Will Sprinting Burn Belly Fat?

Posted by Cody Bidlow on

Will sprinting burn belly fat? If you are looking for a quick way to burn belly fat through exercising, sprinting may be the best option for you.

In this article, you’ll learn how sprinting to lose belly fat is a great option for those seeking a fat loss exercise program.

Grab your running shoes and let’s get sprinting!

Will Sprinting Burn Belly Fat?

I know how hard it can be to lose weight. While I have not battled obesity myself, I have had times where I needed to drop weight, and the process was very challenging. I was working out harder, dealing with cravings, and really struggling to see progress.

Fortunately, there is a way to lose weight and burn belly fat without having to spend hours at the gym, run miles every day, or starve yourself with some crazy diet.

Sprinting Burns Belly Fat

In order to burn belly fat, exercising regularly and having a healthy diet are key to achieving your goals. The problem is that many forms of exercise are time consuming, arduous, and may not fit conveniently into a busy person’s schedule.

Sprinting in the form of sprint interval training can offer a time-efficient way to burn belly fat, allowing you to get a great workout in without having to dedicate hours every day to exercising. When paired with calorie restriction, sprinting will burn through belly fat as well or better than any other exercise out there.

Research On Sprinting For Weight Loss

Many studies have shown that high intensity interval training as well as sprint interval training are beneficial for weight loss and burning visceral fat. Visceral fat, also known as belly fat, is the type of body fat which is most associated with poor health outcomes. This type of fat sticks to the spaces around your organs, and plays a large role in why obesity can cause many other health problems.

Fortunately, sprinting provides those who are seeking to lose weight with a fantastic way to burn belly fat while only having to exercise for short amounts of time.

A 2019 meta-analysis showed that high intensity sprint interval training caused a 28.5% greater reduction in fat mass compared to moderate intensity exercise. This systematic review looked at hundreds of different research studies, assessed them for their quality, and from that looked at the collective results. The conclusion was that sprint interval training helps burn fat to a greater degree than other forms of training, suggesting that sprinting will burn belly fat.

Another study, titled “Exercise training-induced visceral fat loss in obese women: The role of training intensity and modality”, looked at various forms of sprint interval training, high intensity interval training, and moderate intensity continuous training. This study focused on subjects who were women suffering from obesity, meaning they had a body fat percentage equal or greater than 30%.

In this case, all forms of interval training were found to be effective for burning belly fat, but sprint interval training was found to be the most time-efficient method of burning visceral fat. Here, the research directly showed that sprinting burns belly fat, and does so in less time than other forms of training.

Sprinting To Lose Belly Fat

Now that we know that sprinting burns belly fat, the question becomes how can you use sprinting to lose belly fat.

To burn visceral fat through sprinting, sprinting workouts for fat loss should be performed one to three times per week. Initially, these workouts can be performed at around 75% effort, and over time the training intensity can be increased as your body gets used to sprinting.

For individuals who are able to run, sprinting on grass or on a running track can be a great way to start. An example sprinting workout for beginners who want to lose fat could consist of the following:

  1. Perform a thorough sprinting warm up.
  2. 8-12 x 100m at 75% effort, with 30 seconds to 2 minutes rest between each sprint.

After warming up, this sprinting workout would only take 10 to 20 minutes to complete, and is a great option for people who are new to sprinting and want to burn fat. 

After performing this workout a number of times, you can make changes to either the distance sprinted, the rest interval between sprints, or the intensity level of the sprints.

Here are a few examples of fat loss sprinting workout variations you can try after completing this initial workout several times:

  1. 6-10 x 100m at 90% effort, with 1 to 3 minutes between each sprint.
  2. 6 x 200m at 80% effort, with 1 to 3 minutes rest between sprints.
  3. 8 x 150m at 90% effort, with 1 to 4 minutes between sprints.

For individuals who cannot run or who prefer not to run, sprint interval training can be performed on a bicycle, an exercise bike, or even perform high intensity interval training using bodyweight exercises like squats and push ups.

If using some form of a bike, sprint interval training to burn belly fat can be performed for time rather than distance. For example, you can perform a workout such as the following:

  1. Easy cycling for 5 minutes to warm up.
  2. Perform 20 to 40 second high intensity sprints on the bike at a moderate resistance level.
  3. Recover in between sprints with easy cycling at a low resistance level for 1 to 3 minutes.
  4. Repeat this for 5 to 10 sprints, aiming to add an additional sprint every one or two workouts.

Tips For Sprinting For Fat Loss

Before you start your journey using sprinting to burn belly fat, consider the following tips to make sure your sprinting workouts are effective, safe, and enjoyable.

Warm Up Properly

Because sprinting is an intense activity with high levels of muscle tension, it is important that you warm up thoroughly. Warming up improves performance, prevents injury, and ensures that your body is prepared for the workout.

A proper warm up for sprinting can include jogging a lap or two around the track, performing light dynamic stretches and mobility exercises, sprint drills, and short sprints that increase in intensity with each sprint. For example at the end of your warm up you might perform 20 meter sprints at 50%, 60%, 70%, and then 80% effort.

Be Relaxed When You Sprint

For people who are new to sprinting, the best way to determine how fast to go is to only sprint as fast as you are able to do so while staying relaxed. Sprinting should feel like your body is freely flowing through the movement, and should not feel like you are straining.

If you are sprinting for fat loss and feel that your muscles are getting tight or the movement is hard to perform, reduce the intensity or speed slightly until you can sprint with ease and relaxed technique.

Sprinting relaxed will not only make you run faster, but will also prevent you from getting injured while you sprint.

Progress Sprint Training Over Time

In order to use sprinting to burn belly fat, it is important that you progress your sprinting workouts incrementally over time.

Start out with distances and intensities that you know you can handle. The workout should challenge you, but should be something that you know you can accomplish. For example if running 100 yards on a turf field is too far, then drop down to 50 or 70 yards to start. Over time you can work up to longer sprints.

Similarly, start with an intensity level that is moderate, such as 75% effort, before trying to increase the intensity level. Additionally, your rest periods can be shortened if you want to make the workout harder.

Try to just change one variable at a time, increasing either the distance, the intensity, or reducing the rest period. If you change all these variables at once, it may be too much of a shock to your body and make the workouts too hard.

Over time, you can find the right balance of distance sprinting, sprinting intensity level, and rest periods that work for you.

Will Sprinting Burn Belly Fat?

In conclusion, research and experience shows that sprinting is a great choice for fat loss and burning belly fat. With the right sprinting workouts and a healthy diet, you can use sprinting for fat loss which offers a time-efficient way to burn belly fat through exercise.

Now, get out there and sprint!     

References

  1. Viana RB, Naves JPA, Coswig VS, de Lira CAB, Steele J, Fisher JP, Gentil P. Is interval training the magic bullet for fat loss? A systematic review and meta-analysis comparing moderate-intensity continuous training with high-intensity interval training (HIIT). Br J Sports Med. 2019 May;53(10):655-664. doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2018-099928. Epub 2019 Feb 14. PMID: 30765340.
  2. Zhang H, Tong TK, Kong Z, Shi Q, Liu Y, Nie J. Exercise training-induced visceral fat loss in obese women: The role of training intensity and modality. Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2021 Jan;31(1):30-43. doi: 10.1111/sms.13803. Epub 2020 Sep 4. PMID: 32789898.

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