T Nation

Incorporating Sprints

The last couple of days I’ve been reading a lot of info on sprinting routines (from T-Nation, Charlie Francis’ site, elitefts), trying to figure out how to incorporate them into my normal workout program. I am overwhelmed by the amount of information and need some recommendations.

Here is what I currently do that I want to keep doing after adding sprints:

M - yoga (AM), fullbody weights (PM)
T - yoga, boxing training (AM)
W - yoga (AM), fullbody weights (PM)
U - yoga, boxing training (AM)
F - yoga (AM), fullbody weights (PM)
Sat - boxing class (AM)
Sun - random sports for fun

The yoga is a relaxed, short, 30 min program that I do on waking that seems to keep me injury free and energetic. The boxing workout consists of 12, 3 min rounds mixed up with mirror work, shadow boxing, heavy bag, and skipping rope.

What else I’ve been doing:

I’ve been running a 20 minute interval route before lifting on MWF as a warmup. I think this may be adversely affecting my performance in the weightroom due to fatigue. I’ve also been trying the 10x25 sprint workout from TC’s “50 yd dash” article on Tues and Thurs to learn proper sprinting mechanics and aid in fat control. And on Saturdays I have been doing a long distance run (>7 miles).

My goals:

I am a pretty skinny guy (6’2", 170, ~12%) and really want to gain some size and strength. I have been slowly upping my kcals/day over the past several months, and have been gaining some size while appearing to drop bodyfat - I feel like my nutrition is in order.

What I want to figure out is a way to develop strength and size and still stay in great shape. In the past I have always used long distance running as a way to increase my conditioning. I can run 3 miles in under 18 minutes, and did my last 7 mile run in 40 minutes. I like the way that I feel when I can do this - I like how quickly I recover during any activity, and I love my endurance. Unfortunately, I feel like all the running is antagonistic towards my goal of getting bigger and stronger.

I think that I can use sprints as a way to keep my “conditioning” excellent while slowly putting on size. I would also just like to be faster and more explosive.

Can anyone help me design a sprinting program that would fit in with my daily activities? I’m not too worried about overtraining as I feel really energetic and good these days.

You aren’t going to find it easy to gain weight by throwing more exercise into your life.

Also, especially if you keep your rest periods short while lifting, you shouldn’t have to worry too much about your conditioning somehow disappearing.

If you really are going to add sprinting to all that, you may want to do it by offsetting it a half-day from other streneous activity. I’d say ignore the yoga and do it the PM’s on boxing days or in the AM’s on lifting days (if I remember your schedule correctly).

Really though, it looks like you really just need to eat more if you are just trying to put on some mass. You don’t need to add anything else to achieve that.

first of all, cut out the interval training for now, and dont work out so much during the week. decide (for now) whether you want to get really good at boxing or lift weights to gain mass…cut back on one of them. if it’s boxing, do it like twice a week and only once intensively.

you’re obviously close to overtraining.

sprinting, when I do it, is more like an anaerobic activity. relax, you’ll stay pretty good at cardiovascular activities for a while. if you want to incorporate sprinting, anywhere from 5 25 meter sprints after lifting up to 20 25 meter sprints (10 min break halfway thru) with a 1 min break in between has been good.

I was running under a 6 min mile…I’m around 6’1 and I was 155 lb, I might be closer to 6’…anyway now I’m 180+ (bw fluctuates) and much stronger. cut back on my running, upped lifting and calories, and gained 25+ pounds in under 6 months (probably more like 3, but I wasn’t tracking my weight gain).

timing yourself with the mileage running is pure ego, man, unless you’re competing running. you need to gain muscle mass.

YOU running 17 minute 3 miles @170lb vs YOU running 20 min 3 miles @200lb

who’s gonna win fighting? I’m betting on the 200-lb guy who can hit hard and has more fast-twitch capability.

hell, you can keep your cardiovascular shape with boxing, which is interval training…don’t look to sprinting to keep your distance running times good. sprinting is great for leg development, but keep the sprints short and mediate your goals - don’t go for everything at once. be sane.


  1. bulk healthily for about 6 months, train boxing light

  2. slowly focus more on boxing, keep up your lifting, acclimate your body to both…muscle gain will slow but will keep coming and you will get better at boxing

  3. decide where you wanna go from there. do you wanna run faster and maintain, gain more muscle, focus more on boxing?

one thing at a time…it’s simple.

I forgot to mention, this is off-topic, but you should get BKS Iyengar’s book “light on yoga.” I’ve been doing yoga for about 8 months and it’s awesome. I’d be wary of doing hard backbends in the morning though, as per McGill’s ubiquitous advice about spinal fluid.

I also have a book called “the anatomy of hatha yoga” which is a very technical and fascinating book, in my training library. you’d be amazed how beneficial headstand/shoulderstand poses are for improving circulation…try them post-squat. lotus and variations are the ultimate external rotation for your lower body. meditation is better than napping PWO.

Thanks for your replies. My internet crapped out yesterday morning, so I couldn’t read them as soon as I’d have liked.

I agree that I’m doing too much for gaining mass. My training partner, whose advice I have just followed up to this point unquestioningly, is a former college ball-player who tends to have us do a LOT of running. I think I’m going to let him do the interval and long distance running by himself from now on while I focus on the weight room.

conwict: Thanks for your advice about keeping things simple. I think I just need to focus on the goal of getting bigger and stronger for a while, and let the other sports I do just be fun active recovery.

I’ll try to find the books you mentioned at the library. I really enjoy yoga, and would love to learn more about it.

vroom: I agree that I need to eat more. I’m at 3500kcals/day and have been slowly upping my kcals/day after weekly weigh in sessions following Berardi’s advice. It’s a slow process, but one that I hope will pay off in the end.