Exercise 4 – Wind Sprints

By synergymma | In News | on April 6, 2007

Wind Sprints

Wind sprint is a familiar term to athletes. For them it means to sprint or go very fast. But it’s the first word — WIND — that should really be emphasized, because the purpose of the exercise is to get momentarily winded. Athletes have to go very fast to get winded. Out-of-shape people can get winded from just walking.

Whether you are a person who wants burns LOTS of fat during aerobic exercise or increase your endurance for an upcoming fight, then you have to raise the level at which you exercise. Doing little bursts to “get winded” in the middle of your regular aerobic exercise session is what raises that level. Plus, wind sprints add intensity and challenge to your workouts without the danger of getting injured.

How Do I Do Wind Sprints?

During the middle of your aerobic exercise, add several short bursts of intensity by going faster or increasing the resistance. Don’t try to go as fast or as hard as you can, unless you are already in good shape. Just go fast enough so that after 20-40 seconds you are breathing harder.

The real secret to increasing fitness with wind sprints is what you do AFTER the sprint.

To get the maximum benefit from your sprint, you’ve got to return to the speed you were going prior to the sprint. Do not stop or go slower than pre-sprint speed. After you have recovered from the sprint, repeat this sprint/recover cycle. You can eventually add up to 5-10 sprints per workout. Here’s a bonus: when you add sprints to your workout you can shorten the total exercise time.

If you are preparing yourself for an upcoming fight, it is important to simulate the time structure and intensity of the fight as close as possible. If your fight is 3 rounds of 5 minutes with 1 minute rest in between rounds, you should do your wind sprints with that same time structure. For example, after every 20 seconds of jogging you sprint for 10 seconds. Once your body adapts to this and the intensity decreases, you can up intensity by increasing the length of each round, increasing the resistance, increasing the sprinting period, decreasing the jogging period, and/or shortening the rest period.

What Do I Mean By Intensity?

There are many ways to add intensity and going faster is one of them.

Using wind sprints to add intensity means exercising just a little bit harder than usual. It means for just a few moments. Let’s say you are terribly out of shape and 50 pounds overweight. Slow walking is your fastest comfortable exercise. In the middle of your walk you go up a short hill, which makes you puff a little. The uphill stretch is not hard enough or long enough to exhaust you or make you gasp, but it’s enough extra effort to make you glad to reach the top.

That little hill represents the level of intensity I’m talking about. Sprinting madly up the hill as if it were an emergency would be too intense, too exhausting for you. On the other hand, a fighter might have to zoom up a much steeper hill for a longer period of time to add intensity.

I am trying to show you tricks on how to add little bits of intensity without getting hurt. I emphasize again — WITHOUT getting hurt.

The beauty of wind sprints is that they can be added to any exercise: cycling, swimming, walking, rowing — you name it!

You must force your body to recuperate while it is still under stress!

Intensity is a relative term — it means pushing yourself beyond what’s comfortable.

Rules for Wind Sprints:

  • Sprint easy, recover hard.
  • You don’t have to sprint to do wind sprints — you just have to get winded.
  • It’s not the intensity of the sprint that matters — it’s the intensity of the recovery.

By Covert Bailey

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