I have 30 pounds left to lose until I am finally at my fitness goal. It has been a long 11 months of work, but I am ecstatic to have made such huge changes in my life. However, over the past 2 months or so, my weight loss journey my loss has been stagnant. I had other issues that needed my attention so I had to shift my focus for a bit. That is how it goes though; that's life. We are going to face immense ups and downs along the way, but no matter what, one must keep trying; one must keep pushing on. Giving up is never, ever an option.
As I dedicate myself back to the way I need to train and eat, it is important to make the most out of every single workout I have. I usually do 45 minutes of cardio a day with my specific workout. Since I engage in cardio everyday, as most people do, it can be easy to get bored with it and not push myself as hard. Today I wanted to share a few of the different types of cardio training I engage in.
High Intensity Interval Training (H.I.I.T) is also referred to as "sprint intervals". This type of cardio training is an exercise strategy that alternates periods of short intense intervals with less intense recovery intervals. Basically, you push yourself to the limit for X amount of time, then rest (while still exercising) for an even shorter amount, then repeat. This is without a doubt one of the best types of cardio training to burn fat and lose weight. You not only improve your body, but your heart. Because intervals are alternated so rapidly, the heart is in a constant state of work and pumping, which causes it to strengthen. This type of training also improves a persons metabolism and because of the intensity, a long duration of exercise is not necessary.
Examples (20 minute durations):
--Stairmill: 2 minutes work: 130 SPM (Steps-per-minute) then 1 minute rest: 60 SPM. Repeat
--Inclined walk: 2 minutes work: 3.5 speed with 10 incline, then 1 minute rest: 3.4 speed with no incline. Repeat
--Running: 1 minute of sprinting as fast as you can then 1 minute slow walk
You can also engage in H.I.I.T by doing mountain climbers, jumping jacks, jump squats, etc. for X amount of time then a slow walk for the rest period. Equipment is not always necessary, therefore this training can be done anywhere!
Endurance training is a great way to improve strength and overall stamina. This is not just for people who want to run marathons; this is a great type of cardio training for anyone, as overall improved stamina helps with everything health and fitness related. Endurance allows people to work out at a certain intensity or for an extended amount of time. The better a persons endurance is, the longer they can exercise without stopping and slowing down. This type of cardio training should be challenging, but not to the point of maxing out your heart rate like a sprint would. This type of cardio is done for a longer period of time, with the heart rate staying at a certain rate. This is hard because after a certain amount of time, you will become tired and want to slow, but don't as that is how one builds their body's endurance; by pushing through at staying at the same rate of work, even though the body is growing tired.
--For me, on the Elliptical, resistance is hard me at level 13. It's tough for me to keep my usual speed at that level. Therefore when I endurance train, I would set the resistance at 13 (where it starts to get tough for me) and ensure I keep my speed at a good pace to where the entire workout is a challenge. I will not change my speed or resistance this entire training. This duration could vary from 30-60 minutes.
--I can swiftly run for about 30 minutes straight without feeling tired or out of breath. To challenge myself and build endurance, I would set my workout for a 40 minute run, then gradually increase the pace of the run as well as the time as my body and system strengthens.
This type of cardio is a low intensity type of training done for a long period of time. It is slow, easy, and long, and one should be able to converse comfortably during. It is ideal for someone who is just beginning to exercise on a regular basis, recovering from a sickness and/or surgery, or someone who is obese and/or severely overweight. It can provide a reasonable amount of caloric and fat loss, but will not aid as effective in a "total body transformation" such as building muscle.
--1+ hour walk in a park or beach
--Afternoon bike ride
Cross-training involves alternating pieces of cardio equipment within different periods of time. This is a great way to keep variety in your cardio workout: the time generally seems to go by fast and since you are alternating equipment and not on one machine for a prolonged period of time, it is essentially easier to keep endurance up and push hard. Cross training cardio is effective for boosting metabolism, burning fat, and building endurance. This workout should be moderately challenging for the entire duration. When I do cross-training, I do the hardest piece of cardio first and the easiest last; that way I have the most energy for the first one and get the most out of my training.
--4 different pieces of equipment for 10 minutes each.
My favorite combination:
Incline walk: 3.5 speed, 7 incline
StairMill: 70 SPM
Jog: 7.0 speed
Elliptical: 10 resistance, 9 incline