Son of Grok

This guy is fast!

This guy is fast!

Alright so now you have your walking regimene in place from last week. Whats next? Well, a great next step is to incorporate some sprinting into your exercise routine one to two times per week.

There are a lot of different sprinting and HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) protocols out there but the bottom line is that they mostly all work in one way or another so don’t get bogged down in the details of which program to do as a lot of people end up doing.

Sprinting provides all sorts of benefits:
1. It does not require any special equipment.
2. It is excellent for fat loss.
3. It is great for your heart and cardiovascular system
4. You will actually be firming and toning those leg and butt muscles while doing it! Oo lala.
5. It is much shorter and easier to motivate for a sprint session than a long drawn out jog or cardio session.
6. It is just as effective or more effective than a long drawn out cardio session.

There are additional benefits of course, but those should get you started.

For beginners:
Try to incorporate a 10-15 minute sprint session 1-2 times per week. There are a couple different ways that I recommend starting out for beginners. Find what works best for you.
Option #1: Run as fast and hard as you can for 20 seconds then jog or walk for 10 or 20 seconds then run as fast as you can again for 20 seconds… etc. This is a great method if you are out at a track or want to cover some ground during your run for a change of scenery.
Option #2: Run as fast as you can for 20 seconds then stop and rest for 10 seconds then run as fast as you can the other way for 20 seconds then rest for 10 seconds and run back the other way as fast as you can for 20 seconds…. etc. Always try to get back to where you started on the previous run.
Option #3: If these prove too easy for you or you want to switch things up then you can find a set of stairs (even indoors for cold weather) or a nice steep hill. Sprint up the stairs or hill as fast as you can then walk back down then sprint up again etc. This is a killer workout!

For the more advanced exerciser:
Turn the entire session into one of your workouts! This is my actual winter sprinting routine for the cold. When it warms up I will move from the stairs to a nearby hill outside. Complete the following in a 30 minute time frame.
1. Wear a 50# weight vest and sprint up stairs 25-30 times. Rest is walking down stairs then sprint right back up immediately. 15-20 of the sprints I hit every single stair, no skipping! The next 10 sprints, I run up the stairs as fast as I possible can, skipping stairs is ok.
2. Circuit: 100 twirls with a jump rope immediately to plyo stair jumps (Jump from standing to every 3rd stair with both feet all the way to the top) immediately to a front plank.
3. Circuit: 100 twirls with a jump rope immediately to plyo stair jumps immediately to a left side plank.
4. Circuit: 100 twirls with a jump rope immediately to plyo stair jumps immediately to a right side plank.
5. Circuit: 100 twirls with a jump rope immediately to plyo stair jumps immediately to a front plank.
6. Finish workout with 1 set deadlifts 8-12 reps heavy and hard and 1 set HPC&P 8-12 reps heavy and hard. I usually finish all of my workouts in this manner to help illicit hormone response.

Additional sprinting information courtesy Mark’s Daily Apple:
MDA on Tabata Sprints
Mark’s Beach Sprints

So what are you waiting for? Get out there and get sprinting!

25 Responses to “Exercise for beginners (and non-beginners) #2: Sprints”

  1. James


    Good stuff here. I am curious what you think about the order of this, and a question on your hormone response. (I think I have heard of this as gene expression, growth hormone release, etc., not sure.) Tonight, I am going to tackle pullups and dips. I do have rings, but live in the city, so I have the pullup bar. Anyway, where I am tonight, no rings. So pullups and dips, until I just lock up and have nothing left…did 25 pullups and 50 dips last time in 15 minutes..not great, but will get better. Also intend to do some interval sprinting tonight. Do you recommend pullups dips, then sprints, and then, exhausted, doing some hang power cleans? curious about order. Lastly, a lot of debate, rob wolf, free the animal, etc., about the post workout window, and eating. Some recommend taking advantage of the window to get nutrients, others say it dulls the hormone response. Do you have any thoughts on that? I love the site, and I am very impressed with your approach in the advanced workouts.



  2. Son of Grok

    Thanks for the great response!
    I personally like getting the sprints out of the way first. This allows me to really build the heart rate up and I can put 100% into the sprints and make them real intense. I always feel like I can do sprints hard without impeding my lifting after but if I lifted first, I wouldn’t be able to sprint as hard.

    If you are doing a bar instead of rings, I like to incorporate both wide grip and reverse grip pullups. Try doing burpees with a wide grip pull up and the top for one exercise and then your dips and reverse grip pullups. This should sufficiently hit all over and feel real good.

