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How Sprinting Can Help Build Lean Muscle Mass

How Sprinting Can Help Build Lean Muscle Mass

  1. Are you looking to incorporate sprinting into your training program?
  2. Are you looking to build lean muscle faster?
  3. Are you interested in speeding up your recovery?
  4. Are you familiar with anaerobic work capacity?
  5. Are you looking for a way to give your conditioning a significant upgrade? 

When it comes to looking at what works in terms of  building lean muscle mass I’m always quick to point out what the evidence shows. If you’re not convinced that sprinting can build muscle, or contribute to the development of lean muscle then just take a look at people that do it for sport and competition.

Muscle Mass And The Sprinter’s Body

If you look at a sprinter’s body compared to a marathon runner’s body it’s like night and day. Sprinters naturally build greater muscle mass because their sport is highly anaerobic. If you’re looking you’ll see some world class sprinters who could easily make the stage for a bodybuilding show, or onto the cover of a Men’s, or Women’s Fitness magazine.

Hell as if this isn’t obvious the act of sprinting is involves intense work which largely falls in line with the ATP-PC energy system of your muscles when performing the activity. This involves activity that consist of short burst high intensity effort. In fact, this is closely related to strength training for this very reason.

Granted the act of sprinting doesn’t exert quite the same type of stress on your musculoskeletal system as load bearing stress (weightlifting), but the stress in terms of energy output is definitely present. You’re also stimulating fast twitch muscle fiber when executing this type of activity.

Muscle Mass: Physical Output

When looking at sprinting your energy output is very high.

When you exert yourself all out for up to 10 seconds you’re working within your ATP-PC energy system. Once you exceed that 10 second threshold your output starts diminishing. This is true for ALL athletes.

Beyond the 10 second threshold you start transitioning into the glycolytic energy system, but your ATP-PC is depleted.

However when you incorporate sprint drills into your training you’re training your body to be stronger anaerobically and to work more efficiently within that ATP-PC system.

This is why combining sprint, or HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) with strength training is great for building muscle mass. By adopting this type of high output conditioning during your cardio workouts you’re also training yourself to recover and adapt faster when you’re in the weight room as well.

The more you’re able of increasing your work output the faster you can build muscle mass. This is also known as anaerobic work capacity. This is how you build lean muscle mass.

Muscle Mass: The Takeaway

This sort of training protocol is vastly different than the way an endurance athlete such as a marathon runner would train and the physical differences between the two are polar opposites.

So if you want to build some lean muscle you need to start incorporating some sprinting into your training.

Are you currently incorporating sprint work, or HIIT conditioning into your training? 

How many days a week are you getting in some sprint work? 

Post up and share in the comments here below the article. 

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I'm a Certified Strength And Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and author. I have had over 17 years experience in MMA fitness, strength and conditoning, and athletic performance for most every sport. As an author and specialist I've written close to a million words on fitness and strength. I'm also a Muay Thai practictioner and enjoy helping others to reach their peak potential through fitness and performance.

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