I'm going to start off by coming clean...
I hate to run.
I know, I know… I'm not supposed to say that being a trainer and all… but I honestly hate it. It hurts, takes a long time, and 99.9% of the time, I want to just curl up in a little ball on the ground and cry.
BUTTTTT….. I'm a big girl and I don't do that.
My cardiovascular endurance is pretty good, mostly because I teach Zumba and dance six days a week. But when I started doing less cardio at the gym (yes, I said it. LESS cardio) lifting more, and adding sprints to my workout routine… my body, especially my legs, changed dramatically.
Sprinting on a treadmill can be a big pain because you are constantly trying to adjust speeds while simultaneously trying to not fall off. So how you avoid that is set the treadmill at your sprinting speed, and then use the side hand rails to jump on and off while the belt keeps moving underneath you.
Here is the sequence: Set the treadmill at 2-3% incline
1. Start at a brisk walk to warm-up for 5 minutes (I start at a 4)
2. Take the speed up to a fairly comfortable jog for 5 minutes (I start at a 6.5 and go up to about 8)
3. Hop off the belt with your feet on the sides and increase the speed to your sprinting speed (I go up to 12)
4. Watch the timer on the treadmill, and hop onto the belt. Sprint your heart out, as fast at you can, for 30 seconds. Place on your hands back and the side rails and hop off. Rest 30 seconds.
5. Repeat the previous step ten (yes, I said ten… as in 10) times. It is hard but does go by pretty quickly.
6. Finish with a light 3 minute jog and 3 minute walk to cool down.
While sprints are pretty challenging, they do amazing things for your body and really help you lean out and put beautiful muscle on. Short bursts of high intensity cardio vs long, endurance cardio will always be move effective in the end by burning fat and making muscle. So don't be afraid to grab a treadmill and give it go!
**Please note that I have ABSOLUTELY NOTHING against endurance runners… in fact I admire them because I could never do what they do. I just like this picture because it encapsulates in one image, my point about long endurance vs spiriting for strictly muscle building purposes, and the difference between the two bodies.