One more day until Friday…ahh! Feels so nice to say that. 🙂
So today I have the post that I have been promising:
Before I start I just want to do a little disclaimer: I am not a personal trainer, even though I would like to be one, the information below is my personal opinion. You should consult a doctor before starting any new physical activity.
Now that we have that out of the way…I want to address a few topics regarding cardio.
1. How frequently you should do cardio.
2. What kind of cardio you should do.
3. Some workout suggestions
I don’t like to mess around, I just want to GET IT DONE!
Yesterday one of my best friend’s & I were talking, and she mentioned something about going to the gym to get on the elliptical for an hour. I’m not going to lie, I cringed! I was like why in the world would you do that??
I know I have talked about it before (like it my Weight Lifting 101 post) but the BEST way to burn fat & calories is to incorporate strength training into your workout routine! I can’t express it enough, but you will notice how STRONG & toned you feel!
The other thing about weight lifting is that it builds MUSCLE and muscle burns more fat & calories at REST, unlike steady state cardio. The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn…even when you are NOT working out. If you do steady cardio for an hour (or however long), YES, you do burn calories. BUT as soon as you are done then the calorie burning is DONE. That is why I emphasize so much on strength training & building muscle!
I will be posting some more strength training workouts for beginners very soon. I know the workouts that I have listed can be a bit intimidating if you are just starting out. So be on the lookout for them 🙂
Now you ask, if you are pushing weight training so much, what are we supposed to do for cardio? I’m so glad you asked. 😉
HIIT HIIT HIIT HIIT.
“HIIT is a training idea in which low to moderate intensity intervals are alternated with high intensity intervals. HIIT is considered to be much more effective than normal cardio because the intensity is higher and you are able to increase both your aerobic and anaerobic endurance while burning more fat than ever before.”
They are not making me smile when I do them because they are HARD. But there is a good reason why they are hard: Just like weight lifting, they also give you calorie AFTERBURN. So even when you are done with your HIIT workout, you will STILL be burning calories from it! Win in my book 😀
Here is one of my favorite HIIT workouts: (sorry the boxes are so big!)
***Do NOT be intimidated by the speed. Just do what you can handle! You WILL get up to those speeds if you keep at it! Like for instance, you can walk at 4.0 instead of jogging at 6.0 during some of the rest periods. You can also adjust your sprints- like if the highest you can do is 7.0- that is OK- you have to start somewhere!! I promise I haven’t been running those speeds forever- it TAKES time to build up your endurance & your cardiovascular health!
Here are some of my other favorites:
Julie’s Interval 0.2 Workout (<– that one is my absolute favorite right now!!)
Court’s 30 Minute Speedy Interval Run (<–Nice incline walk to start with!)
Lisa’s High Intensity Sprint & Incline Run (<– watch out for the end- it kills!!)
I have a whole list of them, so I can always post some more HIIT workouts, if requested! 🙂
Now you ask- how OFTEN should I do HIIT?
Well, since it is REALLY tough on your body, you should only do it 2-3 times a week. Your body needs RECOVERY time in order to re-build the muscle that you broke down during your workout.
The GOOD news is that you do NOT just have to do HIIT on the treadmill!! You can do it on the elliptical or bike as well.
Here is an elliptical workout that I found:
(Crossramp 10, resistance 8 or 9)
5 minutes warm up @150-160rpm
40sec @ 200+ rpm
20sec @ 140-150rpm
Repeat for 15 cycles
HIIT for a bike:
5 minute warm up
15 seconds hard (or 30 sec.- 1 min. if you are more advanced)
45 seconds slow for recovery (or 30sec if you are more advanced)
Repeat until you get to 20 minutes
5 minute cool down
You can also ‘Google’ HIIT workouts- for the treadmill, elliptical or bike. There are also some really good workouts floating around the ‘blog world’ too. (like the ones above)
I also need to add- if you are training for a race (like a marathon) then of course long & steady cardio is what you NEED to do to prepare yourself!! 🙂 I would just recommend doing HIIT workouts when you are not training for a race.
I hope you have enjoyed this post. I LOVE HIIT & I’m sure with no time you will love it too. Remember DON’T give up when it gets had– you can DO IT!! 😀
Have a wonderful day- remember tomorrow is Friday, so that should put a smile on your face! 😀
Questions for you:
1. Do you currently do HIIT workouts?? Got any to share?? (links are welcome!! 🙂 )
2. Have you tried elliptical or bike HIIT workouts? Thoughts? I tend to stick to only treadmill workouts, so I am curious!