I hope you enjoyed part one of this presentation. I’d like to you pay particular attention to the four prerequisites in your diet and fitness program that must be in place before you can properly benefit from explosive sprinting and jumping workouts. They were detailed at the end of part one, and to briefly recap they are:
Diet. Ditch processed sugars, grains, and industrial seed oils
Movement. Increase all forms of general everyday movement
Avoid the chronic. Correct anything in your training schedule that gives off even a whiff of being chronic in nature
Do high intensity correctly. We’ll detail the workout templates here, but make sure that you only attempt explosive, high-intensity sessions when you are fully rested and energized to deliver a peak performance effort.
Increasing all forms of general everyday movement is a broad and non-specific recommendation, which makes it more difficult to integrate into daily life. It’s time to focus on a life-changing centerpiece to meet this objective: A morning flexibility, mobility, core & leg strengthening routine. I do this every single day immediately upon awakening. What started as a pretty simple and non-strenuous 12-minute session has progressed gracefully over the past four years into a quite challenging session that takes a minimum of 35 minutes every day to complete – by choice. You don’t have to make a big production out of it if you don’t want to.
Aerobic workouts are gentle training sessions where the predominate form of energy being utilized is fat—mostly body fat. They’re easy, some would say “too easy,” but that’s the entire point. Aerobic workouts slowly build mitochondrial density and teach your body to burn fat. They’re essential, and they aren’t what I talk about when I talk about “chronic cardio,” which is the kind of unsustainable moderate-to-high intensity, high volume training that breaks you down and damages your health. Aerobic training is long, slow, easy, gentle, and most of all productive. If you want to be a fat-burning beast, if you want to become metabolically flexible, if you want your baseline capacity for aerobic activity, you have to do aerobic workouts.
But not everyone wants to do running, cycling, or swimming. So today I’m going to give you some different options for aerobic workouts.
The idea that technique is essential for the simple act of running is finally starting to catch on. By maintaining a balanced center of gravity and maintaining a strong foot, you generate maximum propulsive force and minimize impact trauma with each stride. This allows you to transform from a rookie sloppy jogger to someone who looks and feels like an athlete. In this article, we dive into why we pay attention to running technique, with videos on how to improve running form with a few simple drills.
Runners and joggers of all ability levels jumped into the conversion around a post I wrote about proper running technique. I noticed quite a few comments and questions on the video along these lines:
Is trying to run like a deer — springing along with active feet — necessary and appropriate for a jogger?
Are these technique tips just the domain of sprinters?
Will I get “tired” trying to maintain the correct form as described for an entire marathon? Or should I just shuffle along to save energy?
Here is the deal. Executing proper technique is critical at all speeds and durations, for a two main reasons. First, you minimize impact trauma and obtain the best return on investment for whatever energy you muster to make forward progress. This applies whether you are running a marathon in two hours (like the superhuman Eulid Kipchoge), or four hours, or jog/walk for six hours.
Running is the most simple and straightforward of fitness activities, so we generally don’t pay much attention to learning and refining proper running form. Consequently, there’s a widespread problem of joggers and runners with extremely inefficient technique that can lead to slower times and increased risk for injury.
Unfortunately, when you plod along at a jogging pace, the penalty for inefficient running form and lack of explosiveness is minimal. In contrast, when you sprint, you try to generate maximum explosive force with each footstrike, so even the slightest technique inefficiency or wasted motion delivers a severe performance penalty. Sprinting, Primal Blueprint Law #5, is a great way to clean up technique errors and drift in the direction of proper running form.
Read More: See The Definitive Guide to Sprinting, Part 1, and The Definitive Guide to Sprinting, Part 2 for everything you need to know about sprinting.
Here, we’ll break down the components of proper running form. If you struggle with some of the technical explanations, watch the technique instruction video to help you grasp the concepts.
As Primal enthusiasts know, sprinting is an essential element to leading an optimally fit life. After all, it’s one of the 10 Primal Blueprint Laws and perhaps the quintessential anti-aging activity. If you ask me, brief, explosive, all-out sprints are the single best activity to reduce excess body fat, achieve fitness breakthroughs, flood the bloodstream with anti-aging hormones, and boost neuron function in the brain. Even a very brief sprint session has a profound effect on your metabolic and hormonal function for hours and days afterward.
Sprinting workouts are often the missing piece in people’s fitness repertoire. Even devoted fitness buffs—the ones who post daily gym selfies, keep detailed workout diaries, and top their Strava leaderboards—may neglect this critical component of well-rounded fitness. Some consider sprinting too risky. They’re haunted by images of an Olympic sprinter pulling up short with a strained hamstring in the middle of a gold-metal race. Others think sprints are too short to make a difference. How much payoff can you really get from a workout where the active sets last three or four minutes max?
Those concerns are understandable but unfounded.
The benefits of sprinting are profound. Upping your sprint game can help you make an assortment of breakthroughs, from fat loss to fitness performance (including in endurance and ultra-endurance events). And while sprinting obviously carries a higher injury risk than low-intensity movements like walking or lap swimming, it’s also quite safe… when done correctly.
Hopefully by now I don’t have to convince you of the massive value you get from incorporating occasional sprint workouts into your fitness routine. Sprinting offers a host of benefits. It upregulates your ability to burn fat at all levels of effort and intensity (yes, even if you’re competing in an ultramarathon or sitting at your desk) and complements your resistance training by helping to build strong muscles, bones, and connective tissue.
In short, sprinting rocks, and it’s my mission to get more people up and sprinting. In a previous post, I went into detail about how to put together a proper sprint workout. Today I’m going to show you exactly how I incorporate sprints into my life.