Both sprinting and jogging can raise your heart rate. Raising the heart rate with cardio has benefits that strength training alone fails to develop best. This occurs because only cardio options can use all four limbs together as a unit.
It still makes sense to be efficient. You need more time for cardio than strength training, but still can end in less than 5 minutes. In the past, most believed you had to keep a steady pace for at least 15-20 minutes to stress the aerobic system. Recent research and results prove otherwise.
Sprinting wins hands-down as the better option because it can develop both anaerobic and aerobic endurance. You can achieve this through intervals. When you sprint using intervals, you can address the aerobic system worked through running as well.
Sprint intervals have these benefits:
- They work efficiently. A good interval program takes 3-5 minutes.
- They develop endurance in more muscles due to harder work. The harder you work the more muscles that contribute to exercise. Squeeze your fist as hard as possible. Most of your body tensed up, right?
- They train fast-twitch muscle fibers intensely as well. These fibers only come into play during fast or heavy activities.
- They stress the anaerobic system. This represents endurance during bursts of speed.
Intervals used in the past had longer rest periods versus work periods. These worked anaerobic fitness much less. Instead, try making the work period longer than the rest. With a long enough total time, this develops a balance of both short (anaerobic) and long (aerobic) forms of endurance.
Sprinting creates a post-exercise calorie burning effect as the body recovers, which has a lasting effect on metabolism. This burns calories but not as many as you may think. Sprint for its other benefits, not to lose weight.
Sprinting and intervals require brutal work and should be avoided at all costs by cowards. You cannot practice them as often and as long compared with the usual aerobic programs. This makes sprinting less suitable for daily activity. This does save more time though because you have less of a need to train as often and can enjoy your recovery.
Jogging will do nothing to build strength and size and will, in fact, if overdone, as it usually is, do quite a bit in the way of reducing both muscular strength and size. But it’s not true that proper strength-building exercises will do nothing for improving cardiovascular condition.
– Arthur Jones
Jogging carries these poor qualities:
- Repetitive stress on the joints comes from many foot strikes.
- It is easier to overtrain on volume than intensity. How long can you sprint versus walk? Most can sprint at full speed perhaps for no more than a minute before utterly collapsing. You can walk almost forever. Hard work provides a clear limit.
- It is inefficient compared with intervals due to the high time / low return for results.
- It steals more resources for recovery, which takes away from raw material needed to recover from strength training.
- It boosts aerobic capacity almost entirely, ignoring short-term endurance.
- It has less relevance for everyday life compared with strength training and intervals. Strength training improves muscles needed for carrying, lifting, going up stairs, and so on. Most moments in life that raise the heart rate occur quickly, similar to intervals.
Jogging can burn more calories in the moment. Keep in mind though that losing weight has much more to do with eating fewer calories than more exercise. Exercise has long-term improvements on your metabolism, but not as much as you may hope. It certainly burns less than you would expect for the time you invest. Perform cardio for health and fitness, not for weight loss. Lift heavy and perform intervals while watching your diet instead. This maintains lean tissue or even builds it as you lose fat. Lean tissue regulates your weight best because it consumes calories.
Make no doubt, a brief but intense jog can bring great results. You could use this method to take a break from the anaerobic stress of intervals, but still keep it brief. Try running for as far as possible for 5 minutes instead of jogging for miles on end.
You also must run if you compete in middle and long distance events. You gain unique adaptations impossible through intervals alone. Since intervals can develop aerobic fitness though, you could still include them in your distance training.
Sprinting vs. Jogging Resolved
Sprinting ultimately triumphs because it is safer, complete, and efficient. This assumes you are a healthy person. Beginning a program with sprinting while in poor health would be a horribly poor decision indeed. Start with low intensity exercise in this case.
You can still enjoy long walks. I suggest against medium intensity cardio for anything beyond a sport. Walk if you feel the need to exercise more than just your hard sessions and to boost circulation. Overdoing long cardio will just make you weak and less healthy while wasting time for improving your life.
Results from cardio can come and fade at faster rates than strength training. As such, you have to keep up with it and no better way exists than sprinting with intervals. Get your heart rate up through sprinting and you will get faster and better results, as long as you push yourself.