    As for post workout nutrition, I do eat during this window. I usually workout very hard and intense and by the time I am done working out I am pretty lightheaded (sometimes with a headache). Eating after working out eliminates this and just feels “right” to me I guess you could say. Supposedly fasting after a workout can increase GH response, but I prefer to think that my Grok always catches his meal. I prefer to eat after working out.

    Hope that helps!

  3. Bill

    Check this guy’s weight lose out 170lbs in 7 months.

  4. BEE

    Love my sprints! I need to find a staircase (that isn’t iced over) to try your stair sprints. I think that’d help with my tri training!

    Thanks SoG


  5. Troy


    Great stuff man. Sprinting in the ABQ. mountains is such a ‘treat’. Since I don’t have access to stairs, got any suggestions for distance?


  6. Son of Grok

    I did not know you were from ABQ… try doing your sprints at the top of Sandia sometime! lol. As far as distance, that is a good question. I guess that it really depends on how fast you can sprint! I would probably say go as far as you can in 10-15 minutes. You should be well and done by that point if you are going at it hard enough. I usually find that between 20 and 30 sprints gets me right in that time frame and works well for me.

  7. Tim

    Sprints! I hit up some sprints just this morning with a couple friends. We are putting together a “crossfit” sorta course along our local ATB/Trail Running park in the heart of town (800 vertical feet, hogback sandstone ridge, forested, some steep, some contour trails). We have box (rock and boulder) jumps, tree branch pull ups, dips, and burpee breaks built into the route, etc.

    Today’s sprints were a good change up, each guy takes a turn leading a sprint, the others play keep up. Then the next runner in place picks the timing and duration of the next sprint, and the rest period! Punish your partners, punish yourself with duration, intensity and rest period. Shakes it up and keeps it random and motivating. I think we are onto something good with this set up. My dog likes this style of sprinting better, too, she gets the playfulness.

    Thanks for the tips, and I like the beginner tips, as I am no seasoned veteran myself. AND I have a better clue how to encourage and invite more friends to get out and get some fun/fitness. I suppose the weight training is going to require some equipment, once you get to those tips, but so far, walking and sprinting are available to any beginner in any locale.

  8. Son of Grok

    Hey Tim,
    I was just thinking about you today and that awesome primal day that you emailed me about. That sprint set up sounds absolutely awesome. I wish my friends were into it and we would totally do that. Unfortunately my friends are all “conventional wisdom” gym rats. They think I am insane because of the way I train. Only, I keep getting in better shape and they all stay the same and over weight…. they always say “You are so lucky you have genetics” lol! Which I don’t. The plan I have in mind for the beginner strength training workouts is actually to have them be no equipment for the most part!

  9. Son of Grok

    Sorry I missed getting back to you until now… your comments got stuck in the spam filter (I am glad I still review those). I think the stair sprints would be an awesome training medium for a tri!

  10. emergefit

    True. There is no exercise, no scheme, no nothin’ that will bolster one’s metabolism better than interval sprints done regualrly. Take caution at first though, if you’re not acustomed to these, they can deplete your energy significantly until you get a few sprint sessions under your belt — then the body recovers stronger, better prepared. Sprints work. There can also be a profund sorenss following your first couple of sprint sessions if you are new to these — it’s a very likeable form of soreness though. Grok on!

  11. Son of Grok

    As always, thank you for your awesome input! it really is good to see you around again.

  12. Marc Feel Good Eating


    Great work out posts you are putting together here.
    To everyone that’s looking for help, SOG has put it out there for you. No non sense, Awesome stuff. Now go do it ;-)
    As to sprinting…
    IMHO, it is CRUCIAL to develop the SOG athletic built look and just as crucial a component of the primal life style.
    I sprint a lot with my kids. They enjoy racing. And yes…I do let them win…sometimes ;-)


  13. Son of Grok

    Its ok.. you can admit they beat you ;-) Lol thank you for the support on the posts. i am really excited about the next one which is resistance training!

  14. Rambodoc

    I was wondering what is a HCP whatever at the bottom of the post, and what is a tri….
    I sprint twice a week. The stair workouts sound great, added to the plyo circuits. Great post!

  15. Son of Grok

    BEE is referring to training for a triathlon. That is the try. HPC&P is my abbreviation for Hanging Power Clean and Press. It is a hanging power clean with a standing military press at the top. It is a killer exercise that can really take it out of you!

  16. Son of Grok » Blog Archive » Exercise for beginners (and non-beginners) #3: Strength and Resistance Training

    [...] so you are now an expert at walking. You also have your sprinting regimine down pat. It is time to throw in some resistance training… aka weight [...]

  17. Marissa

    GREAT post!

