Sprint8, a revolutionary exercise program that makes people leaner, stronger and possibly even younger looking is hitting classes at the Riekes Center in Menlo Park. Created by Speed, Strength and Conditioning Coach Phil Campbell, the program involves a total of a mere four minutes of crazy intensity to activate fast-twitch muscle fibers, which leads to the good stuff—an increase in Human Growth Hormone, fat loss and lower cholesterol.
Although Sprint8 is considered high intensity, Campbell refers to it as “cardio sprints”. “I wouldn’t use the term High Intensity Interval Training (H.I.I.T). Most people interpret that as just increasing intensity. But they don’t understand that you have to increase fast-twitch 2b muscle fiber, as well. Thirty percent of muscle is comprised of this type of fiber.”
Typically, Sprint8 can be done in a pool, on a track or elliptical or bike, pretty much anywhere that a person can challenge themselves physically. The ground-based Sprint8 classes will take on a boot camp format. Participants can expect to push sleds 15 yards, then drag them back as one of their 30-second sprints. Following a 90-second recovery, they might squat and wave battle ropes as hard and quickly as they can. The fun will continue with timed push-ups, box jumps or step-ups until all eight sprints are completed.
Studies have shown that Human Growth Hormone can rise as high as 800% following a session of Sprint8. “The HGH stays significantly elevated for two hours,” said Campbell, author of “Ready, Set, Go! Synergy Fitness”. This is when Campbell incorporates a specific type of strength training—the e-lift.
“Just as with Sprint8, we are trying to recruit more fast-twitch muscle fibers. E-lift is a way to use a push or pull movement to increase velocity,” Campbell explained.
Not to worry, you won’t find yourself spending hours at the gym to see results. “The great thing about fast twitch fibers is they can’t endure that long so you don’t have to do more and more, just faster,” he continued. “As fast twitch muscles tire out, the only thing left is slow twitch. Both types drop out as your doing a set so you can only do a few. If someone uses the same weight, they have to reduce for the second set because their fast twitch cannot support it. They are not meant to endure.”
With regards to getting started, Campbell doesn’t recommend that those new to Sprint8 go all eight rounds, even trained endurance athletes. “They can do as many as they can successfully. Usually this is between two to four sprints.” Campbell further emphasized that it can take up to eight weeks to build up fast-twitch muscle fibers.
To learn more about Phil Campbell or Sprint8, visit readysetgofitness.com, riekescenter.org or call (650)364-2509 to find out about ground-based Sprint8 classes