Workout Routines

The Endurance Sprint Workout to Keep You Fit at Any Age

This solution to a common age-related issue will keep you in your prime.

Sprinter Touching Cone
Patrik Giardino / Getty

The Problem:

Your endurance sucks. You’re huffing and puffing during your rec league basketball games. This never happened in your 20s and 30s.

The Solution:

First, don’t blame your age, says Carwyn Sharp, Ph.D., C.S.C.S., chief science officer of the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). “Yes, aging can play a role in declining performance,” says Sharp. “But your body will only adapt to the stresses you place on it.”

In other words, your low-intensity workouts are the bigger problem. A slow jog on the treadmill doesn’t prepare you for a start-and-stop, change-of-direction sport. Instead, work on your multisprint endurance: the ability to sprint a short distance at high intensity, rest briefly, sprint again, and so on. Sharp recommends workouts with agility drills, plyometrics, sprints, and lower-body strength work.

Try this routine once or twice a week.

Exercise Sets Reps
Z Drill 1 1-2
505 Cone Drill 1 1-2
Deceleration 1 1-2
Box Jump 2 5-8
Drop Landing 2 5-8
Bound 2 5-8 per side
Lateral Hop 2 5-8 per side
15-meter Sprint 3 1
20-meter Sprint 4 1
Lunge* 2 10-12

*Perform 2 sets each of front, side, and reverse lunges—for both legs.

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