T Nation

Sprinting For Legs

I hate training legs. There, I said it. I love sprinting. I’m not trying to build up huge legs, but I don’t want them to atrophy due to not doing squats and other direct leg work. Will sprints do the job? Here’s what I started doing:

10X200 yard sprints
followed by 10 reps of jump-ups. (sprint 200 yards, the go directly into jumping onto a wall about 2 feet tall).

Rest 60 seconds between sets.

Then 5-6 flat out 100 yard sprints with 60 seconds rest.

Then about 6 sled-pull sprints.

My legs are pumped and burning about half way through. By the end I can hardly walk. Next day (like today) it hurts.

Comments?

[quote]PGJ wrote:
I hate training legs. There, I said it. I love sprinting. I’m not trying to build up huge legs, but I don’t want them to atrophy due to not doing squats and other direct leg work. Will sprints do the job? Here’s what I started doing:

10X200 yard sprints
followed by 10 reps of jump-ups. (sprint 200 yards, the go directly into jumping onto a wall about 2 feet tall).

Rest 60 seconds between sets.

Then 5-6 flat out 100 yard sprints with 60 seconds rest.

Then about 6 sled-pull sprints.

My legs are pumped and burning about half way through. By the end I can hardly walk. Next day (like today) it hurts.

Comments?[/quote]

I would reverse that if I were you.

I don’t know your sprinting background but with the sprinters I’ve worked with I find it hard to believe you can only rest 60 sec btwn a 200 & 100 sprint and be able to go at same intensity.

Relate the sled pulls to your heavy squat work, more than likely not going to do that at the end of your lift. The 100’s are like being in the 8-10 rep range or so and the 200’s are like doing high rep squats.

Probably better to start with acceleration and power (sled pulls) then move to acceleration and some speed maintenance/endurance (100’s) and then onto the burnouts (200’s)

Try that out and see if it is any better.

60 seconds is not very long when doing 100-200 yard sprints, it’s more like what I would use for a 40yard dash or a 100 yard. Also incorporate bleacher sprints.

Will doing these type of workouts maintain or even add muscle to legs? obviously depending on availability of calories.

If you are only taking 60 second rests, you are not sprinting. Running quickly, sure.

Basically you’re doing a hard aerobic workout - so no muscle for you.

[quote]CaliforniaLaw wrote:
If you are only taking 60 second rests, you are not sprinting. Running quickly, sure.

Basically you’re doing a hard aerobic workout - so no muscle for you.[/quote]

Well, I’m running as fast as I can the whole time. Of course I get slower as the workout progresses…but if I’m going 100% it’s a sprint.

Yes, it started out as an alternate cardio routine, but then I noticed that my legs were totally pumped and I feel like I did heavy squats the next day (DOMS). Sooooooo I was thinking that maybe I could substitute this for an actual leg day.

Could you post your times for the 200 and 100 yd sprints, you first one after warm-up and your last for each? Not to judge if you’re fast or slow, but to see the change in times as you progress through your routine.

This will indicate if you’re resting enough between reps to get strength training benefit from your work or as another poster said, a hard aerobic workout (which isn’t all bad). I’m interested in starting a sprint routine and your response along with the opinion of others would be helpful.

Have you checked out Thib’s “Running Man” article?

I loooove training legs with squats and all… but I hate the couple of days after. CNS burnout. Stiff muscles. And I do find legs take longer to recover than other body parts.

What I do now:

leg workout #1 : “traditional” heavy squats, etc

#2: circuit training (that obviously includes legs - I like to use Zercher(sp? squats)

#3 unilateral leg training (no compression of the spine, nice change up)

#4 SPRINTS

#5 MMA training + lots of kicking

And to answer your question, I do find workouts #1 and #4 add the most muscle. Sprints are GREAT leg mass builders IMO. Long distance running seem to shrink them but sprints and hill sprints really pack on the mass.

By training this way, I only do heavy squats (back and front) once a month. Coupled with a deadlift session, that’s only two training sessions a month taxing to the spine and lower back. I’m healthier and I certainly didnt lose any mass. And I’m totally pumped for that once a month squat workout.

[quote]PGJ wrote:
Well, I’m running as fast as I can the whole time. Of course I get slower as the workout progresses…but if I’m going 100% it’s a sprint. [/quote]

No, no, no, no, no. Sprinting recruits the CNS and high-threshold fibers in a way that other running does not.

Just because you feel you are running as quickly as possible doesn’t mean you’re sprinting.

