The Dirty Little Secrets your Cardio Machine has been hiding from you…….
What IS “Steady State Cardio” anyway?
It can be defined as sustaining any cardiovascular activity, at a steady effort or fixed intensity for an extended amount of time. Easy peasy example: running….on a treadmill….for 20 or more minutes…at the same exact pace & incline. Got it?
Okay, now on to some dirty secrets:
Secret #1: If fat loss and creating a lean, healthy, defined body is what you desire, long duration steady state exercise or “hamster-ing” on a cardio machine is the exact opposite of what you need.
Steady State Cardio is best used for endurance athletes who are specifically training for an upcoming event that actually entails the act of DOING the long duration steady state exercise OR for active recovery days.
Secret #2: Extended amounts of time as a “cardio bunny” can actually lead to MUSCLE loss, not fat loss.
Secret #3: Metabolic Interval Training or HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) is a more precise weapon in your fat loss arsenal. With the right work to recovery ratios and some pretty freakin’ awesome tools, you will have found the perfect addition to your strength training program.
“HIIT” is defined as “a system of organizing cardiorespiratory training which calls for repeated bouts of short duration, high-intensity exercise intervals intermingled with periods of lower intensity intervals of active recovery”
Finally….no more flab.
Throughout my athletic career, as a world class discus thrower, figure competitor, Maines Strongest Woman, and all-around athlete, I’ve had the opportunity to work with some top-level coaches in their respective sport.
One of the things that’s remained constant with all the coaches I’ve had the pleasure of training under – There was NEVER any steady state cardio prescribed in my training program. And with the exception of a short duration post-pregnancy, I never dealt with “flab”.
As a matter of fact, the only time any steady state cardio has ever been a dot on my training radar screen was when I was specifically training for the Tough Mudder or any 5k I have participated in. Even then I made sure not to overdo it, as I wanted to honor and keep any muscle I have spent most of my life creating.
In my humble opinion, (backed by over 2 decades of athletic, personal & professional experience) steady state endurance exercise is NOT how we develop a lean, defined, muscular body. Especially if you desire sustainable fat loss (losing it and not finding it…ever….again..)
You want to jump on your treadmill for long durations, multiple days a week? Fukn right! Then, go sign up for a half marathon, marathon, triathlon, etc. At least then you will have an amazing end goal that it will transfer to.
Do you absolutely adore running and the meditative state it can bring to you, then by all means run and love your run. However if your ultimate goal is to shed fat in order to unveil your tighter, better defined muscular curves, then Metabolic or HIIT training is totally the way to go!
Your elliptical/treadmill/ stationary bike, etc will have your body adapting and burning LESS calories during a steady state walk or run in NO TIME! Our bodies are VERY conservative by nature and want to find the most efficient way to complete a task and if it can do so by figuring out a way to expel LESS energy, it will. OUT FOX YOUR BODY YOU SEXY BEAST!!
Now, let’s unplug your treadmill, set it in on fire (or just put it on E-bay), get a membership to a functional training gym where you can train with knowledgeable coaches to guide your intensity and form and then be ready to say SEE YAAA to the stubborn F.A.T.
Strength Training consistently 3 x per week + 1 or 2 Metabolic (HIIT) Workouts per week = the lean body you desire. (Just add WILL!)
I can’t remember a time when I was NOT doing it this way to create & maintain my athletic body.
Here I am at respectively 26yo / 198lbs, 34yo / 180lbs, 38yo, 168lbs.
“Exercise has numerous benefits for high-risk populations and such benefits, especially weight loss, are amplified with HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training).” – American Journal of Medicine
Enough about me though.
A little over a year ago, I met with a fierce and strong willed woman at my home. We were meeting for a complimentary personal fitness consultation. She weighed 231 pounds. Her body fat percentage was over 40%. She sat across from me at my kitchen table. The gleaming fire in her eyes lit up my country kitchen.
I could remember the 2 loudest statements she made to me that day:
#1. “I’m READY!”
#2. “I hate CARDIO!”
To which I replied, “don’t worry, I do too, and you will get your “cardio,” just a little differently.”
It has been a little over a year now since the beginning of her fitness journey with us.
That fierce, strong willed woman by the name of Chele currently weighs 158 pounds (73.2lb weight loss), her body fat percentage is 27% and she has competed in 4 Strongman competitions and qualified for the 2016 Masters Nationals. She now proudly coaches here at GEvolution Fitness and lovingly inspires many women on their fitness journey.
Chele has combined, Strength Training, HIIT Training & Supportive Nutrition in order to grasp her desired accomplishments.
Oh, and one more thing, she hasn’t done a lick of steady state cardio since she joined us.
But what are we doing?
Instead of sticking Chele on a cardio machine for an hour long torture session, we added interval training to her strength program and trained explosively for added fat loss.
We incorporate compound bodyweight movements, multi-dimensional athletic movements, kettlebells, sleds, medicine balls, sandbags, sledgehammers, battle ropes, slosh pipes, weighted jump ropes & other pretty sick tools into movement in all 3 planes.
We keep her heart rate pumping and can easily shift from tool to tool or switch the bodyweight movement when the primary muscle group is fatiguing. This means more calories burned in a shorter duration and NOT GETTING BORED!
This boosted her metabolism during training and up to 48 hours after while honoring her added muscle and desired body composition. Also, as a strength athlete, it is important that Chele maintains her strength and muscle so HIIT training has been the way to go.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so I don’t think I have to write much more here.
At this point, you should quietly whisper into the dashboard of your cardio machine, “it’s over between you and I,” and start adding some HIIT to your life!