The 30% rule of sprints for non field athletes

If you are a  non field athlete and not sure how much sprinting to do in a session for metabolic conditioning? A good rule of thumb for a session is total effort should be 30% of game duration.

So 30% of a 3x5min MMA match would give us 4m30s so you could divide this into 9x30s sprints for longer duration or 18x15s for higher quality. A boxer with 6x3min rounds would be a total of 18mins so around 5m30s.

Crucial to what sprint durations you want depends on what you are trying to achieve.

Anaerobic-alactic power — < 8 seconds
Anaerobic-alactic capacity — up to 20 seconds
Anaerobic-lactic power — 20 to 30 seconds

Anaerobic-lactic capacity — up to 90 seconds
Aerobic power — 90 sec to 2 min
Aerobic capacity — > 3 min

Another way would be to look at reported work:rest ratio which for MMA is 2:3 so 40%. Whereas BJJ for instance has 10:1 work to rest ratio so total sprint time would be nearly the duration of a match be it 5,6,7min etc. For instance Superbike rider Danny Buchan who works with me will perform 10 mins of sprints total because most race distances are 30mins.

This generally falls in line with proven protocals for improving conditioning and fat loss.

Protocals used to achieve increased mitchondrial density, citrate synthase and fat loss.

8-12 x 60 seconds – Little. 2010
7 x 30 seconds – Psilander. 2010
4 x 30 seconds – Giballa. 2009
6-8x 30 seconds – Kim 2011

If you need reasons to do sprint interval training checkout this post from 2012

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