Summer is approaching quickly, and we all want to kick up our cardio workouts a notch! So when it comes to cardio, what is the BEST fat-burning technique? For quite a while, studies showed steady-state cardio was the best for fat burning. But recent studies show the opposite, suggesting that SHORTER more INTENSE cardio workouts, also known as high-intensity interval training, are more effective. So instead of doing LONG steady-state intervals, wouldn’t you rather burn MORE fat in less time? HIIT is the BEST way to melt that fat right off in time for the summer.
The next question is, how do you perform HIIT training? With HIIT, you only need to spend about a quarter of the time you would usually spend on a machine with steady-state cardio. It’s SO intense, that’s all your body can handle! Plus, it is so effective you will only need to spend 15-20 minutes max on your machine of choice!
• Start by stretching out and warming up your muscles before stepping on a machine.
• Choose your machine of choice (bike, elliptical, arc trainer, StairMaster, etc.)
• 5-minute warm-up at a slower pace to get your muscles loosened.
• Start your first minute off moderately paced.
• Crank it up to 90%-95% of your Maximum Heart Rate for 15-30 seconds (At 25 years old, my 90%-95% MHR is 176-185 bpm. You can calculate yours online)
• Go back to your moderate pace for one minute, crank it up for 15-30 seconds and repeat this for 15 minutes.
• Cool down at a moderate to slow pace.
• Give your body a nice 5-minute stretch for performing so well.
Example Treadmill HIIT Program
0-5 min- 3.0 mph *Warm-up
5-6 min- 3.5 mph
6.5-7 min- 8.0 mph
7-8 min- 3.5 mph
8.5-9 min- 8.5 mph
9-10 min- 3.5mph
10.5-11 min- 9.0 mph
11-12 min- 3.5 mph
12.5-13 min- 9.5 mph
13-14 min- 3.5 mph
14.5-15 min- 10 mph
15-16 min- 3.5 mph
16.5-17 min- 9.0 mph
17-18 min- 3.5 mph
18.5-19 min- 8.0 mph
19-20 min- 3.5 mph
20-25 min- 3.0 mph **Cool-down
In conclusion, the amount of time you spend on cardio doesn’t matter. It is the effort you put into it that counts. You can go to the gym for hours doing steady-state cardio with light weight training OR go to the gym and spend 25 minutes on HIIT cardio with heavy weight training and burn MORE calories throughout the whole day! Also, when you train at a higher intensity, you boost your metabolism, burn more fat per pound of bodyweight, and elevate natural growth hormone levels in your body. Next time you hit the gym, try to incorporate some HIIT training and see how your body responds!
Stay DEDICATED and DETERMINED and always remember, “The Skye’s the LIMIT!!!“