    Forgive my slightly timid questions. I want to get into this but I am a bit wary. Basically I want to transition from my normal workout (4 days a week with 40 minutes of cardio and 20 minutes of lifting, 1 day a week waking 5.6 miles) to something more Primal. But I don’t want the in between time to be less workout than I am used to.

    Basically I don’t want to pack on any fat while I build up speed in the new plan.

    I also have a bad knee and am cautious about the sprinting. I have been told by my dorcot that if I ever want to run, I would need surgery. Is it possible to do these sprints on the elliptical? Or is foot to ground needed. I recognize fully that the elliptical is far from primal, but after a knee injury I need to work with what I have.

    I am so curious about all of this but I don’t want to take up your time!

  18. Son of Grok


    I was timid about it too. Truth be told, it is a lot harder to lose muscle than people think it is. It is so hard to get over that feeling of “If i don’t workout, I am going to lose everything I have worked for”. You just have to take that leap of faith and do it. I promise you wont regret it. Trust me, I know the feeling… I totally had to take it as a leap of faith myself. Fact of the matter is your body will probably thank you for the extra opportunity to recover and you will actually see gains lol.

    As for your knees, nothing could be worse for them probably than your 40 minute cardio sessions (in my unqualified opinion of course). Here is a link that you HAVE to read:

    To answer your question directly though… yes you can do sprints on an elliptical if you wish and it works for your knee.

  19. Marissa

    Fantastic! I am getting very pumped about this. Not only will my workouts be better, but I will have more time for a life!

    From what I gather, you only work out 3 times a week. On the other days do you do any kind of specific physical activity for the sake of building muscle or burning calories?

  20. Son of Grok

    I go for a 30 minute to 1 hour light walk 5 days per week. It works out to approximately 4 miles. I don this almost as much for my mental health as I do my physical. Beyond that I really only workout 3 times per week. Sometimes 4 if i do sprints twice duting the week (I count my sprint sessions as workouts).

  21. Marissa

    I am really appreciative of your blog and all your help. Thank you. I have been doing something similar to this except that I do one long walk a week. Mainly because it is around this gorgeous lake. It is 2.8 miles around, and I walk it twice. Takes about an hour and 45 minutes. Not sure if that works instead of 4 shorter walks during the week though.

    Today I am going to start switching my 40 minute cardio sessions to 15 and working on sprints (or at least working up to 15). I plan on sticking to my current strength training regimen of 20 minutes 4 times a week (unless you have a better idea). I mostly use dumbbells and do isolations (like lunges). I like what you have set up as a workout for beginners as well, but will work up to that once I have gotten the sprinting down. Not sure if it is necessary to change from my current strength training regimen though. I’d love to offer up a recipe to you in exchange for all of your great help. It is vegetarian (and still primal), and an adaptation of a retro appetizer that my family has made all my life. Let me know if you would be interested!

  22. Son of Grok

    Always interested… not too keen on vegan but I will give it a try! Let me know how the changes in your routine workout for you please! I am eager to know.

  23. Marissa

    They aren’t vegan so you might like them more!

    Spinach Balls

    2 bags frozen spinach (thaw and squeeze out water)
    2 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
    1/3 c. onion or shallot, chopped
    2 eggs
    2 tblsp melted virgin coconut oil
    1/3 c. (ish) Parmesan cheese (leave out if going totally primal)
    3 tablespoons coconut flour
    1 tsp salt
    1 tsp Italian seasoning

    mix together, make into balls, and put on greased cookie sheet. Bake in 400 degree oven for 20-25 minutes or until they start to brown on top

    As for the workout, I can tell a spike in energy in the past week. I am not sure if it is my green smoothies that I drink daily (a new addition that uses a green supplement and hemp protein powder) or less cardio + more strength training, or a combo of both. Either way i am NOT complaining. I did Sprints and then 20 minutes of strength training on Saturday, and my god. The sprinting definitely worked my heart out more in 10 minutes (I tried for 15!) than 40 minutes of cardio…at least it felt like it. I weighed myself on Saturday as well and I have gone up 3 lbs in the past month. I am not sure if this is due to muscle growth (lets hope). My measurements haven’t changed, so I do hope it is just muscle and not fat from the nuts I have been eating. :-)

    Will be sprinting again today!

  24. Son of Grok

    Awesome! Recipe looks good… will try it. I nopticed the same spike in energy when I was not running my body into the ground. Recovery is a fantastic thing. Glad you are enjoying sprints… they truly are awesome.

  25. Son of Grok » Blog Archive » Health Trifecta of Trifectas

    [...] did a pretty good job covering my idea of 3 important aspects of exercise here (#1), here(#2) and [...]

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