Cardio 101

Goooood Morning!!

One more day until Friday…ahh! Feels so nice to say that. ๐Ÿ™‚

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 isย my personal opinion.ย 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 know about you, but when I finish a cardio workout, I want to feel like this:

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 goingย 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 ๐Ÿ™‚

Now you ask, if you are pushing weight training so much, what are we supposed to do for cardio?ย I’m so glad you asked. ๐Ÿ˜‰


What in the world is HIIT?
Here is a description from one of my very favorite websites:

“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.”

HIIT workouts make happy, but ONLY when I’m done. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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 ๐Ÿ˜€

Here is one of my favorite HIIT workouts: (sorry the boxes are so big!)

Minute Speed Incline
0-1 6 0.5
1-2 7 1
2-3 8 1.5
3-4 9 2
4-5 4 0
5-6 6 0
6-7 9 0
7-8 4 0
8-9 6 0
9-10 9 0
10-11 4 0
11-12 6 0
12-13 9 0
13-14 4 0
14-15 6 0
15-16 9 0
16-17 4 0
17-18 6 0
18-19 9 0
19-20 6 0
20-21 6.5 0
21-22 7 0
22-23 7.5 0
23-24 7 0
24-25 6.5 0
25-26 7 0
26-27 7.5 0
27-28 7 0
28-29 6.5 0
29-30 9 0
30-31 4 0

***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-ย like if the highest you can do is 7.0- that is OK-ย 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 Runย (<– 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! ๐Ÿ™‚

Now you ask-ย 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
20secย @ 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’ย HIITย workouts- for the treadmill, elliptical or bike. There are also some really good workouts floating around the ‘blog world’ too.ย (like the ones above)

I also need to add-ย 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!! ๐Ÿ™‚ 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!! ๐Ÿ˜€

Have a wonderful day- remember tomorrow is Friday, so that should put a smile on your face! ๐Ÿ˜€

Questions for you:
1. Do you currently do HIIT workouts?? Got any to share?? (links are welcome!! ๐Ÿ™‚ )
2. Have you tried elliptical or bike HIIT workouts? Thoughts? I tend to stick to only treadmill workouts, so I am curious!

Leave a comment


  1. ittybitsofbalance

     /  July 28, 2011

    I LOVE this post. I just wrote a few days ago about my former cardio obsession and how I felt like I had to do it every day to get my fix. Now– I rely mainly on weight training and yoga– two activities that have changed my body like never before!

    I love HIIT workouts! I actually have a Challenging Running Interval Treadmill workout on my blog! You can find it here 8)

  2. I used to do HIIT a lot more often a few years ago. Now I mix it up with steady state and some interval workouts as well.

    I used to do HIIT on the bike and stair mill (holy hell this was hard)…it’s a killer!!!

  3. cardio….short and to the point. Right? Great advice!

  4. Amy

     /  July 28, 2011

    My hubbys a personal trainer at a gym he loves to use HIIT with his clients. We’ll have to work out when u come to Jax. Oh my small bowel series is weds. ugh!!!

  5. Thanks for including bike and elliptical ideas, most HIIT workouts I’ve seen are only for treadmills! ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Liz @ Blog is the New Black

     /  July 28, 2011

    GAH! I hate working out so much… and I’ve been a major slacker… you’re giving me some motivation… but only a lil, tiny bit! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I’ll email you later, I feel out of touch! xo

  7. I need to do more HIIT. I’ve never been very good at it because the high speeds scare me! I don’t wanna fall off that treadmill. Right now, the physical therapist told me to stay the same speed/incline until my foot heels, but when it does, I’m hopping on the HIIT bandwagon!!

  8. I love HITT workouts…they rock! I mean I would much rather bust my butt for 20 hard minutes than do endless cardio at a steady state. (my how I have changed…ha!)

  9. Sloancelette

     /  July 28, 2011

    This is a great post! I love hit workouts and recently discovered them through blogs! Most of the time I do them on the treadmill, but if i want to mix it up I like the stair maste. I think the stair master is a but more challenging than the elliptical, but still mixes it up from running!

  10. Ooo I love interval workouts! You should check out my “workouts” page for some that I’ve listed!! ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for these!

  11. “I’m only happy when I’m done” – YES haha! I get so bored doing cardio….I only last like ten mins! I think since I started lifting it also makes any cardio just poopy for me!

  12. I haven’t done true HIIT in a while. Used to do that a lot more actually. Not sure what changed…oh the running LOL. I do include intervals when I have to run on the treadmill and I’ve done HIIT on elliptical. The best are when you use a aerobic step – ouchie!

    • You KILL your runs though- & I see a lot of interval work- which is awesome ๐Ÿ˜€ & I love how much you have gotten into running- I think it’s cool to see the transformation – like when you ran your half!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. AWESOME post lady!! LOVE me some HIIT. Well after I’m done that is!

    I’m not much for running (hello clumsiness…and I get shin splints SO bad when I run on treadmills) so I do HIIT with high incline, moderate speed walking!!

  14. amy

     /  July 28, 2011

    It would be great if he had time to train me

  15. You know…this is awesome that you brought this up. I was always switching up my cardio and weight training every other day, never on the same day. I thought I was doing well if I just got on the treadmill or on the track and ran for an hour. Just a few weeks ago, I went to a class at my gym and the trainer mixed it up. She had us doing weights, some calisthenics, some yoga, then threw in some super fast paced running on the treadmill in between sets. I tell you what! I discovered muscles I didn’t even know existed the next morning. I was super sore! Best workout I ever had.

  16. OMG, an hour! I’d be SO bored. Shorter and more intense is the way to go for me, too!


  17. Hey! First time on your blog, and I’m subscribing cos it’s great.

    That vegan cream cheese from your last post? Love it! I buy it every few weeks. ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. You’re so cute girl. ๐Ÿ™‚ And very motivating!

  19. I love your photos first of all. Second, I agree about the elliptical. The only reason I do it is to keep endurance for running. I love how strong and powerful lifting makes me feel.

  20. Great post!! I do HIIT workouts sometimes, but I really need to do them more frequently. I do love weight lifiting… I see a big difference in my whole body when I lift. I even see it in my core, even though I’m not really working out my core! Pretty cool stuff! ๐Ÿ™‚

  21. Great informative post, girl! I’ve never done HIIT, but I have several friends who do and they love it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  22. I LOVE me some HIIT!! ๐Ÿ˜€

  23. I don’t know if I’ve actually done HIIT workout but I always do intervals on ellipticals, treadmills, and when running outside. I just perform better that way!

  24. I love and despise HIIT training! I like incorporating speed and hills. here’s my favorite one:

    hope you enjoy!


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