September 10, 2018
As a trainer, I get asked this one question in particular the most…”How can I make myself push through my cardio session?” I mean, you can only watch so much Netflix while on a treadmill, bike or elliptical right? My answer is always the same…HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) No matter what your health/fitness goals may be, cardio should be such an important aspect of your training.
To put a clearer perspective on the difference between steady state cardio vs. HIIT let’s look at the meaning of both.
Steady State Cardio?
This is where you would maintain a constant speed, level of intensity and work rate during one session. Usually keeping your heart rate at a specific maximum percentage. You are working in what’s called an aerobic state at this point. Do not get me wrong, this is the perfect way to prepare for an endurance event! On the other hand, if your goal is weight loss/fat loss, steady state training may require extended periods of training time in order to achieve this. Also, long periods of steady work puts a higher risked of repetitive stress injuries on your body. Lastly, to go with my original question asked so often, certain people find it difficult to maintain their focus needed to complete their sessions.
What exactly is HIIT?
High Intensity Interval Training can be used in any form of workout routine (strength, cardio, etc.). This is where you would alternate between high-intensity and lower-intensity exercise. Example would be 30-45 seconds of work followed by 15-20 seconds of rest repeated several times. This type of training will get and keep your heart rate up while in return burns more fat in less time. It is important to understand that during this type of training, you will be using more oxygen during the effort which makes your body think there is an oxygen shortage, also known as (EPOC) Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption. This essential is the reason your body will burn more fat and calories than regular aerobic and steady state cardio and will continue to burn this off throughout the day vs. steady state where you just burn what you achieved.
More benefits of HIIT cardio would include: – Increase your metabolism for up to 48 hours after the activity is completed. – Quicker and Convenient Most of these can be completed in 30 minutes or less. – No equipment necessary Still love the treadmill or running just not the length of time it takes to burn your goal calories?
Try this very effect quick HIIT routine:
1.) Warm up approximately 3-5 minutes briskly walking
2.) Sprint 30 seconds at your maximum level
3.) Followed by 30 seconds of walking
4.) Repeat this 8-10 times
5.) Do this 3-4 times per week
So essentially your cardio session would be completed in approx. 10-12 minutes, you have gained time, you truly feel the burn, you have burned more calories, your metabolism is higher, you will keep burning calories from this throughout your day, you will begin to run faster/stronger as you train this way. There you have it, no more searching for the same old Netflix movies before you walk into the gym!!