- 5-10 seconds: Your muscles are burning a little, but it’s not too painful.
- 10-20 seconds: Your muscles are burning a lot. It’s definitely painful.
- 20-25 seconds: Your body is trying to slow down. Don’t give up! Keep going as fast as possible.
- 25-28 seconds: Your body is slowing down no matter how hard you try.
- 28-30 seconds: You are on the verge of collapsing from exhaustion.
Outdoor SprintingRunning on a treadmill is very different from running outdoors. When you’re on a treadmill, the ground moves beneath you, making it easier to run. When that movement goes away, you have to work harder to propel yourself forward. This makes it easier to reach maximum intensity during sprints, but it also makes it easier to injure your hamstrings. Both of these factors affect the Sprint 8 protocol: For your warm up, start with a 5-minute jog, then do 30 minutes of dynamic mobility exercises like squats, leg swings, hip openers and glute bridges. This may seem like a lot for just a warm up, but if you don’t want to injure your hamstrings, you need to properly prepare them for Sprint 8. Now it’s time to start sprinting. For each sprint, you’ll be running 60 meters (70 yards) on a flat surface, like a track or football field. Your sprints will probably take less than 30 seconds each, but that’s okay. Remember, sprinting without a treadmill is intense, so you can exhaust yourself in less than 30 seconds. When you finish a sprint, walk back to the starting line. This should take 60–90 seconds. 1st Sprint: Begin at a brisk jogging pace; build up to 50% speed 2nd Sprint: Begin at 40% speed; build to 60% speed 3rd Sprint: Begin at 50% speed; build to 70% speed 4th Sprint: Begin at 60% speed; build to 80% speed 5th Sprint: Begin at 70% speed; build to 90% speed 6th Sprint: Begin at 80% speed; build to 100% speed 7th Sprint: Begin at 90% speed; build to 100% speed 8th Sprint: Begin at 90% speed; build to 100% speed If you can only do two or three sprints, don’t worry. Just make sure you’re running at the indicated speeds. And if your hamstrings feel too sore to keep running, it’s okay to stop early. When you’re done, cool off by walking for three minutes, then pat yourself on the back! You just did Sprint 8 without a treadmill.
BikingModern bicycles are built for efficiency. With a good bike, you can cover long distances without getting tired. This makes it hard to reach maximum intensity. If you want to do Sprint 8 on a bike, you have to make it less efficient by sitting upright during sprints. It might look weird, but it’s the only way to achieve sprint intensity. Also, you should bike uphill during your sprints. Think of it like changing the resistance settings on an indoor cycle. If you want to reach sprint intensity, you need to pedal hard, not just fast. If you’re sprinting downhill or on a flat surface, you’ll never achieve maximum intensity, no matter how hard you pedal. So before you begin, find a hill that takes at least 30 seconds to bike up. You can still bike downhill during your post-sprint recovery periods. Other than that, doing Sprint 8 on a bicycle is the same as doing it on an indoor bike. Begin with a three-minute warmup at low intensity. Sprint uphill for thirty seconds, then go slow for ninety seconds. Repeat seven more times. If you can’t do all eight sprints, don’t worry. Just focus on doing the sprints correctly. When you’re done, cool off for three minutes. According to Phil Campbell, mountain biking is a great way to achieve sprint intensity. “Sprint 8 is similar in many respects to hard, all-out mountain biking,” Phil says, “if you go as hard as you can and get winded in 30 seconds or less. Just remember the active recovery rule for Sprint 8. If you aren’t recovering in between the cardio sprints, you won’t be able to put full sprint intensity into the next sprint.”
Stair-ClimbingFirst, a word of warning. Sprint 8 is a tough workout, no matter how you choose to do it. And if you do it wrong, you’ll probably get hurt. That goes double for stair-climbing. If you become too exhausted to maintain your balance, you could fall down the stairs and seriously hurt yourself. So when you’re sprinting up the stairs, DON’T go as fast as you can. This will make you more likely to trip and fall. Instead, focus on power. Take three or four steps at a time — not too fast — and concentrate on maintaining your balance. Feel free to use the handrail. For the warm-up, climb the stairs at a normal pace, one step at a time, for three minutes. When it’s time to sprint, go to the bottom of the staircase, then climb for 30 seconds. Remember, power matters more than speed. If you feel totally exhausted after thirty seconds of climbing, you did it right. Also, make sure your staircase is tall enough that you won’t run out of steps before your sprint is over. Spend your 90-second active recovery period going back down the stairs. When you’ve completed eight sprints (or however many you’re capable of doing), cool down by walking for three minutes. There are plenty of ways to do Sprint 8. None of them are easy. But they all work, as long as you do them properly. No matter how you choose to do Sprint 8, remember to give it your all.
“Sprint 8 is a tried and true workout that can rapidly and radically change your body for the better. It’s simple. It’s effective. And you’re going to love what it does to your body.”