Performing sprint intervals provides an effective workout, as does simply jogging steadily. However, each can have significantly different impacts on your body and fitness level. Which workout individuals choose to use depends on their current fitness level, as well as their training goals.
High intensity interval training, also known as HIIT training, has become increasingly popular during recent years. Many create this type of routine by blending jogging with sprinting/walking intervals, which is an effective way to burn the maximum amount of calories. While the benefits of HIIT training are undeniable, some old-fashioned joggers and those new to exercise are unaware of the differences between the two. One of the most prominent differences between sprinting and jogging is found in the two's respective oxygen uptake.
Oxygen uptake is important when exercising, especially for people who are training for a specific event or trying to lose weight. A sufficient oxygen supply helps to increase performance, prevent dizziness and raise fat-burning potential. Sprint interval training helps to increase EPOC, or excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, which helps to dramatically accelerate results, according to San Diego State University. While jogging also can increase oxygen uptake somewhat, it does not do so nearly as much as interval training.
The effects of sprint intervals and jogging on the body differ in other respects as well. The body's goal is to be as efficient as possible, which means it eventually gets used to a certain form of exercise, leading to the possibility of an eventual plateau in results. Interval training helps keep the body guessing and reduces the chance of reaching a plateau. Jogging, on the other hand, is usually done at a constant speed. While jogging still burns a fairly decent amount of calories, mixing jogging and sprinting can lead to improved results over a longer period of time.
At times, the effectiveness of interval training makes it initially unattractive. Sprint intervals can quickly fatigue a person, ultimately reducing the amount of calories burned and oxygen consumed. This leads to limited training and weight loss results for individuals who are unused to intense training levels. Jogging, on the other hand, can be done for longer periods of time without experiencing the same level of fatigue. As your body becomes more used to the strain of working out, you will be able to put yourself through more challenging workouts -- of both sprint intervals and long-term jogging.
- San Diego State University: Oxygen Deficit and Excess Postexercise Oxygen Consumption
- The New York Times: For Heart Health, Sprints Match Endurance Training
- ExRx.net: Short Sprint Interval Training
- Montana State University: Introduction to Maximal Oxygen Uptake (VO2 Max)
- Military.com: Breathing During Exercise
- ShapeFit: Tips for Sprinting Workouts
- FitDay: Calories Burned Sprinting vs Jogging: The Surprising Truth