T Nation

Sprints or Distance

I know its a subject lifters hate to talk about, but I am in need of opinions on running. I hear so much about hiit training and it being a strong way to lose weight.

A friend of mine, however, is an exercise phys. major and offers up his science to disagree. And to cut all of what he said short, basically there is no fat burning during anaerobic exercise and that the body begins to use fat as fuel as after about 15 minutes of anaerobic exercise.

BUT, I’ve never seen a sprinter with an ounce of fat on him. And I have never seen a marathoner with an ounce of muscle.

Basically, I am 6’0, 220 lbs at about 18%BF. My goal is to get down to around 200 lbs. Now before I get I attacked I will quickly admit my diet needs a lot of work…something which I am addressing. But I want to lose that BF%. Based only on exercise and not my shite diet, to achieve this most efficiently, should I be sprinting or jogging?

Depending on how often you plan on running you could do both. Alternate days.

Monday: Interval workout
Tuesday: Longer active recovery run
Wednesday: Off
Thursday: Interval workout
Friday: Longer active recovery run
Saturday: Off
Sunday: Off

I don’t know what your weight training schedule looks like but the overall program could look like…

Monday: Lift
Tuesday: Interval workout
Wednesday: Lift
Thursday: Longer active recovery run
Friday: Lift
Saturday: Interval workout
Sunday: Off

Overall I think most here are partial to interval workouts over long, slow running though.

you answered it for yourself.

[quote]daneq wrote:
soundguy wrote: BUT, I’ve never seen a sprinter with an ounce of fat on him. And I have never seen a marathoner with an ounce of muscle.

you answered it for yourself.


hehe…I was going to say the same thing.

My smartass answer is to say it depends on your goals. If you just want to get to 200 and you don’t care about what you look like, then do the distance running. If you want to look good nekkid, stick with lifting and sprints.

I think distance running will just make you burn muscle.

For Daneq
It should be noted that while marathon runners have low levels of muscle, they also possess very low body fat levels.

Secondly you should realise that no 100, 200 or 400 metre runner will perform any form of exercise that resembles Hiit. Instead they perform tempo runs or aerobic intervals and perform maximal sprints with 10 to 15 minutes of rest.

Yes i said minutes.

If you want more on this topic have a read of lyle mcdonalds blog.

Do you want to look more like a sprinter or a marathon runner? Train accordingly.

http://www.T-Nation.com/article/performance_training/cosgroves_five_ahha_moments covers it a little.

My experience with it is that I drop both fat and muscle with longer steady state running and drop mostly fat with HIIT.

Either your friend is wrong or your interpretation of what they said is wrong but even the text book admit that you’re burning some fat for energy almost immediately and that it becomes primarily fat after about 15 minutes of aerobic activity.

Regardless, when there is an oxygen dept to pay, it’s going to require energy to pay it and that energy is most likely going to come from fat.

You can’t just look at what is going on while you’re exercising or 15 minutes into exercise. Are you exercising 24/7? There are too many reasons in my opinion to avoid long distance running. Sprints for the win. (not necessarily HIIT, but sprints)

Well all this is basically what I kinda told my friend. He has his textbook, but I am looking at pictured results of the two types of runners. Ripped or dangly. I realize the chances of atrophy in jogging and all. I guess I am just curious when you break the two down, which one is the best fat burner. No goals in mind, no body type, nothing. Just being incredibly general. Are sprints more effective as a fat burner or is jogging.

I’m reading thru his blog right now. This is good stuff. Thanks man.

he’s right as the body primarily burns carbs during ANaerobic exercise and a mix of carbs/fat during aerobic (this is not debatable).

that however is a very simplistic view.

as said look at the body of a sprinter and the body of a marathon runner or an aerobics instructor may be a better example.