Did you catch last weeks article? We stirred the pot by starting conversation on whether or not you actually need cardio training in your program if you want to maximise your results (if you didn’t catch it- here you go).
Let’s dive straight into what are some of the best forms of cardio. First and foremost, keeping it simple the best kind of cardio is the one you are most likely to stick to.
Don’t enjoy running? That’s cool- just don’t force yourself to run 5km three or four times per week as part of your training because you just wont last without that element of enjoyment.
Perhaps you prefer swimming or cycling. Pick one of those. Maybe you’re one of the few people in the world who are twisted enough to enjoy using the sled *shudders*.
With the best type out of the way, lets take a squiz at the two forms of conditioning you have likely heard of.
The big daddy- Mr Popular at the time of writing this. HIIT or high intensity interval training is everywhere. Whether you like to admit it or not, bought to our attention by CrossFit and more recently popularised by training franchises such as F45.
The popular version of HIIT is often a slight variant to the idea of something like 20s hard work, 20s easy or rest. Is it true HIIT training- not really. But it is the fun brother that gets you hot, sweaty, burning fat and clearly gets results.
True HIIT looks a lot more like 20-30s of absolute gut busting exertion and two minutes plus to fully recover before a second effort. Believe me, from personal experience you DO NOT want to, nor need to be doing twenty rounds of this type of interval.
Typically we will hold back a little on high intensity training until a new member has added recovery protocols and we can see an increased attempt at laying a base level of conditioning to make sure they maximise the results of HIIT training. Although it is one of the most effective fat loss methods, if your body is under continual stress HIIT may not be for you until you better control stress.
Another acronym - welcome to the fitness world where It’s either an acronym or an exercise with an eastern European name.
LISS or low intensity steady state training is the opposite to HIIT. Here we slow the pace and intensity down but increase the working time. To how long? Well that depends on the adaptation you’re looking to achieve.
Looking to improve cardiovascular health then doing 2-4 sessions 30-60 mins starting out for the first month before cutting back may be all that you need to really see beneficial adaptations.
With a tip of the hat to Luke Leaman from Muscle Nerds- we have learnt and then implemented to great success with clients an initial cardiovascular training component.
We have found it works particularly well with the corporate individual who is always “on”- busy from early morning wake up until they lay down again at night.
The goal of this phase of training is to prepare the body for the harder work that is yet to come but making sure the body is in the best place to recover from the various stresses we encounter daily. However we will save these protocols for part three of our cardiovascular series.