Climbing to the Top – Hill Sprints Workout

Torres Del Paine National Park in Patagonia, Chile

This workout is inspired by the “least effective dose” that Tim Ferris discusses in his book 4 Hour Body, the philosophy of high intensity training that Jillian Michaels preaches about in Making the Cut, and the interval training experienced in the Insanity workouts.

Combining all three philosophies yields dramatic results, and this hill sprint workout does just that. When you train at an incline and add sprints you are able to experience the cardio, strength training and fat burning benefits of exercise all at once. This is some serious booty burn and engages your fast twitch muscle fibers, which is one of the only ways the human body can naturally release Human Growth Hormone (HGH). HGH is the key to allowing your body to build and maintain muscle as you grow older. This is muy importante! As you get older, you slowly loose your muscle mass and this is the reason people gain weight as they age. We must prevent this from happening to our booties!

Running or doing any type of cardio at the same pace at the same incline over and over and over again will continue to lead to the same results and you probably won’t see much change in the shape of your body. It may get smaller, but you might still be flabby.  Running long distances isn’t very natural either, our ancestors did not run mile after mile with no rest. They completed short bursts of exercise to hunt. My workout is an example of the type of exercise our ancestors thrived off of and will change your body composition over time.

Note of caution – I would not preform this type of training after a strength workout on your legs. This is something, however, I LOVE to do before a Hot Yoga Class or when I am short on time before an early work meeting.

Below is a good starting point, if you require modifications, please feel free to facebook me or email me.

Food Babe’s Hill Sprints Treadmill Workout – 35 mins

Warm up

5 mins at 4.0 mph, 3 incline
5 mins at 3.5 mph, 10 incline

For the next 20 mins alternate:

1 min sprints at 5.0 – 6.0 mph at 10 incline
1 min rest intervals at 3.0 mph at 10 incline

Cool Down

5 mins cool down at 4.0 mph, 3 incline


I completed this exact workout before Hot Yoga today and my heart rate got up to 177 several times, about 94% of my maximum heart rate – Incredible! During class when it was time to do the Warrior series… I could really feel it….My hamstrings were burnin’…. ahhhh yeah!

I am adding this type of training at least twice a week to my workout schedule, along with the stair monster at the gym. We are prepping to climb Japan’s tallest peak and possibly Bali’s in a month! We plan to conquer Mt. Fuji at night, in the dark and cold to make it to the top by sunrise. Watching the sunrise atop of Mt. Fuji is called Buddha’s Halo and we want to experience it with a big bowl of noddles in hand (That’s what you do when you get to the top….and you drink hot chocolate too!) We have been researching the climb and hear it is going to take 4-6 hours to get to the top, which doesn’t really sound that bad considering we have experienced pretty difficult hikes through our travels like when we went to Patagonia last year.

Ringing in the New Year in Chile at Patagonia Camp - Wait a minute - Is that my drink? No way - I was not drinking before our grueling hike the next early morning.
A view of our Mongolian hut called a "Yurt" at Patagonia Camp
Planning for the long hike ahead with our guide masters
We hiked the first day with our friends Ruba and Michael - Check out the lushness of the greenery up against the coldness of the mountains
This is summer time in Chile! Glacier Lake near Grey Glacier
No swimming in the Glacier Lake - Duh.
Ice Ice Baby! Brrrrrrrrr.........
Ice chunks were washed up on the shore
Our hiking map on the second day - 9km to Las Torres
This hike was one of the best we've ever experienced - So many terrains throughout the day - at about hour 2, you start going through a beautiful forest - the scenery was amazing.
Filling up our water bottles with fresh glacier water right off the mountain - Extremely cold and refreshing!
Almost to the top - The hardest part about to come... STRAIGHT UP through big rocks!
We made it..... soaking it all in...


Getting ready to enjoy a well deserved picnic.... teetering our booties on the side of the mountain
Chilly in Chile. The temperature at the top quickly shifted from a little cold to freezing cold - Good thing we had hot vegetable soup to snack on :)


Loving this moment a little longer before our hike back......
I won. I am not bragging, but I was the first one back. This is proof, I touched the car first. Ok maybe I am bragging. A little.
A view from the inside of our Yurt, shortly after arriving back from our hike.
We saw a beautiful night filled with stars approaching through the sky light in our Yurt as we took a nap after our long hike.
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8 Responses to “Climbing to the Top – Hill Sprints Workout”

  1. @shellyeve

    that’s awesome!

  2. Food Babe

    Thanks Shelly! It was really awesome – Chile is an amazing place. They have beach, deserts, and beautiful mountains! Patagonia is great for adventure seekers!

  3. Abigail Nichols

    I’ve always wanted to stay in a Yurt!!!!!

  4. Sharon

    Love your pictures! Your post inspired me
    to work out today even though I didn’t have much time!

  5. Brett

    I like your post and your info. As you know details matter very much and the same is true for interval training. One of the foremost experts in the world says that 30 second sprint 90 second rest is the very best with 8 repetitions. Mercola interviewed him and trusts him as the expert on the subject. Here is the link for the video.

  6. Tina Norris

    We just did the W circuit the beginning of February! Your trip looks a little more luxurious than ours… we camped.

  7. Suzy

    Ever since I saw your post about your trip to Chile, it has been on the top of my list of places to visit. Would you kindly share what tour group you used for your hike to Las Torres. Your pictures look like paradise! My Best, Suzy


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