SIT involves short bursts of high-intensity exercise interspersed with low-intensity aerobic recovery intervals. Sprint Interval Training (SIT) has been demonstrated effective as time efficient method of improving insulin sensitivity and physical fitness.
In SIT, the intervals of higher-intensity training consist of all-out sprints where you are giving 100% of your effort. Because of this extreme intensity, the duration of these intervals is very short. The workout span is much shorter.
It is just “sprinting” or pushing oneself for a few seconds, followed by a recovery period. As the title implies, sprint intervals are shorter than high-intensity interval workouts, and can last anywhere from 20 seconds to minutes in duration.
The rest intervals in SIT are generally longer or equal to that of a HIIT workout and usually have a much lower work-to-rest ratio.
According to a recent study, doing Sprint Interval Training reduced body fat percentage by 40.70% more than High-Intensity Interval Training and 91.83% more than Moderate Intensity Continuous Training.
For postmenopausal women who are gaining fat, losing muscle, and are prone to injuries, sprint interval training, or SIT, could be your new best friend. A study on postmenopausal women showed that SIT sessions decreased fat and increased lean muscle. That’s a big deal because cardio in any form rarely increases lean muscle tissue. Its association with fat burning or calorie burning is widely accepted, yet SIT seemingly is a two-for-one.
The Sprint Interval Training (SIT) Plan
With sprinting, your goal is to apply maximal force to the ground with every step to move energy as efficiently as possible. Proper speed mechanics are essential to generating this force, as well as for avoiding injury, especially if you’re new to sprinting.
Each session will start with a warm-up to prepare your muscles and nervous system, followed by a gradual week-by-week increase in sprint duration to build up your sprinting capacity.
When sprinting, aim for an all-out effort, maintaining no lower than 80 to 85 percent of your maximum heart rate, which is about a seven on an intensity scale of one to 10. Gradually push your effort closer to 10 as you get more comfortable in your sprint execution.
Over time, this program can help you develop your coordination, balance, and stability, supporting the powerful unilateral positioning of sprinting. It can also support your foundational day-to-day health and fitness by increasing your anaerobic capacity and making your functional movements stronger and more powerful.
Always remember to take the time to cool down with static stretches or a short three-minute jog when you finish your workout.
Note: Before starting any new fitness program, consult with your healthcare provider. Sprint interval training (SIT) may not be appropriate for people with certain health conditions.