Journey Back To Strength 7

How I Approach Cardio

In today’s update, I am going to take you through a beginner’s HIIT session. Instead of writing it all in a blog with pictures, I decided to do a video blog (see below) to discuss my cardio in a bit more detail. So, I recorded a VLOG from home. There is one slight amendment: I mentioned that my good friend Kat was filming me, but she is actually joining me in the actual HIIT session. We wrangled in someone else to do the filming, and I got her to the cardio with me. Who knows, I may (or may not lol) have a new HIIT partner.

HIIT SET UP: How To Prepare For Bike Session

(See my HIIT demonstration video at the bottom of this blog.)
1. Not shown in the demonstration is that you must take ample time to make sure your spinning bike is properly working and that nothing is broken. Start with the pedals and work your way up. First, check that the shoe straps are both working: each must be able to fit around your sneaker and stay put throughout the entire session. A broken or faulty strap will make it very uncomfortable, and you will not be able to distribute pressure equally on both legs.

2. Next, check the seat height. Set the height of the seat at or slightly above the hip joint. If the seat is too low, it is a KILLER on the quads, as most of your effort will comes solely from that area of your legs. A slightly higher seat will help incorporate the glutes, hamstrings and calves, so the bulk of the force isn’t primarily coming from the quadriceps.

3. Next, check the distance from your seat to the handlebar. Make sure you aren’t too close or too far away. The idea is that you aren’t squished in or reaching out too far for the support of the handle bars.

4. Finally, the height of the handlebar needs to be at a comfortable level. Just hop on and try a few settings to find what feels best for you.

Journey Back To Strength 7 - How I Approach Cardio Journey Back To Strength 7 - How I Approach Cardio Journey Back To Strength 7 - How I Approach Cardio


1. Make sure there is a cup holder to put your water in that isn’t broken. You will want that water… believe me!

2. Double tie your shoelaces. Nothing like those laces flying around in the middle of a session!

3. Wear pants that you can tuck into your socks or fitted leggings. It can be distracting or even dangerous if the excess material gets stuck in the pedal or knocks against the bike at each rotation.

4. Buy a timer. The timer I bought and used in the video is priceless. (Well, not really. It was $25 at Sports Authority by Everlast.) You can set it up for warning signals, exact length and number of intervals to be completed. It beeps and vibrates so you can listen to music and still know when the timer is going off.

5. Get some spinning pants or shorts. That seat is no joke! That’s my next purchase.


1. At the track when the weather permits. (I am in Queens, New York.)

2. In the Spinning room. Set up your bike AWAY from any other equipment, as I learned after we stopped filming yesterday.

3. I have seen people push cars…I am not there yet. I am all for hardcore, but there are TOO many cars to push where I live, and it doesn’t fit into my geographical location as an ideal option.

Note: So sorry about the quality of the first part of this video, we had some technical difficulties.

So there you have it. Another few real life tips for how it’s done…and from the video, you can see how this kind of training works!

Ava Cowan is an IFBB Figure Professional, a CPTS® and full time online coach and consultant for women of all fitness levels.

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