Interval Training Sprint Workout For Fat Loss

/ 9.19.11 / Medically Reviewed

I have a high intensity interval training workout below for you to help you burn A TON of calories and burn some serious fat.  Sprinting is debatably the most effective cardio method to burn the most amount of fat in the least amount of time.

The following workout is a 200 meter interval training sprint I do at the East River Park track in NYC.

Warm Up

Dynamic Stretching

Start the workout with a dynamic stretching routine, which helps the body improve kinesthetic awareness, get warmed up, and stretch out all at the same time.  There are many different exercises you can use, but if you’re not familiar, you should check out my article and video on dynamic stretching: Best Dynamic Stretching Warm Up Routine.

Interval Training Sprint Workout for Fat Loss - Warmup

Jog For 2 Laps

Before sprinting, it’s a good idea to do some light jogging beforehand to get your muscles ready for intense sprinting.  I prefer a couple times around the track (800 meters), which is about half a mile.  It’s enough to get a decent sweat, but not enough to conserve energy for the sprints.

Interval Training Sprint Workout for Fat Loss - Warmup

Sprint Workout

Sprint for 200 Meters (5x)

Now we’re ready to start sprinting to help you burn some serious calories and fat.  You are going to sprint as fast as you can for 200 meters, which is half the track, then you are going to walk for 200 meters.  You are going to alternate between sprinting and running for 5 rounds.  If you are in awesome shape, you may be able to shoot for 10 rounds, and conversely if you are starting out, you only lightly jog instead of sprint.

As I’ve mentioned in numerous articles on, intense bouts of anaerobic activity (like sprinting) can burn significant calories not only during, but also after the workout (the Afterburn Effect).  This is a recipe for getting a lean body while spending MUCH less time working out.

Interval Training Sprint Workout for Fat Loss - Workout

Walk for 200 meters (5x)

In the photo below, I’m walking at a moderate pace to catch my breath and get ready for the sprints.  The last couple sprints are tough because you may not be able to fully recover your breath.  Some of my friends who were track athletes tell me they used to jog between sprinting sometimes instead of walking, but that was mainly for 100 meters on and 100 meters off interval training.

Interval Training Sprint Workout for Fat Loss - Workout

Cooldown (Static Stretching)

I prefer static stretching at the end of the track workout to help loosen up the muscles, which can become tight and fatigued after the intense sprinting.  This stretching at the end can also aid in recovery by reducing the amount of soreness you feel the next day.  For a static stretching routine to try, you can see: Basic Stretch Routine & Exercises.

Interval Training Sprint Workout for Fat Loss - Cooldown



  1. profile avatar
    Scott Sep 25, 2011 - 18:47 #

    Marc: Great video. I’ve been doing 400 meter sprints for the past few months. SPRINT for 400, 10 push ups, 20 sit-ups then rest for 90 seconds – I try to do this 6-8 times. I do feel that I cannot sustain 100% sprint after several rounds, and/or cannot sustain the intensity towards the end of the sprint section. I am going to try bringing it down to 200 meter sprints and see how it goes. On a side note, this interval “SPRINT” training has indeed helped my speed when I run for distance. I have been able to shave off very precious seconds off my mile. This is huge for me considering running is my NEMESIS! As always, thanks Marc!

    1. profile avatar
      Marc Perry Sep 27, 2011 - 10:17 #

      @Scott – Thanks for sharing. I’ve heard from a lot of people sprinting helps improve the pace of their longer distance races. I think cutting down the sprint to 200 meters will allow you to run even faster.

  2. profile avatar
    John Nov 16, 2011 - 04:17 #

    Does Interval training increase the testosterone of your body?

