About Sprint 8®

  • What is Sprint 8?

    Sprint 8 is the best exercise for weight loss and it only takes 20 minutes, three days a week, and it is scientifically proven to work. The high-intensity portion of this exercise program amounts to just four minutes per workout. That’s only 12 minutes of high-intensity workout per week. Sprint 8 naturally releases HGH, so you can lose body fat, build muscle and have more daily energy.

  • Why is Sprint 8 more effective than working out with less intensity for a longer time period?

    Low-intensity training does not recruit the fast-twitch muscle fibers needed to increase growth hormones. Sprinting burns calories long after your workout is complete!

  • How is Sprint 8 different from other anaerobic interval training programs?

    Sprint 8 requires your absolute maximum intensity and is thus a more efficient workout than a basic HIIT workout. Select Matrix Fitness and Vision Fitness treadmills, ellipticals and bikes features the exclusive Sprint 8 Program.

About Sprint 8 GX

  • What is Sprint 8 GX?

    Sprint 8 GX is not your typical group training program. Unique in its design, Sprint 8 GX combines eight 30-second sprint-intensity intervals with 90 seconds of rest in between each interval, followed by a series of E-lifts to take advantage of the increased growth hormone just produced by the sprint-intensity intervals.  Lastly, an instructor leads the group through a series of stretching movements to improve flexibility.

  • How is Sprint 8 GX different from Sprint 8?

    Where Sprint 8 uses eight 30-second sprint-intensity intervals with 90 seconds of rest in between each interval and can be completed on your own, Sprint 8 GX is an instructor-led group experience that begins with the Sprint 8 cardio protocol, followed by a series of E-lifts to take advantage of the increased growth hormone just produced by the sprint-intensity intervals.  Lastly, an instructor leads the group through a series of stretching movements to improve flexibility.

  • Are Sprint 8 GX sessions only for people who are already fit?

    No. Sprint 8 workouts have been used safely by those new to exercise, including those with heart disease risk factors. Intensity is a relative term that scales to accommodate diverse physical capabilities. In support of this idea, the safety of high-intensity intervals has been successfully or safely tested on participants with coronary artery disease, heart failure, high blood pressure, metabolic syndrome, and obesity. 

  • Can people with different fitness levels participate in the same Sprint 8 GX class?

    Yes. The Sprint 8 program on the equipment consoles includes 20 pre-programmed levels of intensity. There is also a Custom option that can be used to set up a tailored version of the eight sprint intervals. So, while you may be working out on a treadmill, bike or elliptical next to someone that is at a different fitness level compared to you, you will still be doing the workout together. The level you select on your console will automatically change the speed, incline and/or resistance (depending on machine type) that’s right for you as it moves through the eight sprint and recovery intervals. 

  • Is Sprint 8 GX safe for older individuals?

    Yes, though you should seek the advice of your health care provide before starting a new exercise regimen. In general, older individuals respond well to the Sprint 8 segment, as the short duration minimizes the usual increase in blood pressure sometimes associated with long periods of cardio. Since there are several modalities pre-programed with Sprint 8, there are a variety of equipment options to accommodate most minor orthopedic issues. For example, the recumbent cycle may be suitable for individuals with minor neck or shoulder issues. 

  • Can the duration of the Sprint 8 warmup be altered?

    Yes. You can increase the duration of the Sprint 8 warmup, but you should not decrease it. The default Sprint 8 warmup on Matrix equipment is three minutes. This is an adequate duration, though some participants prefer to warm up more slowly (especially cyclists using the Matrix CXP Training Cycle). 

  • My heart rate monitor readout seems at odds with the duration of the sprints I am doing. Why?

    It can take 25 seconds for the pulse to reach peak elevation and significantly longer to decrease at the end of a sprint. Because of this natural response, it should not be assumed heart rate highs and lows will correspond with sprint and recovery periods. Remember, the goal of Sprint 8 is to activate fast-twitch muscle fibers. Sprint 8 will naturally elevate heart rate as a necessary biproduct of the sprinting. 

  • Why are E-lifts added to the Sprint 8 GX workout?

    Sprint 8 encourages the use of all muscle fibers, but muscle growth is further enhanced by strength training. Given that Sprint 8 enhances GH levels, we can combine Sprint 8 with lifts during this window for enhanced muscle adaptations. 

  • Why are they called E-lifts?

    Some experimentation may be necessary to establish the starting weight, as it will vary for each exercise. There is no exact formula for deciding upon weight selection, but the appropriate weight will be 50–60% of your one-rep max. The goal is to be fully fatigued after 8–12 E-lift repetitions. If you can push to 20 repetitions, then it would be appropriate to increase the weight used. 

Can you use Sprint 8?

  • Am I too old to do the Sprint 8 program?

    The older you get, the more benefits you will get out of a Sprint 8 workout. It’s specifically designed to combat the aging effects you begin to experience after 30.

  • How do I determine which level to start at?

    You should begin with two reps (2 cardio sprints) on level 2 to 5. If the 30-second cardio sprint is not difficult to finish, increase the intensity to a higher level. It generally takes two or three short HIIT workouts to comfortably complete a full Sprint 8 workout.

  • What if I’m not ready to start an intense exercise program like Sprint 8?

    Sprint 8 can be started at any level. The key is an increased change in intensity. It is recommended that you consult a physician before starting any exercise program, including Sprint 8.

About you

  • What areas of my body does Sprint 8 work?

    The body consists of three muscle fiber types (slow-, fast-, super-fast twitch), three energy systems and two heart processes. Our Sprint 8 20-minute sprint-intensity workout workout engages them all. When you complete a Sprint 8 workout, your heart rate goes up to where the slow-twitch muscle fibers are inadequate to keep up. Your body then recruits your fast- and super-fast-twitch muscle fibers to compensate.

