When it comes to building an excellent physique and achieving relatively good fitness levels, there’s no denying that a combination of aerobics exercises, resistance training, and a balanced diet are all you need to make significant progress in the first few months. And once you’ve got the hang of things, it’s not that difficult to maintain and transform into a full-fledged lifestyle that comes naturally to you like a learned habit.
However, while working on muscle hypertrophy, looking good, and eating great are admirable goals in any functional fitness plan, we can’t overlook the fact that agility, explosiveness, and athleticism are also factors that contribute to a well-rounded, healthy lifestyle. And if you’ve been searching for a new addition to your workout regimen, then you don’t need to look any further than hill sprints because these bad boys will put all those muscles to work and make you question if those aesthetics translate into good athletics.
#1 Improves Your Explosiveness And Leg Power
Firstly, one of the leading reasons behind adding uphill running to your training splits is its ability to improve your overall explosiveness and leg power, building that necessary mind-muscle connection to drive more force into the ground. And while the same intention can be created with the help of jump squats or Bulgarian split squats, nothing loads your quads, glutes, and calves better than sprinting uphill.
- Speed And Strength For The Lower Body: While some would argue that doing calf raises and embracing the all-encompassing compound movement of barbell squats are generally better, you don’t generate any speed in those range of motions. As a result, even if you manage to put on size and strength, your relative speed suffers, and you’ll feel yourself lagging. Sure, we love our fair share of quick and challenging leg workouts, but it also helps to introduce a bit of change.
- Trains Your Cardiovascular Endurance: We love going on early morning runs just as much as the next person, but even though long distances on flat ground can help train your cardiovascular endurance, it gets repetitive over time. Of course, it stands to reason that repetition is what increases your lung capacity and builds up your pain threshold, but mixing in a bit of speedwork, specifically hill sprints, can help break your PRs much faster.
#2 Perfect For Challenging Your Limits
Secondly, other than the physical benefits attributed to hill sprints and pushing those lower body muscles to the max, there’s just a certain fiery passion ignited inside your body when testing your limits. And much like how you’re putting in the work to discover your one-rep max, beating out your time trials on uphill running is equally exciting and can give your a rush of feel-good hormones knowing you’ve given it everything.
- Works On Your Mental Toughness And Grit: Most people who haven’t been to the gym or have yet to try putting in the work to reach a physical fitness goal will never understand that half the battle is fought on a mental battlefield. And when we’re talking mental toughness and grit, then nothing comes close to that lactic build-up in your quads weighing you down while gasping for air as you push through those last 10 seconds sprinting uphill.
- Helps Keep You In That Flow State: Apart from conditioning your mind to be a lot tougher, hill sprints, in general, have a way of keeping you in that flow state for much longer. As a result, you stay more focused on your goals and are less likely to get distracted. And if you’ve been dealing with recovery from sex addiction, fixing bad eating habits, and many other mental and emotional battles, it can help keep things in perspective.
#3 Burns A Lot More Calories Than Your Morning Jog
Last but not least, when talking in terms of specific foodie details, sprints tend to burn a lot more calories than your morning jog, and once you account for the incline, that makes hill sprints all the better. So, if one of your target goals includes cutting down weight and staying lean, then incorporating uphill running and time trials on inclines will make the perfect addition to your training plans.
- Saves You A Lot Of Time: On top of burning more calories than your morning jog, a few rounds of hill sprints can save you a lot of time in the long term if you’re running on a tight schedule every day. So, by simply giving it your all and mixing in that athletic speedwork of uphill running throughout the week, you might find extra time in the morning to crunch other responsibilities. Plus, once you can take things up a notch, a lot more delicious and healthy meal options like sizzling beef and broccoli become all the more important.
Once You Start, There’s No Going Back!
Believe it or not, hill sprints can get quite addictive if you’re the type that’s up for a challenge to keep your workouts fun and interesting. And once you get past the first few days of muscle soreness, you’ll start craving for the burn that only uphill running can provide!