    1. profile avatar
      Marc Perry Nov 16, 2011 - 19:35 #

      @John – I haven’t come across any studies specifically measuring interval training with sprints and testosterone, but my best guess is that interval training, especially short and intense sprints would have a positive effect on testosterone. From my own experience, supersetting leg exercises has an impressive impact on testosterone (doing squats, the forward lunges, with little of no rest between sets). Using supersets and tri-sets is the only way I train legs. Thanks for the question and I’ll let you know if I come across more specific research. If anyone else wants to chime in with specific research examples, please do.

      1. profile avatar
        Samer Sep 14, 2012 - 15:43 #

        There actually is a study (Australian) that found a connection between HIIT and testosterone boost. In the study, male particpants that used higher resistance on the bikes spiked testosterone production 100%, while those that used lower resistance raised it by 60%.

  3. profile avatar
    McCleve Dec 14, 2011 - 18:04 #

    Which is more effective? Using a treadmill or outdoors jogging?Or is it equaly effective, this question keep bugging me.

    1. profile avatar
      Marc Perry Dec 17, 2011 - 19:42 #

      @McCleve – Effective in what way? Burning maximum number of calories? Increasing speed? Less pressure on the joints? Jogging does offer some, albeit it limited benefits from a fat loss perspective compared to higher intensity training, like with sprints. Jogging can certainly help you maintain your weight though if you are eating the right number of calories. With that said, I believe (I’m sure there is research that supports this assertion) that jogging outside generally burns more calories and is more effective for fat loss. You need to push off the ground to a much greater degree then on a treadmill, where the ground is essentially moving underneath your feet. You just need to strike your foot, not push off with the same force. Hope that answers your question.

  4. profile avatar
    Alessandro Feb 26, 2012 - 03:22 #

    Does this training improves my cardio and speed?

    1. profile avatar
      Marc Perry, CSCS, CPT Feb 27, 2012 - 10:37 #

      @Alessandro – The short answer is yes, it does! This is the same type of training that world class track athletes do to help increase their cardiovascular capacity and speed. HIIT combined with lifting can help increase speed and power.

  5. profile avatar
    Samantha Mar 07, 2012 - 05:03 #


    I Have been doing Insanity interval workouts now for 5 weeks and I am not loosing weight or inches. The workouts are intense and lasted 40 minutes a day 6 days a week for 4 weeks then a less intense recovery week and now they are 60 mins a day. What am I doing wrong?

    Before this I worked out 3 days aerobics for 40 mins and 2 days weights 50 mins. I was only eating 800 calories a day during the week and increased a lot on weekends, which i know now was not good. But since starting this program I changed my eating habits to eating clean 1300 – 1400 calorie’s a day, but I didn’t lose any pounds but i didn’t gain either from the increased calories, so now i have increased to 1600 a day and I put on a pound. I desperately want to lose about 10 lbs. I am a 33 year old female weighing 138 lbs. What should I do? Should I cut my calories back down?

    1. profile avatar
      Marc Perry, CSCS, CPT Mar 10, 2012 - 17:40 #

      @Samantha – I think there are a few things to consider. If you’ve been eating clean and eating 1300-1400 calories and still not losing weight after 3 weeks despite a lot of exercise (1) drink more water (2) get your hormones checked out, you may have some hormonal imbalances and the right supplementation plan can get you back on track and (3) eat whole, unprocessed foods emphasizing protein and cutting out all empty calories in your diet and (4) make sure you are right on your calories by preparing most of the food at home. When I personally make all my own food, my results are by far the best!

  6. profile avatar
    Wayne May 02, 2012 - 14:46 #

    Is there an interval training that starts with 100m sprints and goes up to 200 and maybe a 400 ?

  7. profile avatar
    Aina Jun 23, 2012 - 23:30 #

    Hi Marc,

    First I’d just like to say that your articles are all very wonderful. BuiltLean has been bookmarked!

    I’d like to ask you a question. I am just starting to implement your advice (weightlifting, HIIT). One day I sufficiently warmed up before strength training and I found that the next day I did not experience any soreness at all, which to me was rather worrying. I felt that the workout was not as effective as when I’m sore, eventhough it (the workout) was hard. Should I be worried?