  • Can I do additional cardio or strength training to supplement a Sprint 8 workout?

    Yes. Four times a week, add a 10-minute stretching program after Sprint 8 when your muscles are warm. Strength training is important for everyone especially women, to prevent bone loss.

  • How can I use Sprint 8 to train for endurance events?

    Sprint 8 improves performance at the cellular level, and can double endurance capacity in as little as two weeks.

  • Can I do Sprint 8 every day?

    Although people can tolerate slow-twitch fiber recruiting cardio daily without injury, fast-twitch fiber recruiting (Sprint 8) is much more demanding and the research suggests that fast-twitch fiber needs 48 hours to totally heal, so every other day is the current recommendation.

  • On a bike or elliptical, how do I determine speed?

    You should go as fast as your fast-twitch fibers will allow during the 30-second cardio sprint. Watch your Metabolic Equivalent Tasks (METs) during the sprint, since they measure the intensity of exercise by the velocity of movement and the level of resistance.

Medical Questions

  • Is there a higher heart attack risk while doing Sprint 8? Would you recommend this program to someone with a heart condition?

    Anaerobic and aerobic exercise can always be done safely. It’s the strength or weakness of the fast-twitch muscle fiber that limits people from going too hard and fast during the sprints, and their fast-twitch fiber simply stops. When in doubt, however, get physician clearance.

  • I’m concerned that taking supplements, like the recommended L-Glutamine, could interfere with my medication. Do you have any info on drug interactions?

    The websites www.gnc.com and www.medlineplus.gov have helpful resources on checking drug interactions with nutrition supplements. It’s always best to consult your doctor before beginning any new regimen, including workouts and supplements.

Measuring Progress

  • What is the Sweat Score™ rating, and how do I use it?

    The Sweat Score™ rating exclusive to the Sprint 8 program on many of the Matrix products helps you easily track progress. The rating is based on joules, a quantifiable measure of the amount of energy being generated by a given action. This is ideal for Sprint 8, because it tells you exactly how much energy is being generated by each sprint. Knowing your Sweat Score rating can help you maintain a high level of exertion throughout your workout by making it easy to compare performance between sprints. The Sweat Score rating can also help you track progress — if your Sweat Score rating increases over time, it is a good indication that your body is getting stronger.

  • How high should my RPMs be when doing Sprint 8 on an elliptical or Ascent Trainer?

    Initially, your RPMs should be as high as you can get them. RPMs should then gradually decrease as your fast-twitch muscles become fatigued and your slow-twitch muscles takeover. Since everyone’s speed is different based on their ability level, an exact RPM target should be defined by the user. Measuring activity by Sweat Score is more effective, because RPM level is only a snapshot of your speed at a given moment. If you are measuring by RPM, keep in mind that you do not want a steady RPM level for the full 30 seconds. You should strive to go as fast as you can at first and then gradually slow down as your fast-twitch muscles become fatigued and your slow-twitch muscles take over.

  • What are METs? and what do METs mean for my workout?

    Metabolic Equivalent Tasks (METs) can be seen on many display options on cardio equipment. This gives you METs rather than “Percentage of Target Heart Rate.” A METs number is similar to watts on cardio units as they both measure the combination of resistance and the velocity of movement. METs is an easier number to relate to than watts during the hard 30-second cardio sprints.

The Science

  • What is HGH?

    The Human Growth Hormone (HGH) is produced by pituitary gland and is needed in order for you to grow. Your muscles and bone density are reliant on the growth hormone and GH also correlates with your metabolism. GH can be influenced by your overall health including your physical activity, diet, sleep patterns, and emotional wellbeing.

  • How do I know if I’m releasing HGH during and after the workout?

    Doing the all-out cardio sprints that are part of the Sprint 8 workout will guarantee HGH release. Reach these HGH release benchmarks during fitness training to achieve optimal results: 1. Out-of-breath (oxygen debt) 2. Muscle burn (lactic acid) 3. Increased body temperature (one degree) 4. Adrenal response (slightly painful). The only way to determine exact increase percentages would involve getting blood drawn with your physician.

  • Does HGH cause bigger muscles and a bulkier physique?

    Women do not have to worry about a bulky physique unless they are injecting testosterone. Adding some lean muscle will increase the resting metabolism, however, which means more calories without gaining weight.

  • Where is Human Growth Hormone produced in my body?

    Human growth hormone is stored in the pituitary gland until it is “released” into the blood system.

  • What controls the release of HGH?

    The hypothalamus gland controls the number of growth hormone (HGH) pulses and the amount that is released in each pulse. Improve your natural release of HGH with adequate “slow wave” sleep, HGH-enhancing nutritional supplements, HGH secretagogues (available at most nutrition stores) and HGH-releasing exercise.

  • What is somatopause?

    Somatopause is a medical term for loss of muscle, energy decline and wrinkled skin experienced after age 30. Somatopause may be alleviated through HGH injections to artificially increase HGH levels, or through anaerobic exercise, which naturally increases HGH levels.

  • What is anaerobic exercise?

    Anaerobic exercise is a high-intensity, short-duration exercise that builds strength, speed and endurance. Anaerobic interval training is a natural, healthy way to produce HGH, which helps you burn fat and improve your strength.

  • What are fast-twitch muscle fibers?

    Fast-twitch muscle fibers make up 60% of muscle composition for the average person. Building fast- and super-fast twitch muscle fibers are the key to anaerobic exercise, which can be built through sprint training to release human growth hormone. Well-developed fast-twitch muscle fibers increase energy, endurance and athletic performance.