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Rachael Finley’s Ideas May Bring Sprint 8 Workout to Colleges Across the Nation

October 27, 2022
Headshot of Rachel Finley

After a very positive experience herself, York College’s Director of Recreation Rachael Finley wanted others on campus to take advantage of the Sprint 8 Protocol, an interval training program available on the Matrix machines in the Fitness Center at the Grumbacher.

“When we purchased the new Matrix equipment a few years ago, I saw the one-touch Sprint 8 button and started doing that workout regularly,” she said. “Even though it is a difficult workout, it was simple, inclusive, and anyone could do it and see results.”

The Sprint 8 Protocol is a 20-minute workout in which you warm up, sprint (or go as fast as you can) for 30 seconds, rest for 1:30, and repeat that process eight times. It was invented by Phil Campbell, who has published books on it, coached collegiate and professional athletes on it, and offers training and certifications for it. Campbell partnered with Matrix to create a one-touch button that allows users to do the Sprint 8 workout on the majority of their cardio equipment – treadmills, elliptical machines, rowing machines, etc.

“The equipment will automatically time the sprints and increase the speed or resistance for users,” Finley said. “So all a user has to do is step on a machine, touch one button, and basically begin a Sprint 8 workout.”

To generate interest and try out a new idea, Finley piloted an eight-week program for York College that “ran itself,” she said. “All the participants had to do was log on, track their progress, and share their results with me at the end. It didn’t cost anything and didn’t consume much time.”

The successful pilot program convinced Finley to launch the “Sprint 8 Challenge,” a recreation program that invited others on campus to do the workout three times a week for eight weeks and monitor their progress. Participants were encouraged to use the Matrix machines in Grumbacher because of their one-touch button option.

Finley shared her idea and plans with Matrix, and they flew their East Coast Collegiate representative to the College and provided lots of marketing materials. Nearly 100 people signed up, and the Challenge was set to launch March 16, 2020 . . . until COVID shut down the campus on March 15.

Only about 20 to 30 people participated on their own from home, according to Finley. Nonetheless, the results were impressive and were shared with Matrix’s sales team. As a result, they spent some time developing a blueprint for what she had created. This fall, she was invited to the company’s new warehouse in Wilkes-Barre to meet the president.

“Matrix and Phil Campbell told me I was the first person they knew of that ever ran a campus recreation program like this, using Matrix machines and the Sprint 8 Protocol,” she said. “They saw a lot of potential in how they could use what I have done. I took what they already created and what already existed and turned it into a successful program for a campus recreation program. They saw a lot of opportunity for other colleges and universities to repeat what I did on their own campuses using the Matrix equipment and Phil Campbell's one-touch button Sprint 8 protocol.”

“I personally love Rachael’s plans for Sprint 8,” said Campbell, “and I think Matrix will promote York College and the information from her work throughout the United States and worldwide.”

“What York College has built is now the blueprint for college campus Sprint 8 success,” said Rebecca Peoples, Collegiate Recreation East Region Director for Matrix. “Rachael Finley is a top leader in our industry nationally, and it shines in this total campus engagement initiative.”