Travel and Fitness on the Go: Sprint Interval Training

          

August is always a popular month for vacation travel in the United States or abroad. Many find it challenging to maintain their exercise habits while on vacation. Thankfully, there are numerous ways to improve your health and fitness on the go and for very little time! Sprint Interval Training (SIT) is a type of high-intensity interval training that mixes two or more supramaximal (“all out”) efforts for 10 to 60 seconds interspersed with periods of recovery of very low intensity or complete rest. SIT can be done through running, biking, or any cardiovascular exercise you prefer. SIT is shown to safely increase exercise capacity, muscular endurance, and muscular metabolism in less time than traditional endurance training. SIT can be performed with as little as a pair of shoes and in 10 minutes, making it great for anyone on the go or short on time!

Why is SIT so effective in such a short time? SIT provides a strong stimulus to both the muscular and cardiovascular systems at the same time. Traditional endurance training only offers a significant stimulus for the cardiovascular system. After several weeks of SIT, you will see increased mitochondria number, maximal oxygen consumption, and improvements in muscle mitochondria function and blood glucose control. These adaptations to SIT contribute to better cardiovascular and metabolic health and longevity by simultaneously improving the strength of your heart and the function of your muscles.

If you want to try sprint interval training (SIT) and see the fantastic benefits yourself, please try the beginner SIT protocol below! When sprinting, push yourself as hard as you can for 15-30 seconds. When resting, jog, walk, or stand still. When warming up or cooling down, gradually increase/decrease your intensity to prepare yourself for exercise/recovery from exercise.

WeekMondayWednesdayFriday
Week 1 and 22.5 – minute warm-up
3x 20 seconds sprint
with 3 – minute rest
2.5 – minute cooldown
  
Week 3 and 42.5 -minute warm-up
3x 20 seconds sprint
with 3 – minute rest
2.5 – minute cooldown
 2.5 – minute warm-up
3x 20 seconds sprint
with 3 – minute rest
2.5 – minute cooldown
Week 5 and Beyond2.5 – minute warm-up
3x 20 seconds sprint
with 3 – minute rest 2.5 – minute cooldown
2.5 – minute warm-up
3x 20 seconds sprint
with 3 – minute rest
2.5 – minute cooldown
2.5 – minute warm-up
3x 20 seconds sprint
with 3 – minute rest
2.5 – minute cooldown

About the Author: Justin St. Peter

Originally from the northeast, Justin received his master’s degree in exercise science from Adelphi University and his undergraduate degree in applied exercise science from the University of New England. He is a Certified Exercise Physiologist through the American College of Sports Medicine. Justin has a broad range of experience using exercise and lifestyle changes to aid in the management of a chronic disease. During his time at Adelphi University, Justin was a graduate assistant where he was involved in managing an exercise program for most older adults as well as aiding faculty and students in research. Before joining the BaySport team, Justin developed and managed exercise and non-exercise-based programs for the management of cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and pre-diabetes, among others. In his free time, Justin enjoys nearly any type of physical activity, as well as cooking for friends and family. Some of his favorite sports are trail running, cycling, weightlifting, and skiing!


Photo by Coke’lat “Brown” Senior

Sources:

Litleskare, Sigbjørn et al. “Sprint Interval Running and Continuous Running Produce Training Specific Adaptations, Despite a Similar Improvement of Aerobic Endurance Capacity-A Randomized Trial of Healthy Adults.” International journal of environmental research and public health vol. 17,11 3865. 29 May. 2020, doi:10.3390/ijerph17113865

MacInnis, Martin J, and Martin J Gibala. “Physiological adaptations to interval training and the role of exercise intensity.” The Journal of physiology vol. 595,9 (2017): 2915-2930. doi:10.1113/JP273196

Vollaard, Niels B J, and Richard S Metcalfe. “Research into the Health Benefits of Sprint Interval Training Should Focus on Protocols with Fewer and Shorter Sprints.” Sports medicine (Auckland, N.Z.) vol. 47,12 (2017): 2443-2451. doi:10.1007/s40279-017-0727-x

Atakan, Muhammed M et al. “Six high-intensity interval training sessions over 5 days increases maximal oxygen uptake, endurance capacity, and sub-maximal exercise fat oxidation as much as 6 high-intensity interval training sessions over 2 weeks.” Journal of sport and health science vol. 10,4 (2021): 478-487. doi:10.1016/j.jshs.2020.06.008

Jiménez-Maldonado, Alberto et al. “Impact of high-intensity interval training and sprint interval training on peripheral markers of glycemic control in metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes.” Biochimica et biophysica acta. Molecular basis of disease vol. 1866,8 (2020): 165820. doi:10.1016/j.bbadis.2020.165820

Wahl, Patrick et al. “The Molecular Signature of High-intensity Training in the Human Body.” International journal of sports medicine vol. 43,3 (2022): 195-205. doi:10.1055/a-1551-9294

Mandić, Mirko et al. “Improvements in Maximal Oxygen Uptake After Sprint-Interval Training Coincide with Increases in Central Hemodynamic Factors.” Medicine and science in sports and exercise vol. 54,6 (2022): 944-952. doi:10.1249/MSS.0000000000002872

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