5 Fat Stripping Sprint Interval Workouts

5 Fat Stripping Sprint Interval Workouts

Quick refresher:

- Sprinting is one of the most time efficient ways to get shredded

- The benefits of sprinting go well beyond just looking good naked

- Sprinting can be done using many different protocols but try not to over think it when training for fat loss

- When training for fat loss sprinting can be incorporated 2-4 times per week for faster results


So if you are like most trainees you’ve probably heard the term HIIT thrown around about as much as you’ve heard one of Justin Bieber’s shitty new songs on the radio.


But unlike one of Justin Bieber’s shitty new songs, High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is an extremely awesome tool to add to your toolbox when trying to improve body composition.


And guess what?
Good old sprinting happens to be the king of HIIT


HIIT involves using periods of intense effort followed by periods of passive or active rest. For example completing an all out sprint for 20 seconds, followed by 60 seconds of rest and then repeating this multiple times.


Sprint interval training has been shown to trump slow aerobic style training (think: jogging) in many studies for both fat loss and improvements in fitness and metabolic markers.


For example a recent study by Hottenrott et al., compared two groups: an interval group who completed ten 30 second all out sprints, with 90 seconds rest and an endurance group who completed a protocol of running at 75-85% of lactate threshold for 45 to 75 minutes (yuck!)


Results showed that the interval group lost 2kg of body fat, (16% of that being belly fat); they also improved their running speed at lactate threshold by 20.5% and increased their aerobic capacity by 18.6%


While the endurance group lost only 1kg of body fat, increased their running speed at lactate threshold by 12.9% and their aerobic capacity by 7%.


This shows that in a 20-minute interval training session, consisting of only 5 minutes worth or sprinting results were around twice as large as the aerobic training group, which ran for nine to 15 times as long!


Sprint Interval training however isn’t for the faint hearted, as it requires you to reach a level of intensity that many people aren’t accustomed to. To see the true benefits of HIIT your work bouts need to be maximal efforts, unless the protocol states otherwise.


Knowing this may cause you to doubt yourself but even you do let out a little weep on the occasional hill sprint, the way you will feel after a sprint interval session will make it all worth while.


So lets get into the protocols:



#1 The 20 seconds on, 60 seconds off protocol


Who should use it: Beginner to Intermediate trainees


Benefits: Fat loss, improved insulin sensitivity, elevated metabolism, and stronger bones



The Breakdown

Sprint Intervals – 20 second all out efforts

Rest – 60 seconds

Rounds – 6 to 12

Total work time for 12 rounds – 4 minutes

Total session length – 16 minutes


This is as simple as it comes, head down to your local park, oval or track and after of a solid warm up sprint all out for 20 seconds, then rest for 60 seconds and repeat six to 12 times.


How to use it:

Below is a sample workout with weekly progression.


Warm Up

Skipping – 5 minutes

Light Jog – 400m

High Knee March – 50m

Butt Kicks – 50m

Lateral Shuffle – 50m

Walking Lunges – 20m

Stride run through @ 50% for 20 seconds


Week 1


20 sec Sprint @ 70% / Rest 60 sec

20 sec Sprint @ 90% / Rest 60 sec

20 sec Sprint @ 100% / Rest 60 sec

20 sec sprint @ 100% / Rest 60 sec

20 sec sprint @ 100% / Rest 60 sec

20 sec sprint @ 100% / Rest 60s sec


Week 2

Add on two extra 100% sprints, making it eight total sprints


Week 3

Add on two extra 100% sprints, making it 10 total sprints


Week 4

Add on two extra 100% sprints, making it 12 total sprints


This session can be performed multiple times per week, but not on consecutive days and ideally not the day before or after a lower body training session. Try this session on a steep hill or at the beach for a bit of variety.


#2 The tried and tested Wing gate protocol


Benefits: Drop fat, improve insulin sensitivity, and boost growth hormone release


Who should use it: Intermediate Trainees who want to improve body composition or athletes that need to drop body fat.


The breakdown:

Sprint Interval – 30 seconds all out efforts

Rest – 4 minutes

Rounds – 4 to 6

Total sprint time: 2 minutes

Total session length for 6 rounds: 18 minutes


How to use it:

This is the perfect sprinting workout to add to your strength training protocol to allow you to continue dropping body fat while the reps and volume are a little lower. Perform this session two times per week leaving a day either side before performing lower body work.




#3 The all purpose sprint protocol
Benefits: Drop body Fat, increase anabolic hormones post workout


Who’s should use it: Intermediate to advanced trainees


The breakdown:

Sprint 400m / Rest 4 minutes

Sprint 300m / Rest 3 minutes

Sprint 200m / Rest 2 minutes

Spring 100m / Rest 1 minute

Rounds: 1

Total Sprint Time: Around 2.5 minutes depending on running speed

Total session length: 12-13 minutes


How to use it:

Head down to the local running track or measure the required 400, 300, 200 and 100m distances required. After a solid warm up, hit top speed using the protocol above. This session will yield great results despite the minimal sprint time, but make sure your sprints are all at 100% effort, give it everything you’ve got.


#4 The Strength Protocol

Benefits: Improve speed and power, target fast twitch muscle fibers


Who should use it: Athletes, particularly wrestlers, judokas and MMA fighters as well as advanced trainees who want to be more awesome


The Breakdown:

Sprint Interval: 4 x 50m meters

Rest: 10 seconds between shuttles / 2 minutes between sets

Rounds: 4 to 6

Total Sprint Time: 6 rounds = 1200m (3-4 minutes)

Total Session length: 20 minutes


How to use it:

Try 4 x 50m shuttle runs, resting 10 seconds between each. After four shuttles, rest two minutes and repeat four times. Build up to six rounds by adding two extra shuttles per week.


#5 The Endurance Protocol (1:1 work to rest ratio)


Benefits: Lose body fat, Improve endurance performance and increase lung capacity


Who should use it: Endurance athletes, or trainees that prefer long distance running


The Breakdown:

Sprint Interval: 60 seconds

Rest Interval: 60 seconds

Rounds: 4 to 6

Total Sprint time for 6 rounds = 6 minutes

Total Session Length: 12 minutes (excluding warm up)


How to use it:

Start with 4 x 60 second sprints with 60 seconds recovery. Work up to six rounds. If maximal oxygen uptake is what you are after use longer intervals of 2-3 minutes running at about 80% of top speed.


A quick word on CNS fatigue


Although sprint training sessions are short in length, they are extremely intense and will put extra load on your Central Nervous System (CNS). This will leave you feeling flat, the bar will feel heavy when you lift or your sprints will feel like you're running in mud.


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Keeping the above in mind be smart about how you work your sprinting into your weekly schedule, and always leave a day either side of your sprinting before doing lower body work and vice versa.


An example weekly layout may look something like this:


Monday: Upper Body: Horizontal push/Pull

Tuesday: Sprints

Wednesday: rest

Thursday: Lower Body

Friday: Upper Body: Vertical push/pull

Saturday: Sprints

Sunday: Rest


So if your new to sprinting or have been sprinting for some time, give some if these protocols a crack to mix up your routine and gear your body up to shed some unwanted body fat.


Go out and get sprinting.

Tyler Cosnett.



Hottenrott, K., Sebastian, L., et al. Effects of High-Intensity Interval Training and Continuous Endurance Training on Aerobic Capacity and Body Composition in Recreationally Active Runners. Journal of Sports Science and Medicine. 2012. 11, 483-488.

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