“No Shortcuts” Sprint & Lunge Cardio and Leg Workout

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A workout steeped in simplicity that will strip fat, build solid legs and forge mental fortitude.
There is no secret. No formulas, no “hacks,” and no shortcuts.

There’s simply turning up and doing the work.

Too often do I see people with a burning desire to reach the destination, but detesting the journey itself.

Related – Choose the Best Cardio Workout for You

It’s these individuals who waste precious, ever-fleeting time and energy in the search of fabled motivation. Instead of just turning up, casting aside feelings, thoughts and concerns and getting the work done.

That’s honestly the “secret” to strength, toughness, size, aesthetics and all the rest – show up, put in the effort, enjoy the discomfort and repeat the process over and over.

The sad thing is, most know this, but choose to over-complicate and embody themselves in excuses, rather than taking the actions required.

You have to be willing to suffer.

There will be discomfort and it’s in this place joy must be found.

A long time ago, I realized the typical fitness world wasn’t for me. The over-commercialization, the lies and the gimmicks weren’t me.

I found my joy and sanctuary in the uncommon. In the simple and more often than not, the solitude.

There are no excuses in my world. Just turn up, put in the work and repeat the process over.

It saddens me when people part with cash, collecting equipment that’ll never be used in the hope that it’ll aid them in reaching their destinations.

Take fat loss.

Stripping fat from your frame and in doing so, improving athletic performance, aesthetics and health need not be complex.

My go-to for fat loss and balls to the wall conditioning involves just two exercises – two exercises that require no more than an open field and an attitude of never-say-die.

The two exercises?

Sprints and walking lunges…

It makes me laugh at how simplistic these two movements are and despite the zero monetary requirements, people just don’t do them.

I know why though.

Sprints are freaking hard. Your lungs will feel a fire that passes up into your throat. It’s uncomfortable, at times painful and they sure as hell never become easier. You have to just dig deeper each and every time. You have to push harder with a greater sense of urgency and resolve.

The walking lunges are a totally different animal. Post sprints, with the legs fatigued and the mind beaten down, they’re the epitome of the word grind. They’ll give you a very real sense of what it is your hamstring and glutes do. They’ll show you just how hard your quads can work and they’ll push your mind to very tough places.

With a pairing like this, you’ll understand just what discomfort is, but with it, you’ll truly understand and appreciate what it takes to achieve the things you want.

The Cardio and Leg Workout

Obviously, this should go without saying, but if you haven’t sprinted in a long time, ease into things – Sprints will kick your butt.

The following is something I like to do with myself and my fighters. Oh, and let me remind you dear reader, I’m 6’7″ and weigh 275lbs, so even the big guys should get the sprints and bodyweight work in.

Now remember, these are a series of sprints and not casual running. Each sprint has to be as powerful and explosive as possible. You’re looking to cover the given distances in as short a time as possible by being as powerful as possible.

As far as rest periods go, the time you rest is on your head.

Cutting your rest periods too short will cause you to just chase fatigue and ultimately miss the point of the workout. In the same vein, resting too long takes away from the point too – so use your best judgment. You want enough rest to ensure a powerful sprint, but not too much that you’re fully recovered between.

As a rule of thumb, on the shorter sprints, the walk back to the start is enough. As they get a little longer, more rest is required – say double or triple the time the actual sprint took.

Always begin with a thorough warm-up. Make it consist of some gentle jogging to raise the heart rate, some dynamic stretching and mobilizing of the hamstrings, hips, ankles, knees, calves and finally some practice accelerations, building up the sprint mechanics and speed over a short distance so you’re warm and ready for the work ahead.

The entire workout should take no more than 60 minutes. So get out, breathe some fresh air and don’t worry about anything else other than the task at hand.

Sprints

  • 10 x 10 yards
  • 8 x 20 yards
  • 6 x 40 yards
  • 4 x 50 yards
  • 2 x 100 yards

Walking Lunges

Finish up the session with a series of walking lunges. Keep grinding through, rep after rep and get them all done.

  • Walking lunges 2 x 100 yards

Parting thoughts

If you’ve taken the time to read these words, then thank you.

If you have one take away from this, make it the understanding that there is no secret other than get your ass up and put in the work, whether you want to or not and repeating the process over and over for a lifetime.

This simple pairing costs nothing but your own efforts.

It’ll knock you onto your ass and force you to get back to your feet time and time again – Training has so many parallels to life right?

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Name: Phil Bennett

Bio: I became tired of being tired. I became tired of being skinny. I became tired of being unhealthy. I began weight training in the usual fashion. I reaped all the typical noob benefits despite the shotgun approach to training. I quickly realized though that this wasn’t me. Being outside has always something I have enjoyed. Lifting stones and logs felt more natural to me than barbells and dumbbells.