excellent high-intensity interval training exercise for weight loss as it burns fats while working out for a short duration
  • With sprint training, you can burn body fat even after you’re done with the workout
  • Sprinting aids in muscle development in the same manner that lifting weights do
  • During sprint workouts, you burn more calories and lose body fat than in jogging and other workouts

Sprinting and Fat Burn

Sprint exercises are incredibly effective when it comes to burning fat.

As an anaerobic activity, a sprint workout requires no additional gear or gimmicks; all you need is the right mentality and strong physique.

A sprinting workout can improve your whole fitness and well-being and it also encourages you to become more active in coping with routine challenges.

4 Reasons Why Sprinting Is Good For Fat Burn

Women sprinting for a competition

Here are 4 reasons why you should incorporate sprints into your high-intensity interval training routine to burn fat and lose weight properly.

1. Sprinting Boosts Metabolism

Sprinting is among the best bodyweight exercises to boost your metabolism. Following a sprint, your metabolism accelerates to compensate for the shortage of oxygen due to rapid breathing.

Also, when you sprint, your metabolic rate revs up to give you the energy to keep you going. It generates energy by delving into your fat store and burning any available fats which results in a lower body fat percentage.

"The benefits of sprinting are endless; it's a cardiovascular exercise that boosts your stamina in a short time."

- Binod Bhadri, Sports Expert

2. The Afterburn Effect: EPOC

After you complete a sprint exercise, you can be sure that you've burned a lot of fat.

However, what you may not know is that your body burns them continuously long after you've finished sprinting. This is known as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), or the "afterburn effect."

According to research, EPOC is high immediately after an intense exercise but lasts for a longer duration post-exercise [1]. The greater the intensity of your training, the more the EPOC.

Sprinting raises your extra post-exercise oxygen uptake (EPOC) for a longer time than walking or jogging.

During EPOC your system burns more fat for energy after intense sprint intervals. The energy restores muscle fibers and replenishes cell tissues.

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3. Burn More Calories

A happy woman checking her burned calories on her watch

Sprinting is unquestionably the best type of exercise for burning more calories.

The intensity of your sprints will determine how much fat and calories you burn at the end of the session.

According to studies, an intense sprinting session may burn more than 200 calories in only 2½ minutes. If you run for fifteen minutes, you may burn an astounding 1,200 calories [2].

The only challenge with sprinting would be that you rapidly lose steam. The human body isn’t built to sprint over 30 to 60 seconds before slowing down.

When you sprint for over a minute, your system will rapidly run out of oxygen, and you can easily pass out.

That's why sprint exercise includes both high-action bursts and low-intensity periods.

The goal of the low-intensity phase is to provide your lungs with space to accumulate oxygen that your blood subsequently distributes to each of your muscles. 

You will not be depleted of oxygen since you'll be breathing hard throughout the low-intensity phase, oxygenating your bloodstream and muscles.

Because sprinting is an anaerobic activity, your body will continue to burn calories hours following your session.

Related Article: Difference Between Burning Calories vs Burning Fat

4. Build Muscles

A muscular person with great physique

Sprint interval training aids in muscle development in the same way as lifting weights.

While weight training and lifting focus on one muscle component at a time, sprinting anaerobic exercise, engages more muscles at once, becoming the ideal workout if you want to build muscle.

As an aerobic exercise, sprinting has been shown in research to increase protein synthesis channels, which aids in protein breakdown by up to 230% [3].

When combined with a proper diet and recuperation, protein synthesis actively promotes muscle building.

Sprinting also raises the number of type II "rapid twitch" muscle tissue in the limbs, which is linked to increased muscle growth and strength - particularly in the hamstrings and glutes [4].

This explains why nearly all great sportsmen have the greatest physiques since their prevalence of fast-twitch muscles allows them to exercise more than other people.

Sprinting, which is done for a shorter period, also gives your muscles adequate time to recuperate and heal, facilitating healthy muscle growth.

FAQs

Does Sprinting Burn Muscles?

Sprinting burns muscles if it is done in excess.

How Much Should I Sprint To Lose Weight?

You should sprint for as little as 8 seconds to 30 seconds of all-out effort at a time to lose weight.

Does Sprinting Make Your Legs Bigger?

Sprinting makes your legs bigger as there is muscle growth. Over time muscle growth will give your legs shape and may increase their overall size.

Can You Get Ripped From Sprinting?

You can get ripped from sprinting, provided you do it correctly.

Is Sprinting Better Than Jogging For Burning Fat?

Sprinting is better than jogging for burning fats because of its intense aerobic power that burns fats and reduces overall body weight.

What Happens If I Sprint Every Day?

If you sprint every day, you're likely to suffer from exhaustion and intense muscle damage. We recommend you sprint a couple of times a week and give your body enough time to rest and heal.

Sprinting and Fat Loss

Sprinting is a great way to get your body moving and lose fat and excess calories.

Even though sprint interval training can be a little strenuous, it is a perfect fit for you to shred and build lean muscle mass.

If you're looking for a little something to help you burn fat even when you're resting, check out our roundup of the best nighttime fat burners.

Not only will they boost your metabolism and help you burn more calories, but they will also give you a healthy dose of melatonin, making you sleep like a baby.


References:

  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26950358/
  2. https://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/news/20121012/
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22268492/
  4. https://www.udel.edu/content/dam/udelImages/canr/pdfs/extension/4H/grab-n-go/Grab-N-Go-Sports-Nutrition.pdf
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