Continuing from last week, hopefully you have grasped my basic argument that while some of the differences between sprinters and endurance athletes does have to do with training it’s also partly genetic, some of which is racial (I didn’t get into detail about this and spare me the racist comments), and some of which is sporting selection for certain body types. Mostly whether or not a given individual who does one sport or the other has more to do with the presence or absence of weight training than anything else.
But let’s play a game today. Let’s ASSume that the body types of sprinters is built by their sprint work (I still see this floating around, the idea that you should run sprints to be built like a sprinter even if it’s total nonsense). It’s not true but let’s assume that it is. And I want to assume that it is to make a point that what people think sprint training is or the types of training they use this idiotic comparison to promote is actually almost never what sprinters actually do. I’ll also address an alternate part of the argument is that sprint training is not only superior but more time efficient than endurance training.
And here’s my own tl;dr: All of those ideas are completely false. And now I’ll show you how that is the case.
A bunch of years back, High-Intensity Interval Training or HIIT (not to be confused with the 1-set to failure HIT weight room work) became popular. Here’s some trivia, I believe that I was one of the first people to actually write about this in my first book on ketogenic diets in the late 90’s. I had known for a lot of years that the intensity of aerobic work really didn’t matter (i.e. the Fat Burning Zone is crap and calorie expenditure was the primary driver on fat loss in the big scheme of things) and wrote about the Tremblay study in The Ketogenic Diet (I recall MM2k having done an article about it as well). But as usual it would be years before the industry jumped on the HIIT bandwagon.
And jump they did. With increasing amounts of evidence that HIIT was more time efficient and had at least the same health and physiological benefits as longer duration exercise (at least for a while anyhow, fitness gains tapered off pretty quickly), everybody got on board. Maybe the most misunderstood study was the Tabata study/protocol which you can read about.