Sprint at Lightning Speed
The NAVY SEALS acronym stands for sea, air, and land. Along with swimming (sea) and fighting (air), sprinting is one of the best cardio exercises. It’s the land portion of my personal NAVY SEALS fitness approach.
Sprinting provides many life benefits such as mental toughness, weight loss, and physique.
To be in the right mindset, it helps to use inspiration and motivation so that you complete your sprinting workouts when you’re out of breath or the lactic acid kicks in. For inspiration, I personally use Usain Bolt as a mindset to strive for as he always comes out of the blocks slow, but has amazing closing speed to win the 100 meter Olympic Gold Medal.
For motivation, there will be times when you feel like not finishing your sprinting session due to boredom, lack of motivation, or fatigue. As a 5’2’’ guy, I’ve always been discriminated for being short and unathletic because I’m Asian so most people only come to me for math questions. Fortunately for others, I don’t go protesting, but instead help educate the discriminators on how to treat everyone with respect regardless of their race, age, or physique either thru a humble athletic beatdown or cultural education.
During business school, one of my classmates challenged me to a 300 meter sprint and was 100 percent confident he’d win because I was short and Asian compared to him who was 5’8’ and a former wrestler. Not knowing his actual speed, I took the challenge and we agreed that the loser would donate money to the Wounded Warriors project. It was a huge business school spectacle with the entire school watching where I finished in 42 seconds and the classmate lost by 18 seconds - leaving everyone’s jaw dropped - begging for mercy near the end of the race. We shook hands and he has respected me ever since. I even invited him to my Bachelor’s Party in Iceland and Wedding in Maine!
I’ve always thrived on being an underdog with a chip on my shoulder. For every single sprint, this challenge by my classmate and coming behind to win the race as anchor of a track relay against competitors much younger than I, puts me in a winning mindset. If this is not enough, I visualize that I have to catch a criminal who can only survive if they can sprint for more than 52 seconds.
Now with your mindset right, let’s go over the benefits.
Sprints are a challenging workout. There may be moments where you want to quit. Pushing through the negative thoughts will build confidence in your emotional and physical abilities
Sprinting, like other forms of exercise, produces endorphins which are chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers and provide you with a “feel good” sensation from any stresses going on in your life
As you sprint, your heart rate increases to compensate for the increased need for blood flow to your sprinting muscles. Over time, sprint training increases your maximum heart rate which boosts your cardiovascular fitness
Sprinting is an anaerobic exercise that requires short bursts of energy producing lactic acid. The buildup of lactic acid leads to pain and soreness. With more sprint reps, your anaerobic threshold will rise allowing you to be faster and stronger.
Sprinting burns a great deal of calories in short amount of time compared with slower long distance running. As a high intensity form of exercise, sprinting boosts the body's metabolism that helps prevent weight gain and diabetes. You’ll also benefit from the afterburn effect 24-48 hours after exercises where you burn more calories after your exercise
When weight training, your body is required to produce short bursts of energy that increase muscle strength. Sprinting works in the same way. However, unlike weightlifting, sprinting uses dozens of muscles at the same time, making it a full body muscle training. A study conducted in 2012 showed sprinting can enhance protein synthesis pathways by as much as 230 percent! With the right nutrition and recovery, this will lead to muscle building, allowing your body to become leaner and enabling you to run faster, longer, and more efficiently.
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Francis Huynh is Founder & CEO of JustHuynh - the social fitness company who's mission is to kill global obesity thru personal training and group fitness for the needed social accountability and motivation in being healthy. Personally experiencing obesity during childhood, college, and work -training with partners helped Francis become healthier and happier. With time as most valuable resource, Francis turned down corporate career opportunities post-MBA to dedicate his life to help 400 million+ people affected with diabetes worldwide reach their health goals. Francis completed his undergrad at Bowdoin and MBA at Vanderbilt. He is living with wife in Boston. The mini-Franchises are currently on-hold until JustHuynh is helping the world.