The Best Types of Cardio For Your Bod
If you know me as a trainer or follow me on Instagram, you probably already know that I am a huge proponent for limiting cardio and focusing on weight training for both fat loss and muscle building. There are a few reasons for this, which I've discussed before on Instagram, but today I just want to discuss which forms of cardio you should be doing to supplement your weight training program.
Just because you should be focusing your efforts on weight training, doesn't mean you shouldn't do any cardio at all. There are a few cardio techniques that can help you take your training and results to the next level when done correctly, so let's go over them and you (and your trainer) can come up with the best approach for you to reach your goals.
1. HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training)
HIIT is a great strategy for when you're short on time due to its high intensity nature. Usually, a HIIT workout might be 15-30 minutes long and consist of several timed intervals (for example: 30 seconds of work and 30 seconds of rest back to back for 4 exercises and repeated 3 times).
HIIT can be done quickly and is an effective calorie burning strategy. HIIT also provides an after-burn effect called EPOC (exercise post-oxygen consumption) much like weight training does, which means it causes your body to continue burning calories even after the workout has stopped. I usually try to mix in one HIIT session a week or every other week for the majority of my clients.
2. LISS (Low Intensity Steady State)
LISS is much lower intensity than HIIT and maintains the same pace for the duration of the workout. LISS workouts are usually 30-40 minutes long, think walking or slow jogging outside. These workouts can also be done more frequently since they're less taxing on the heart, joints, and muscles.
LISS is also great for and active recovery day because, again, it's pretty low intensity and doesn't take much effort to complete. Going for a walk outside has plenty of other benefits as well that you'd be taking advantage of!
3. NEAT (Non-Exercise Active Thermogenesis)
NEAT or Non-Exercise Active Thermogenesis is all the time throughout the day that you're active but may not even realize it. From fidgeting at your desk to walking upstairs at your apartment instead of taking the elevator, NEAT is happening all day long and is your body's secret weapon for fat loss that many people don't take advantage of!
Think about it this way, you're only at the gym for maybe 1-2 hours a day max. And then you sleep 7-8 hours. So what about those other 12-13 hours? Are they spent sitting down at your desk or on the couch or in the car? How can you maximize movement throughout your day in order to increase your calorie burn? For most people this can be as easy as a daily morning walk with the dog, getting up at work every 30 min for a quick walk around the office, or even just standing up and walking around to take phone calls instead of sitting.
These are the three top methods of cardio that I see the most success with in myself and my clients. The best programs will utilize some combination of all three! By getting your heart pumping and lungs working, you'll supplement your weight training perfectly and create the perfect environment for success when it comes to your fitness goals.