    Thank you so much! 🙂

    1. profile avatar
      Marc Perry, CSCS, CPT Jun 28, 2012 - 11:14 #

      @Aina – Happy you have the site bookmarked! The quality of a workout is not dictated by how sore you are. It took me a while to figure this out. The idea is to train hard enough to create a training response. You don’t need to workout so hard that you are sore for a week, because who wants to walk around with a sore body all the time, right? In addition, because you warmed up thoroughly, it may have helped your muscles recover faster. If your muscles are able to recover faster, you should be able to get better results. I would say a little soreness in your muscles that lasts for 1-2 days is ok to shoot for, but there’s no reason to be very sore. In addition, if you worked out hard and hit your body hard but do not get sore the next day, it’s a sign you’re getting in great shape! I also recommend reading the answer to question #5 on this Weekly Q&A RoundUp.

  8. profile avatar
    Veronica Jul 10, 2012 - 08:23 #

    Hi. I’m a female teenager. I want to loose fats, but I don’t want to gain chunky legs. I want lean and long legs. Do you suggest I do sprinting or long distance runs?

    1. profile avatar
      Marc Perry, CSCS, CPT Jul 12, 2012 - 16:23 #

      @Veronica – I would suggest sprinting for sure – it will help you burn more fat and calories. Just be careful to warm up and take your time before sprinting too fast. Make the workouts a little bit harder and a little bit harder over time – See: Exercise Progression.

  9. profile avatar
    Alex Jul 16, 2012 - 20:10 #

    Marc, how often would you recommend doing this exercise and what would you recommend on the days you’re not performing this routine? I’m currently focused more on long distance sprinting, but it’s grown stale and I’m stagnating. I’m a heavier set guy and I’m looking for the best exercise regimen to drop some tonnage.

    1. profile avatar
      Marc Perry, CSCS, CPT Jul 19, 2012 - 15:07 #

      @Alex – If you are looking to lose more fat, sprinting will help, but nutrition is far more important. I suggest you check out my free Get Lean Guide. It will likely be helpful for you. You also may consider adding in some full body strength training workouts if you are not doing so already. I think doing a sprint workout for someone who is more heavy set, I would limit to 2x per week, because the force is intense on the body. May consider adding in a little jump rope, swimming (if you have access), or some shorter sprints that last 100-200 yards.

  10. profile avatar
    Taimoor Jul 17, 2012 - 06:25 #

    Hello Marc.. It indeed is a great piece of advice you have given on sprint interval training.. I want to ask you few questions that wont consume much of your time.

    1. My age is 34, height 71 Inches and weight is188 lbs. I have been running for 12 km /65 minutes daily for last 2 weeks. The purpose is to cut down my waist and belly fats. But its not working out. I sweat like anything yet i do not see my waist measurements coming down.

    2. My diet does not include sweets, creams or cokes etc. I take a strict normal diet which is 2-3 times in a day followed by a mango in afternoon and two cups of milk at night. My arms have become very thin and so have my shoulders.

    If you can advise me a work out that can build muscles and also cut down fats around my waist line, i will be very grateful. Its my post ever on some professional trainer website as i find it very exciting and helpful. I wish you success and a healthy life in years to come. God bless…

    1. profile avatar
      Marc Perry, CSCS, CPT Jul 19, 2012 - 15:27 #

      @Taimoor – I’m sure you are very frustrated you are not getting the results you want despite putting forth the effort to exercise and eat effectively. First, if you have not done so, I would recommend checking out my free Get Lean Guide, which will teach you the basics of getting lean. I would recommend against trying to lose fat and build muscle at the same time, as I discuss in this article – Can You Lose Fat and Build Muscle At The Same Time?. Finally, if you really want to optimize your results, you can begin tracking your nutrition to see how you can improve it – See: How To Track Calories To Lose Fat (3 Methods).

