Friday, February 20, 2009

For Austin runners, ameteur athletes, and anyone else spending too much time in Austin, TX on a treadmill


Sprinting: The Courvaisier of Cardio
By Loki

When it comes to cutting you up and promoting a nutrient-partitioning milieu conducive to building and maintaining a lean, muscular physique, sprinting simply cannot be beat. A simple look at competitive athletics demonstrates this pretty clearly.

And I am NOT even talking about PRO-athletics, a world rife with performance-enhancing-drug-using, one-and-a-million-gene-possessing individuals who are able to log hours of gym-time every day while being tended to by a virtual cadre of trainers, coaches, dieticians and sports-specialists.

No, instead just think back to your high-school days (unless you were home-schooled, in which case may someone have mercy on your sad, coddled soul, because you're just going to have to skip a few sentences).

Okay, now - mild genetic-selectivity aside - who were the most ripped (i.e. lowest amount of bodyfat relative to the amount of lean body mass carried) guys on your football team? The running backs, wide receivers and defensive backs, right? Track team? Jumpers and guys who ran events 400m and shorter. Basketball team guards?

Almost none of the guys or girls whose athletic lively-hoods depended on their being able to sprint at maximal or near-maximal speed (causing them to thereby hone their anaerobic threshold in the process) ever had an appreciable amount of bodyfat on their frames during their playing days.

Most folks (while speeding by the track on the way to the weight-room) still mistakenly attribute this phenomenon to simple 'ectomorphism.' Well I, Loki, shall not tolerate it any longer, and that is why I have come to preach the gospel of "going really fast with your feet."

The fact of the matter is, those kids' physiques may have been influenced by 'ectomorphism,' but they were influenced a whole helluva' lot more by "the big A's" when it comes to nutrient-partitioning, fat oxidation, and physique-augmentation:

  • 5'-AMP-mediated protein kinase (AMPk)
  • Acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC) and
  • ADP : ATP (adenosine di- and tri- phosphate, respectively) cellular ratios.

The fact of the matter is, unless you simply happen to be the most inept Google-user on God's green Earth, if you're reading this article, you care about exercise and how you look. And if you care about either (and hopefully both), then you should make sure you save some room in that split of yours for some sprint work. Because 'booking it big-time' - be it on a track, in a park, in your yard, or from 'the 5-0' - will do more to develop your aesthetic and anaerobic capacities than anything else out there.

Trying to lose fat? You should be sprinting. Trying to gain lean mass? You should be sprinting. Trying to defy conventional established wisdom and be really badass and do both simultaneously in an effort to 'recomp?' Then you damn-sure NEED to be sprinting. And a look at the physiological effects and adaptations elicited by consistent (and possibly even infrequent) sprint-sessions, which I shall now share with you... will make things abundantly clear.