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Categories: Cardio Training

Interval Training Sprint Workout For Fat Loss

By Marc Perry / March 25, 2016

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.

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.

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 BuiltLean.com, 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.

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.

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.


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47 Comments

  • deno says:

    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
    Deno

    • Marc Perry, CSCS, CPT says:

      @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.

  • Cal says:

    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.

    • Marc Perry, CSCS, CPT says:

      @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.

  • Petal says:

    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!

    • Marc Perry, CSCS, CPT says:

      @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.

      • Petal says:

        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.

    • Petal says:

      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.

      • Marc Perry, CSCS, CPT says:

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

  • Corey says:

    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,
    Corey

    • Marc Perry, CSCS, CPT says:

      @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!

  • huzzi says:

    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 !

    • Marc Perry, CSCS, CPT says:

      @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!

  • Rachel says:

    What setting on a treadmill would you sprint at? Thanks

    • Marc Perry, CSCS, CPT says:

      @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!

  • Peter says:

    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! :)

  • Maxxime says:

    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?

    • Marc Perry, CSCS, CPT says:

      @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!

      • Maxxime says:

        Thanks!

  • Sravz says:

    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.

    • Kristin Rooke, CPT says:

      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 support@builtlean.com with your questions, and one of our elite BuiltLean Coaches will provide you advice on how to get started.

      -Kristin, BuiltLean Coach & Managing Editor

  • Erich Lahmers says:

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

    • Kristin says:

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

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