Have you ever seen a sprinter’s body? O! M! G! When people think of sprinters, I think most people generally think of runners – but there is a HUGE difference in the two sports AND their physiques.
A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
Let’s just compare the two body types. Because sprinting requires strength and power, training like a sprinter develops very muscular, yet very lean, legs. Sprinters leap, jump, explode, lunge and squat their legs into the powerful machines they are.
Since plyometric exercises also burn serious calories, sprinters tend to be very lean so you can clearly see their sculpted muscles. Although many sprinters may never lift a weight, and just use their own body weight in explosive movements like box jumps, many sprinters use powerful functional weight training exercises like the Snatch or a Clean and Press to increase strength.
Running, on the other hand, trains primarily the slow twitch muscle fibers. Slow twitch muscle fibers are more efficient and take a while to fatigue. Fast twitch muscle is for power and fatigues quickly. The different muscle fibers also look different too. For example, let’s look at a chicken. A chicken’s legs are primarily made up of slow twitch muscles (dark meat) because they are on them most of the day. Since they rarely fly, they only need strength to fly in short bursts. That’s why most of their fast twitch muscle is in their upper body (white meat). Like a chicken, runners can have thin “chicken legs” because they too are using their legs for long periods of time. Since the sport of running requires little to no upper body strength, runners often have Read the rest of this entry