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WOW: Sprint, Walk, Sprint, Repeat

Posted By Mark Sisson On January 10, 2011 @ 8:00 am In Workout of the Week (WOW) | 26 Comments

Complete 15 minutes of:

6-second Sprint
Walk
6-second Sprint
Walk
Repeat

How-to:

Warmup: 30 second Grok Squat [7], three light sprints at 70%.

Sometimes workouts arise spontaneously [8] when you least expect it. You’re walking along somewhere simple – the beach, a sidewalk, a trail – and, without any premeditation, are struck with the urge to exercise. You come up with something on the spot and just get after it. Chances are it’s unlike anything you’ve ever done, simply because it’s unplanned and random. These are the spontaneous workout’s virtues, and this is why these kind of physical ventures are my favorite. I’ve got a fairly busy schedule which forces me to plan most of my workouts and even my playing, so stumbling onto a workout is really fulfilling. If it wouldn’t defeat the purpose altogether, I’d probably plan more spontaneous workouts!

Today’s WOW isn’t spontaneous, since, well, I’m writing about it and posting it on a blog, but still: it’s borne of spontaneity. A few days ago I was on the beach with the pooch (illegally, I might add; LA county is still woefully backwards when it comes to beach access for dogs), just walking. I tend to do a lot of thinking this way. So, we’re walking along, and all of a sudden Buddha takes off after a large seagull that was, frankly, instigating things with the flapping, the feathers, and the bright yellow beak. I personally had nothing against the bird, but it looked like fun, so I took off after them. This turned into a series of sprinting, walking, and more sprinting. Similar to HIIT, but the sprint durations were so brief that I was never really exhausted and I was able to recover almost completely in between sprints.

Here’s what you do: sprint for six seconds, going all out; then, walk the same distance that you sprinted, which should provide plenty of time for you to replenish your reserves; then, sprint for six seconds; repeat for fifteen minutes. The relatively deserted beach worked well for this because I could chart my steps and roughly gauge the distance I’d traveled during the sprint to determine how far to walk, but any locale of sufficient size and length will work. I suppose you could just sprint in an enclosed area and walk back to your starting position, but that’s not very interesting. Try to do this WOW outdoors.

A few things to remember:

  • You’re going all out here. Sprints are sprints: full-out maximum efforts. Six seconds should be the perfect duration (but feel free to drop it to five if you find your sprints are waning).
  • Uphill sprints are tough, but if the landscape you choose includes hills, so be it. Take what the land gives you and work around it.
  • Have fun. You probably won’t be gasping on the floor, panting and heaving, but you’ll get a fantastic workout nonetheless. Enjoy the change of pace.
  • As always, be safe, avoid injury and use proper form at all times.

Variations:

If you can’t run, use any sort of locomotion for sprinting: swimming, cycling, rowing, crawling. Stick with the walking, though.

What are WOWs?

  • Workouts of the Week (WOWs) are an optional component of Primal Blueprint Fitness [9] that add a fractal and often fun and playful quality to the basic PBF protocol.
  • In most cases WOWs should only be completed by those that have mastered Level 4 of each Lift Heavy Things Essential Movement. Also, it’s recommended that WOWs replace one or both Lift Heavy Things workouts or the Sprint workout (depending on the WOW) each week instead of being done in addition to the Lift Heavy Things and Sprint workouts.
  • Learn more about WOWs and Primal Blueprint Fitness by getting the free eBook [10]. And access all Workouts of the Week in the WOW Archive [11].

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