The Sprinter and the Marathoner: A Tale of Two Workout Routines

15442909933_cc6f872a3a_zPeople believe the amount of time spent working out directly reflects their fitness results. However, how you spend your time working out matters much more than the amount of time spent working out. In the case of getting physically fit, slow and steady is not going to win the race when it comes to the best workout routine.

Marathon-vs-SprintOne of our favorite images is a juxtaposition of a sprinter and marathoner. Their bodies tell two completely different stories about fitness and workout routines.

The marathoner in the photo is in great shape. He is at a pinnacle of his training. His body is arguably smaller than the sprinter’s and clearly lacks the same amount of muscle definition. But still, this person is in shape.

The marathoner represents long, slow workout routines. The only way that he gets in better shape is if he goes farther distances and completes longer workouts. He  is trades more time for minimal gain.

The sprinter, on the other hand, is almost the complete opposite in every respect. He has muscle definition and exudes strength. He has probably as much body fat as the marathoner, but his muscles look much more toned and defined.

The sprinter represents short, intermittent workouts. There is no need for long hours of training. All the sprinter trains for are short distance races. The focus is on speed and strength. He trades less time for maximal gains.

What’s more, the elite male marathon runners weigh around 165 lbs while the olympic sprinters have an average weight of 169 lbs! That’s only a four pound difference in weight but what a tremendous difference in physique. It’s madness to think that you have to spend hours jogging to lose weight and get into shape when the evidence clearly points to the opposite.

The marathoner represents the long workout routines. The sprinter represents a person who does HIIT workout routines. If you look through the lens of the sprinter, you understand that trading time for results doesn’t have to be so costly.

The next time that you want to get in shape, don’t rush to jump on the treadmill to lose those couple of extra pounds. Think about the kind of shape that you want to get into and use your time as wisely as possible.

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We're Alex & Tim Ruben. Former Division 1 college football athletes turned NASM Certified Personal Trainers specializing in HIIT and fat loss. We’re here to teach you everything you need to know about getting and staying fit in less than 20 minutes a day!