Should your Workouts Start or Finish with Sprints?

When you workout, should you start with sprints or finish with them? It can be a difficult question to answer.

Without a doubt, the optimal time to do sprints and your lift, are at separate times. In a perfect world, you would sprint in the morning and lift sometime in the afternoon. But, we do not live in a perfect world.

What options do you have if you don’t have the luxury of 2 workouts per day?

Of the two, which is more important?

  1. Sprinting will teach the body how to move explosively.
  2. Lifting will cause microtramas to the muscle fiber.

Given that the lift is the most important element, if you start with sprints, you will initially get all your muscles and central nervous system (CNS) excited and alive which prepares your body for the lift. The lift is how your metabolism improves, strength gains happen, muscle mass is developed, and so on. Because microtramas are so important, we want to ensure you cause them AND immediately follow with recovery Branch Chained Amino Acids (BCAA) (refer to Is Your Pre/Post Workout Supplement Actually Working?) and other supplements (refer to What's The Best Post Workout Supplement?). The supplements help the body repair the microtramas.

Keep in mind, when finishing your lift, you should be truly exhausted. I describe it as needing to be peeled up off the floor when finishing.

If you lift first, you will get a great lift but your sprints may suffer. You will no longer have the energy you had at the beginning of the workout. Most of all, you are delaying the much-needed recovery and repair of your muscles.

If you start with a lift and finish with a sprint, your workout will be not as effective as if you started with the sprint and finished with the lift.

When you finish your sprints, it is okay to take a couple of minutes to get yourself MindRight (see article The “MindRight” Mentality Will Change How You Workout).

Will you see results if you lift first and sprint last? Yes, but not as great of results if you sprint first and lift last.

What are you to do?

If you do not have the luxury of sprinting in the morning and lifting in the afternoon, incorporate the two together. Sprinting first will prepare your body for a fantastic lift. Upon conclusion of your lift, not only will be exhausted, caused microtramas, and are ready for your refreshing BCAA Recovery drink. Not only will you have a successful workout, you are training at an optimal level. Training this way will get you sprinting towards your goals faster!

For information on 1on1 Personal Training or Nutrition Coaching, feel free to contact me at


Steven Zahn

ACE Certified Personal Trainer

NASM Certified Personal Trainer

Pre and Post Partum Certified

Dragondoor Publications: HKC Russian Kettlebell Certified