You might be surprised when I tell you a lot of people misconceive the idea behind cardio and its intention. For fat loss cardio is not the “secret” hours on the treadmill or elliptical are not what you need!
Do not get me wrong cardio does contain fat oxidizing mechanisms, it is not the best way to maximize fat loss.
When you think of cardio I want you to think of it as a way to simply help us create a caloric deficit.
I generally use cardio in accordance with a client’s lifestyle. You hear me say this all the time, I want you to learn how to “Eat cake and lose weight” and its possible. Let’s look at an example to help us understand!
Some of my clients love their cardio and enjoy eating more foods than others TOTALLY OKAY with the right programming. This client would start out on the high end and we would work from there.
Example: The client described above would likely start with 4x 20 Min LISS sessions and 2 post workout HIIT (high intensity interval training) Below would be an example of a HIIT circuit.
- 5 minute warm-up, 10 min cool down, warm-up and cool down @ 50% intensity
- HIIT Sets-20 seconds @ 100% intensity, follow with 60 seconds @ 50% intensity, repeat 5 sets
- HIIT options can be:
- upper body circuit (battle ropes)
- plyos/box jumps (my least favorite)
- sprints on elliptical or treadmill (my personal favorite)
- prowlers or sled pulls/pushes (also a fun one)
The choice of the type of HIIT is not important, it’s all about the intensity and timing.
LISS (Low Intensity Steady State cardio), options are:
- incline treadmill walking (This is my go to here)
- light jog (I always struggle with not sprinting)
The goal of LISS is to keep heart rate zones around 110-120 BPM, or until we’ve reached a set KCAL burn requirement. Keep in mind this requirement is whatever the pre-determined about is for your individual program.
If you do not enjoy cardio then guess what y’all, YOU DO NOT HAVE TO DO CARDIO! Seriously why would you suffer through LISS for no reason? Simply set your caloric deficit (not sure where to start look back to July 10th’s post, 2019) and train 3-6x a week (depending on your experience and recovery capacity, not sure where to start? Use the link at the bottom and I will help you figure it out!) and you’ll drop body fat.
The further along we go into your cut the more we may see your body beginning to adapt and your fat loss may begin to subside. All we need to do is simply add in 2-3x LISS sessions, for 20-30 minutes to see the cutting process continue.
Personally, I would also recommend 1-2 HIIT sessions post workout. A word of advice is not to do them post leg day workout, unless you enjoy not being able to walk or sit down to pee, haha.
I hope this provided some good info to y’all! Make sure to share with friends or loved ones you thing would find it helpful. Next up on our topics of discussion, how to measure progress.
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Ashley Miller, MPH, CHES, CPT *Nutrition Certified
Step out of your own way and reach your goals with my help! Click the image to learn how to excel your journey and lose fat fast!