  11. profile avatar
    Chris Jul 19, 2012 - 02:14 #

    This is a question more about general HIIT workouts, but would doing something like a full-speed suicides for a minute then slower speed suicides for 2 minutes be equivalent to the jogging on a treadmill? I would be doing the suicides in my driveway which I estimate to be around 80 or so feet long.

    I have a treadmill but I’m just not comfortable with running full pelt on it. It’s fairly narrow and I don’t think it could support my weight (Around 240-ish) running on it.

    Currently, I am doing 30 minutes of walking on the treadmill and about an hour of basketball outside. I’ve been doing this for about a month and haven’t been seeing results (though that might be due to my diet which I am trying to change) so I’m looking for a change of pace.

    1. profile avatar
      Marc Perry, CSCS, CPT Jul 19, 2012 - 15:38 #

      @Chris – Diet is definitely the most important thing so I encourage you to start focusing on it. Doing suicides is a great workout and can certainly replace a treadmill workout. Consider doing a certain number of them – like 5, then increasing the volume, or intensity over time. But again, diet will have by far the largest impact.

  12. profile avatar
    Israel Branford Jul 28, 2012 - 19:38 #

    Awesome Website Marc. I’m a Georgia State University Graduate in Exercise Science, and I wanted to know how you started in the fitness industry. What kind of tips can you give me to further my career. Also, would you recommend me getting my CSCS certification?

    1. profile avatar
      Marc Perry, CSCS, CPT Aug 02, 2012 - 18:54 #

      @Israel Branford – I would recommend getting an internship of some kind with a strength coach/personal trainer who has a lot of experience. The idea is the more hands on experience you get, the better. The challenge with a lot of guys like yourself in exercise science is that you may not have as much hands on experience to help a variety of people in real life situations. The more situations and hands on experience you get, the better off you will be. The CSCS is up to you. If you see yourself wanting to work with athletes, then it’s a must and well respected. Good luck!

  13. profile avatar
    deno Sep 13, 2012 - 06:03 #

    Hi, Thanks for the info . i would like to ask
    How many days in a week are suggested for the 200 mt interval sprint workout?
    Best regards

    1. profile avatar
      Marc Perry, CSCS, CPT Sep 15, 2012 - 17:25 #

      @deno – that’s really up to you. Somewhere around 1-3x per week should suffice. Then 2-3 strength training workouts as well could be a solid fat burning program. Just be sure to do plenty of stretching, eat well, and you should be ok with that type of exercises volume and intensity assuming you are fit enough to do so.

  14. profile avatar
    Cal Sep 15, 2012 - 18:57 #

    Hey Marc

    I’m looking to join the army as infantry. I currently go to the gym 4 times a week. I feel that i need to increase my endurance over my strength, so is 1 or 2 high intensity training sessions of sprinting enough to help me improve my endurance.

    1. profile avatar
      Marc Perry, CSCS, CPT Sep 20, 2012 - 18:41 #

      @Cal – I think so. The idea is to make those two sprinting workouts a bit harder each time, which will help improve your cardio capacity. If you don’t make the workouts harder, you may not improve though.

  15. profile avatar
    Petal Sep 20, 2012 - 16:23 #

    Hi Mark,

    I just started eating a diet very strict of lean proteins and veggies consisting of less than 1000 calories a day. I also am sprinting every other day and incorporating burpee type exercises with weights on my non-sprinting days. Do you think this type of low carb diet/exercise program will help me accelerate fat loss? Ive always counted calories and and exercised, but never really counted carbs or performed HIIT. My friend lost 60 pounds eating this way, so I will achieve the same results. Thank you!

    1. profile avatar
      Petal Sep 20, 2012 - 16:48 #

      Sorry, I meant to say my friend lost 60 pounds eating this way, and I am hoping to achieve the same results if I do the same.

