T Nation

Can Sprints Compliment Lifting?


Can it help in, i dont know if this is the right word, but "activating" fast twitch muscle fibers?





The real question is can lifting help sprints? The answer is yes.
If you want to get better lifts, lift.
If you want to get better sprints, sprint and lift.
Lifting is the auxiliary training, but to get stronger you have to just lift heavy.


are sprints to intense for cardio? like do they cut into a person's recovery alot?


that depends on many factors.





Sprints are great to help with lifts and vice versa. By doing sprints, you can target a lot things, such as your fast-twitch fibers and your motor-recruitment capabilities. Plus, you're working every muscle in your legs. Running at a constant speed, like jogging, is a waste of fucking time unless you run several miles a day. But running sprints will jack your heart rate up so quickly that you'll see great metabolic gains in a fraction of the time that you would when jogging.

The downside to sprinting that I've suffered is that the demand sprints place on my legs makes it hard for me to also lift heavily on a regular basis. If your goal is to get faster, you'll want to focus on stride length and sprint technique much more than how long and hard you sprint, but you still need to sprint hard. It's hard to balance this with weight lifting unless you have the time to work out everyday and sometimes twice a day. It may be different for everyone, but this is what I've found.

If you jsut want to use sprints as a form of cardio, they won't be too intense if you don't overdo it. Run 20-30 yd sprints a few times, building up to maximum acceleration, and then do the same with long sprints up to 150yds. But only do this once or twice a week and mix in an occasional light jog for 2-3 miles. If you want the best of both worlds, you're best off sprinting in the afternoon and lifting legs in the morning, or going super intense with heavy and/or explosive leg lifts once a week.

Fuck, I don't know. This is such a loaded question. What I've given you is a general overview. It all depends on your goals. Are you an athlete? Why do you want to run sprints in the first place? Are you looking to get faster or to use them to supplement your lifting or do you want the best of both worlds?


Im in the process of trying to drop a few LB's..........

I've been doing sprinting once a week for my cardio days......Right now Im doing 120 yard sprints followed by 30-45 seconds of rest 10 times.

My other days are set up to run for a specfic amount of time (i.e 30 min jog) or a distance (2 mile as fast as I can)

But I always get atleast 4 days of lifting weights in there. 2 upper days, 2 lower....and mix in my sprint work/distance running and usually try to have one NEPA day (i.e pushing my kid in her stroller for time/distance) and it's been good for me so far.

Also I might cut down one lifting day and make myself a training circuit around a running track. (start line is pushups, sprint 1/4 lap, bodyweight squats, sprint 1/4 lap, 30 sec jump rope, sprint 1/4 lap, 30 sec burpee, etc) and do that circuit for 4 laps (aka 1 mile)

You're only limited by your imagination my friend! good luck.


well I do have time to workout everyday, and im only 17 and a beginner, so i feel like sprints wouldnt like really hurt my recovery to much. and yes, i've decided recently I'm going to play basketball and run track this year, being my senior year,

so i feel like sprints would help me, as it seems i was born with more slow-twitch fibers then most people, and feel i need to get some explosion for both sports. but the only isssue i have is that im very skinny, so i'm also trying to put on weight so i can be more physical in basketball, so im lifting heavy, and I'm trying to balance putting on some mass while staying n shape and improving performance a little.