There has been one specific training method I have carried with me through various stages of my life. It keeps me in great shape year-round and can be done almost anywhere. I’ve been training since I was 14 years old. That’s 23 years of training experience with this “secret weapon” as a cornerstone in my training.
My secret is Sprinting uphill! It should come as no surprise that this form of HIIT works extremely well. The key is to have it a consistent part of your fitness routine. I do believe it is good to mix up your routines, but I don’t take more than a month or so off from this form of training. I’ll hit a month of steady-state cardio and then reintroduce sprinting hills to re-shock my body. Some of the benefits of HIIT training consist of the following:
- Increases metabolism.
- Increases stamina.
- It burns a ton of calories.
- Improves oxygen consumption.
- Reduces heart rate and blood pressure.
Mental toughness is sharpened to keep going through gruelling conditions. Pushing yourself through the burn and lack of oxygen develops that deep drive to be your very best. Through this mental discipline, you are training the mind to drive yourself through physical pain. This can be beneficial in so many aspects of life, not just fitness.
Take a look at Olympic sprinters. Their bodies reflect that Greek God symbol of lean muscle, strength, and endurance. The great Chicago Bears running back Walter Payton credits a deal of his success to his hill sprinting routine as well.
I grew up as an athlete in Moscow, Idaho. I was never fast until my junior year of high school when I started sprinting up a snowy hill. I had a steep hill not too far from my house that I would run-up in the snow with my dad’s heavy Sorel boots on. The elevation of the hill combined with the resistance of the snow trained and conditioned my fast-twitch muscle fibres while building speed and functional muscle at an early age. That next spring I noticed a huge change in my athletic performance on the baseball diamond. I continued this kind of training in the Marine Corps. I was stationed in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. There was a steep hill called “KT” in the middle of the base. I would sprint up that hill like a heat-seeking missile in the sweltering humidity. I continue to race up hills to this day no matter where I am. Even when I’m travelling I’m always mindful of where a steep hit is to maintain and build on my fitness progress. If you are ever in Laguna Beach, California I highly recommend the hills just off highway 1.
I hope my testimony gets you fired up to implement this into your own fitness routine. This has been a great tool to use for maintaining my body composition. I have been able to sustain sub 10% body fat year-round. Stay tuned for more of my articles in the future. With my background in athletics, military, and bodybuilding, I love to incorporate training methods from all corners of my experience. Now, find your nearest hill to blaze up!