      Also, I like to have a some wine/drinks on a Friday or Saturday night. I know this can stall weight loss, but if I just eat less during that day I decide to drink, I feel I can still enjoy myself a little bit?? The problem is I feel ravenously hungry the next day, and give in to terrible terrible foods:( I have the strongest will power when it comes to dieting, however the next day after drinking, I tend to crave everything in sight! It’s not good:( Any helpful hints for this?? Thank you.

      1. profile avatar
        Marc Perry, CSCS, CPT Sep 20, 2012 - 22:18 #

        @Petal – I’m not a fan of very agressive diet or workout tactics for the very reason you are discussing.

    2. profile avatar
      Marc Perry, CSCS, CPT Sep 20, 2012 - 22:17 #

      @Petal – the amount of calories you are eating sounds a bit low (see: How Many Calories Should You Eat To Lose Weight?. Remember, it’s not about how fast you lose weight. You can actually do pretty serious damage to your body if you lose it too fast (i.e. metabolism drops, muscle loss, loose skin etc.). The idea is to lose fat without losing muscle at a measured pace. Trying to get too agressive will only burn you out and lead to disappointment.

      1. profile avatar
        Petal Sep 21, 2012 - 00:24 #

        Indeed. Thank you kindly for your quick response. I will try to bump up my calories a bit more and see what happens. I will continue to follow your posts! They are very informative. Thank you so much again.

  16. profile avatar
    Corey Sep 21, 2012 - 00:35 #

    Hi Marc,

    I’ve been using your site for a while now as a bounty of great information. I’m 24 going on 25, 5′ 10″ and average about 174.5lbs with roughly 9-10% body fat. I’m on a mission to be truly ripped at least once in my life (also I’m attempting to be an actor, so lean looks tend to be a plus). I take in roughly 1840 calories with a 40/40/20 carb/protein/fat intake, most of which come from lean meats, veggies, fruit, all the good stuff. I’ve been stalled at my current weight for about two weeks. I do full body bodyweight workouts 3x per week, followed by 10 minutes of HIIT sprinting (normally sprint for 30 seconds, walk/slow jog for 60). I’ve noticed a great increase in strength and tone to my arms, legs, and midsection (though I have yet to see really nice ab definition), but can’t seem to make any progress lately.

    Any advice to kickstart the fat burn again/get my abs to pop? I’m really aiming for 6% BF

    Thanks and keep up the good work,

    1. profile avatar
      Marc Perry, CSCS, CPT Sep 21, 2012 - 13:33 #

      @Corey – Congrats on your success so far and thanks for the kind words regarding the site. It sounds like you are very close to getting the very defined body you want. It also sounds like you are only 3-5lb away from your goal. At this point, it’s imperative to not lose any muscle. I think shooting for 0.5lb to 1lb of fat loss per week is ideal. The pace of fat will slow, but in order to get leaner, you must retain your muscle mass. I would continue doing what you are doing and see how it goes. If it’s been over 2-3 weeks since you’ve lose any fat, I would consider bringing the calories down a little lower, or adding a little bit more exercise/intervals to your routine and making the routine a bit harder as well in terms of intensity. Good luck!

  17. profile avatar
    huzzi Sep 23, 2012 - 15:08 #

    Hey Marc,
    I have been reading all this now and i feel kinda inspired to ask you this- so that i can get my head straight to think rite.As u know more than i would.
    I’m going to be 25 in a months time. And there is this immense want to have this lean ripped out body. I started working out on that want sometime back. From 90 kg- i cut myself to a 77 now. And in the span of two months plus with aggressive diet of 22 egg whites and fruits only diet. With few veggies here and there.
    I have started to feel the heat of being so aggressive as i’m just getting fed up of it ! this weekend i just indulged in junk as i knew i needed recovery from the long wok out and diet.
    NOW- i wannna stabilize as i knw i cant be on this mad diet forever. SO this is my plan to get my packs now!
    Three days a week would be muscle training ( 2 body parts a day with a 20 min cardio ) and three days a week with a 90 min cardio ( 60 mins low intensity and 30 mins high intensity ) and ABS !
    Now my biggest worry is ? wat would be my diet- I wanna do a 12 weeek challenge within myself but not with a ripped out DIET plann but with somethin i wouldnt get frustrated with and continue being lean for ever.
    Let me know-
    Thanks bud !

