Sprint or Jog?

What should you be doing? Honestly both.  They both have their benefits and place in your training.  Let’s take a look at why.

They both are parts of different energy systems in your body and thus have different impacts on the body.  Let’s start with the jogging or yogging if you are as excited for the new Anchorman as me.


Jogging is considered to be a moderate to low intensity form of cardio.  You should be able to talk a little at a faster pace and a lot at a slower pace.  For a solid calorie burn you need to jog for 20-30 minutes depending on your pace without stopping.  During the jog you will mostly be burning calories from fat, which may sound appealing but wait till you hear about the sprint.

Sprinting, it sounds daunting and probably reminds you of not so fond high school gym class.  We’re past that now, and the only person you’re racing against is yourself from the week before, the perfect opponent.  Sprinting requires an all out effort of speed and power for either a set time or better yet distance.  Sprinting torches calories, flat out.  Although it does burn less calories from fat and more from stored carbohydrates in muscles (glycogen), the overall calorie burn of a 15-20 minute session outweighs the jog every time.  Raising your heart rate to a maximum elevation and letting it come back down is much tougher on your body then keeping it at a moderately high level.  This is because during sprints your body actually consumes more oxygen than it can take in.  This means that you owe something, oxygen.  Luckily unlike other debt, an oxygen debt is a great thing to have.  Your body will have to take in extra oxygen after working out to make up for it thus helping you burn extra calories, while you plop on the couch after your sprints.  This little miracle of couch burning calories is called EPOC (Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption).


You might be thinking that now you have to run only sprints, why wouldn’t you? It takes less time, and burns more calories.  Something you can’t overlook is recovery.  Sprints or other High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) activities take a toll on the body.  Just like you wouldn’t do bicep curls every day you wouldn’t work the same energy system every day doing sprints.  The solution is a healthy mix of jogging and sprinting.  This will help your recovery, give you a balanced routine, and keep you motivated.

But you say you hate running?  Well you don’t have to sprint or jog there are many alternatives to both with similar effects.

Alternatives to jogging:

  • Biking
  • Group Fitness Classes
  • Moderate Intensity Exercise Circuits
  • Elliptical (If you must, just kidding I do it all the time, just crank up the resistance)

Alternatives to sprinting:

  • Kettlebell swings for 15-30 seconds
  • 200m Row
  • 15-30 seconds squat jumps or burpees
  • 15-30 seconds sprint on a bike

Get off the couch try one of these HIIT activities plop back on it and feel the calorie burn!

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