Friday, January 2, 2015

Different Kinds of Cardio

I seemed to have sparked a national debate when I posted that I am doing steady state cardio right now to tighten up for my honeymoon. To prevent any unnecessary cardio queen hernias, I decided to write a blog post describing the two basic different types of the nasty c-word and when each type is best suited for your goals. Enjoy.

LISS- Low Intensity Steady State
This is what Josh and I are currently doing. Why?!?!?!?!? LISS (we do 45 minutes 4-5 times a week) is best for competitive bodybuilders who primary concern is building as much muscle as possible #GAINZ
Many, and I mean many, bodybuilders will simply walk on the highest incline on the treadmill at a moderate speed for their cardio duration to avoid any possible muscle loss. Your target heart rate should be around 135 bpm (beats per minute) aka the holy grail of the fat burning zone (bpm will vary by person, should be 65% of max heart rate). If you need help calculating what yours should be, here's a great calc:
The holy grail zone occurs when you work your #HotBod at 65% of max heart rate. Science time: your body is working hard enough to burn fat but not too #BeastMode that it switches to sugar for energy. People often associate distance runners with steady state and having a very very very thin body type but they often forget that these distance runners are running for much longer than 45 minutes a few times per week.

HIIT- High Intensity Interval Training
HIIT cardio combines short bursts of energy and then recovery periods. A typical HIIT workout is 20-30 seconds of sprints and 1-2 minutes of recovery and that cycle is repeated for 25-35 minutes. This will spike your heart rate WAY past the fat burning zone mentioned above and will top the scale at your maximum heart rate. It will then come back down to a recovery rate and then go right back up when you start your next sprint.
You will burn a boat load of calories doing HIIT if done properly- it is hard AF. It's also way less boring that LISS. HIIT is best for those who have a lot of fat to burn as you will burn calories for up to 48 hours post-HIIT demolition due to EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption). If you would like to learn more about EPOC, there are lots and lots and lots and lots of articles- pretty interesting stuff!

PLEASE keep in mind, nobody ever got fat doing sprints. You WILL burn fat in the different types of cardio and any cardio is better than no cardio- keep that heart healthy! Right now I am trying to keep my glutes as full as possible while shrinking this waist- thank you LISS!


  1. How much concern do you give to the amount of calories burned during a workout?

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  2. Great post. I'm a 31 year old female currently trying to gain some muscle (grrrr!!) but still wanting to maintain my cardio fitness.. With all the current hype on HIIT it was nice to see the good old stepper/treadmill might be a better option for me.. Thanks a lot for this :)

  3. I agree that any type of cardio is better than no cardio, besides it's nice to keep the blood flowing once per day!

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