Ive discussed the power of sprint intervals (SIT) before in judo athletes. A group of scientists late last year decided to apply a similar protocol to trained wrestlers. The SIT consisted of 6 35-m sprints at maximum effort with a 10-second recovery between each sprint. The SIT protocol was performed in 2 sessions per week, for the 4 weeks. The SIT subjects did everything else the same as the control group, their training consisted of learning and drilling technique, live wrestling and weight training for 4 weeks.
The subjects experienced an increase in VO2 max (5.4%) and a increase in testosterone and decrease in cortisol. The researchers concluded “The current findings indicate that the addition of an SIT program with short recovery can improve both aerobic and anaerobic performances in trained wrestlers during the preseason phase. The hormonal changes seen suggest training-induced anabolic adaptations.”
I have mentioned before how sprint interval training improve anabolism, in a study by Esbjörnsson et al (2011) they concluded that “repeated 30-s all-out bouts of sprint exercise separated by 20 min of rest increases Akt/mTOR signalling in skeletal muscle.” Increased signalling means increased protein synthesis.
Keep in mind that this was only twice a week for a few minutes over a 4 week period!
|Wrestling masks probably don’t make sprint intervals any easier but it would make them more fun!|
Bonus, Sprint to improve insulin sensitivity
We know that weight gain is related to insulin sensitivity, people with poor insulin sensitivity are usually heavier. A study in april by Sandvei M et al compared the effect of eight weeks of sprint interval running (SIT) and continuous running at moderate intensity (CT) on insulin sensitivity and cholesterol profile in young healthy subjects. They concluded sprint interval running improves insulin sensitivity and cholesterol profile in healthy subjects, and sprint interval running may be more effective to improve insulin sensitivity than continuous running at moderate intensity. This backs up research done by Richards et al who suggested sprints can also improve insulin sensitivity
For more on the Science of sprint interval training.