Again, if you are taking long breaks, your CNS is not recovering. Thus, on the next set, you are not sprinting.

[quote]CaliforniaLaw wrote:
PGJ wrote:
Well, I’m running as fast as I can the whole time. Of course I get slower as the workout progresses…but if I’m going 100% it’s a sprint.

No, no, no, no, no. Sprinting recruits the CNS and high-threshold fibers in a way that other running does not.

Just because you feel you are running as quickly as possible doesn’t mean you’re sprinting.

Again, if you are taking long breaks, your CNS is not recovering. Thus, on the next set, you are not sprinting.[/quote]

Isn’t sprinting going as fast as you can go until you begin to decline in speed?

[quote]PGJ wrote:
I hate training legs. There, I said it. I love sprinting. I’m not trying to build up huge legs, but I don’t want them to atrophy due to not doing squats and other direct leg work. Will sprints do the job? Here’s what I started doing:

10X200 yard sprints
followed by 10 reps of jump-ups. (sprint 200 yards, the go directly into jumping onto a wall about 2 feet tall).

Rest 60 seconds between sets.

Then 5-6 flat out 100 yard sprints with 60 seconds rest.

Then about 6 sled-pull sprints.

My legs are pumped and burning about half way through. By the end I can hardly walk. Next day (like today) it hurts.

Comments?[/quote]

2000m of total volume is alot for the type of work you intend to do. If you are doing high quality sprints, with full recovery between reps and sets, then I would suggest not going over more than 300-350m for a while (total volume).

Trust me, you may not feel the “burn” like you are feeling from the intensive tempo workout you described, but the day after you are going to feel it (CNS Fatigue).

I would suggest starting with 20-30m sprints and working your way out. A general rule of thumb: for every 10m, rest 1 min. So 30m sprint, rest 3 min.

If you want to incorporate the jumps like you stated, keep them low volume and at the end of the workout.

Sprints—>Jumps—>Weights

I think you should at least do one leg lift, but it’s really up to you in the end.

[quote]dhuge67 wrote:
Isn’t sprinting going as fast as you can go until you begin to decline in speed?[/quote]

Yes and no. Your definition is much petter than the OP’s. Here’s a comparison.

Let’s say your max bench is 250 pounds. Go rep out 225 pounds - do as many as you can until you fail. Rest 60 seconds. Then load up the bar with as much weight as possible. Do one rep.

On this set, you’ll be weak, right? You will not be lifting at 85% or more of your max, right? Can you then say you are “lifting heavy” or “maxing out”? Of course not.

It’s the same thing with sprinting. To a lay man, sprinting might mean an all-out run. But that’s not precise and just leads to confusion.

So let’s say, after a warm-up and being “fresh,” you run a 100m in 12 seconds. If you rest 60 seconds and then run the set in 13 seconds, you are no longer sprinting. You are running quickly. But you are not sprinting.

[quote]StevenF wrote:
Have you checked out Thib’s “Running Man” article? [/quote]

This is a very good article and has some different training methods. Here is the link if anyone is interested.

http://www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=459414

[quote]CaliforniaLaw wrote:
dhuge67 wrote:
Isn’t sprinting going as fast as you can go until you begin to decline in speed?

Yes and no. Your definition is much petter than the OP’s. Here’s a comparison.

Let’s say your max bench is 250 pounds. Go rep out 225 pounds - do as many as you can until you fail. Rest 60 seconds. Then load up the bar with as much weight as possible. Do one rep.

On this set, you’ll be weak, right? You will not be lifting at 85% or more of your max, right? Can you then say you are “lifting heavy” or “maxing out”? Of course not.

It’s the same thing with sprinting. To a lay man, sprinting might mean an all-out run. But that’s not precise and just leads to confusion.

So let’s say, after a warm-up and being “fresh,” you run a 100m in 12 seconds. If you rest 60 seconds and then run the set in 13 seconds, you are no longer sprinting. You are running quickly. But you are not sprinting.[/quote]

So the answere is yes.

Guys, I didn’t intend to get in a big technical debate about the definition of a “sprint”.

I started doing this program as an alternative HIIT cardio session, and damn does it work. As a side effect, I noticed that my legs were pumped and I had major DOMS for the next few days, as if I had done heavy squats and DLs.

I run as fast as I can for short periods, then rest for short periods. Then jump up on things, then drag things. The whole thing takes about 30 minutes to complete.

Not trying to build huge thighs. I’d actually like to trim them down a bit and get more of a sprinters build.