    1. profile avatar
      Marc Perry, CSCS, CPT Sep 29, 2012 - 17:06 #

      @huzzi – I think the idea would be to focus on natural foods and create guidelines for yourself. For example, eat 2 pieces of fruit a day, or maybe 3 servings of veggies, 1 cup of starchy carbs (rice, potatoes etc.). I think a guideline approach is more flexible, but will still create some structure, which can be helpful. This is along the lines of what I did in the nutrition section of my BuiltLean Program. Good luck!

  18. profile avatar
    Rachel Oct 02, 2012 - 04:26 #

    What setting on a treadmill would you sprint at? Thanks

    1. profile avatar
      Marc Perry, CSCS, CPT Oct 04, 2012 - 15:55 #

      @Rachel – I think it depends on how fast you are and the shape you are in. I’ve seen women do sprints from 8mph to 11.5mph and men do 10mph – 14mph (some treadmills go up to 14 mph) for 30 second to 60 second sprints. Of course, you will be able to sprint at a higher speed if you are only doing lets say 20-30 second sprints, so keep that in mind. In addition, sometimes instead of making the speed faster, you can choose to increase the incline instead. I’ve done 12mph on a 10 incline for 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off for only 5 minutes and it’s a brutal workout!

  19. profile avatar
    Peter Oct 10, 2012 - 15:13 #

    Hey Marc, thank you very much for this video. I am really excited to try this workout but my question is, would this workout result in muscle mass loss? Thanks Marc! 🙂

  20. profile avatar
    Maxxime Oct 10, 2012 - 22:42 #

    Hi Marc,
    I’m a teenage girl and, obviously, i’m trying to lose weight. I’ve been doing sprint intervals, and have lost a bit of weight, but i notices that after i sprint, i am not sweating at all, even though my heart rate goes way up… Is that normal? Does it have anything to do with my age?( I do around 8 x 100m) Also, can i sprint every day, or is that unhealthy?

    1. profile avatar
      Marc Perry, CSCS, CPT Oct 11, 2012 - 19:26 #

      @Maxxime – I suggest talking with your PE teacher or an athletic coach at your school. I think sprinting every other day should be ok, but again it’s ideal to get evaluated. Regarding losing weight, it’s mostly a nutritional challenge but I’m sure the interval training will help a lot!

      1. profile avatar
        Maxxime Oct 13, 2012 - 16:36 #


  21. profile avatar
    Sravz Nov 03, 2016 - 11:51 #

    Hi Marc ,

    I seriously need a help in loosing my lower body fat. And seriously i am very new to gym or actually my body is too sensitive to handle hard and intense exercises. Please do suggest me some start up and best work outs to loose my lower body fat. I am 29 and working as an IT engineer which involves mostly a sitting job in front of computer.

    1. profile avatar
      Kristin Rooke, CPT Nov 03, 2016 - 14:02 #

      Hi there! We can definitely give you some direction on how to lose body fat and get in better shape. Getting lean, strong, and healthy requires a combination of good nutrition, a progressive exercise program, and some lifestyle modifications. I would recommend reaching out to [email protected] with your questions, and one of our elite BuiltLean Coaches will provide you advice on how to get started.

      -Kristin, BuiltLean Coach & Managing Editor

  22. profile avatar
    Erich Lahmers Jan 06, 2017 - 05:10 #

    I have read a few of your articles and they all are pretty useful. Thanks for the help.

    1. profile avatar
      Kristin Jan 06, 2017 - 12:08 #

      More than happy to help! Glad you found the articles valuable.
      -Kristin, BuiltLean Coach & Managing Editor

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