T Nation

Sprints For Leanness?


Hi all,

My question is around fatloss and how best to utilise sprints or HIIT to achieve this.

First, some background:

About me:
BW: 205lbs
Ht: 5'9"
BF: don't know, but too high. Not fat, can see upper abs when downlit, slight belly. If I was to guess at a BF% (irrelevant though it may be) I'd say somewhere between 15 and 20%.

Lean out, I reckon I need to lose about 15lbs of fat in this phase. My guide will mainly be the mirror, when I am satisfied with my leanness I will add calories to maintenance for duration of summer then bulk in the winter.

Diet: is pretty sorted, this thread is about training so not going to write it here. Suffice to say I am getting 5-6 meals per day, protein at every meal, lowish carbs, lots of fruit and veggies, good fats, calories below maintenance.

My training is as follows:

Lifting 3 days a week following New Rules of Lifting protocol (6 exercises, divided by movement), full body workouts. I start with a "focus" exercise for the day that I do by itself with approx 90s-2min rest periods (on alternate days, back squat, deadlift, power clean) and superset the other movements with minimal rest (30s-60s dependant on fatigue).

Example day:
Front Squat supersetted with weighted dips
Lunge supersetted with barbell row
Cable axe chops

Outside of the gym I play 5-a-side football (soccer) for an hour once a week.

The week currently looks like this

Mon: weights
Tues: 5-a-side
Wed: weights
Thurs: sprints
Friday: weights
Sat: sprints
Sun: Off

I want to incorporate 2 sprinting/HIIT sessions into each week as above so I would be training 6 times a week total. The goal of this session is aid in burning off the blubber and increase my fitness and quickness for soccer.

For the sprints I am using a local park, so I have a flat grassy area and no hills.

I have been doing the sprints as follows:

Jog to park. (4 mins)
Some dynamic stretching.

Ladder style sprints, 25m, 50m, 75m, 75m, 50m, 25m. Walk back to start from each sprint.

Rest 2 minute between sets, currently doing 3 sets.

Jog home.

I'm after any pointers to make these sprint workouts more effective.
Am I doing enough volume?

I don't feel that "spent" at the end of the workout, although of course fatigue is not always a sign of a good workout.
Are the sprints long enough? too long?
Any better protocols people have used?
Should I switch tack and use HIIT instead?

I basically made this up myself so am open to any advice at all.

Any thoughts please?




I'm not certain how to provide the link, but do a search for 10x3 for fat loss. javascript:;
Great program to use with HIIT training.


I do sprints for fatloss, always have. I would say you are doing way too little distance in your reps.

I do minimum of 100 yards, 200s or 400s are probably better for rapid fatloss as outlined in Thib's "Running Man"aticle.

With that little distance your total workoutput is rather small.

My advice work your way up to higher distances.

For instance, I started at only being able to do 6-7 100s, then I work my way up to a max of 12-14 per session. Then I start working on cutting rest times.

In my peak, I would do 16 x 100s with 30 seconds rest between runs. I would do that 2 to 3 times a week.

I was shredded and in the best shape of my life...I am currently working my way back to this point.

Hope this helps.


I am really enjoying my workouts as they are for the moment, I will continue with these for a few more weeks then possibly switch to this or something involving lots of complexes.



Thanks for the advice. I'll look for a longer stretch to up my distances. A soccer pitch is about 100m, there must be one in the park somewhere.

What are your thoughts on the ladder style?


If you're training for soccer, why do you want to sprint 100M? Do you ever run the length of the pitch? You may want to concentrate on harder, shorter sprints, i.e., more like the distance you run hard at any one time in a game, maybe plus 10% or so for over load and slower jogging to recover. This should help get you ready for the soccer season plus the fat loss. Good Luck



Here's an article from CT from a while ago about sprinting for energy systems work.

It even has some nice, convenient charts.


I suggest you try something like 6x200m at 35 seconds with 3-4 minutes rest in between. Adjust the time depending on your fitness level.


for soccer training, 100M isn't so bad at all. sure, you don't run straight up and down the field too often, but let's just suppose you're an outside back, you win a ball in your box, make a pass, and make an overlapping run all the way up the wing.

As you get to the final third, your team loses the ball and you have to make it all the way back....you have definitely just covered more than 100M and you sure as hell better have enough in the tank to turn right back around.


Thanks for the note. I've coached youth soccers at the lower levels and don't see that type of running. I think my basic point is still valid though, train for the type of high intensity you see in a game (plus 10% or so overload).


This is a TOUGH workout, especially if you're able to keep your time under about 15 seconds for the last couple.


Not enough rest, though. The last half of those reps are going to be closer to jogging than sprinting.

I think maybe 6-8 100's with 4 minutes rest once or twice or week would be better. You're not really going to need more than eight reps (if that many) of legit 100 M sprints.


It is an offseason D-1 football workout for conerbacks/running backs/receivers. It was supposed to be 3x week plus weights 3x week.

I can't do it now. Right now I can only get about 8-9 100m sprints, but with much more rest in between.