It is something that a lot of people either love, or love to hate. I have had my bouts of loving cardio throughout my life. Sometimes I go through periods where I do a lot of cardio, sometimes I’ll go weeks without doing any cardio, and sometimes I go through periods without working out at all (not often, but sometimes). Like any normal human, I can have a love hate relationship with cardio, which is something I am sure many people can relate to. But my beautiful, wonderful followers, I have to share with you and introduce you to my new found love.
Now if you know anything about fitness, cardio, working out, or you follow big fitness influencers on social media, I am positive that you have heard of HIIT cardio and LISS cardio. I had personally never really heard of HIIT or LISS until I started seeing Kayla Itsines promotions all over Facebook and Instagram probably about two years ago at the beginning of my fitness journey. And back then I had no idea what I was doing. I was a literal Cardio Queen. I knew how to lift weights, and could kind of throw routines together but I was always too nervous to go anywhere near the weight room in my campus rec, or in my apartment gym. So everyday I would do an hour on the treadmill, an hour on the elliptical or go for a walk. I wasn’t doing anything crazy, because I truly thought that I just needed to sweat. I didn’t know how to push my body properly.
Two years later..
I have obviously learned a lot more about the right kinds of cardio to do and how to incorporate them into my weight lifting routine. Right now I am kind of at a point where I really only do cardio about three times a week, usually after I lift. Or if I am having an off day and really not feeling a workout, I will do some cardio to get my head in the right space.
With the workout program I am on…
The Grace Fit Guide has one cardio workout a week. And how she lays it out in the plan is to either do 20 minutes of LISS cardio, which she says is walking on a treadmill at 8% incline at about 2.8 mph or higher. I can only really go about 2.8 mph because of my arthritis #oldbodyproblems. The second cardio option in the guide is 10 minutes of HIIT training where she says to do sprints on a treadmill. And let me keep it 100 with you all, when I saw that for the first time, I thought to myself “oh shiz, looks like I am never doing HIIT cardio because if I run, I will break all the bones in my body”. So I kind of wrote off the HIIT cardio option. The third option is 20 minutes on a stair master, which I can do, no problem, I am a self proclaimed stair master queen.
About two weeks ago,
I was at the gym, doing a cardio day because I went in there with absolutely no plan. And if you follow me on Instagram (@marg.fitness) you would have seen me talk and talk about it on my story. So this particular day I had hoped on the elliptical and done 20 minutes, increasing resistance every 2 to 3 minutes, something that I used to do a lot more. But I kind of stopped doing it because it got super boring, and because the whole #toefiasco stopped me from moving like that. Anyway, back to the story. I am ellipticalling my life away, and I look in front of me and see the empty room of spin bikes. And I think to myself “hmmm, I bet I could do some HIIT on the spin bike”. I almost talked myself out of it, but luckily I pushed through. My elliptical workout ended, and I walked right on into the spin room, picked some good music, and clicked on my HIIT cardio interval timer and spun away.
And now we break, so I can explain HIIT cardio…
Ok so for those of you that have been reading this post, and scratching your head every time I say HIIT, you’re in luck because I am going to explain it to you. And I will take a go at it and explain LISS cardio too, because I want all of you to be as educated as possible.
HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training. So what this means is that for a set interval of time you are working at a high intensity, and for another set interval of time you are resting or recovering. These high intensity intervals could be anything. they could be sprints on a treadmill where you are running your hardest and your fastest for 15 to 30 seconds, or you are on a spin bike sprinting in a high gear either in or out of the saddle. Those are just two examples, there are many more. when I do HIIT cardio my intervals are 30 seconds high intensity and 1 minute low intensity which I will do 10 times through.
LISS stands for Low Intensity Steady State. Think of this as your “easy” kind of cardio like taking your dog for a walk, going for a bike ride, or doing the elliptical at a constant resistance. LISS cardio gets your body moving, but doesn’t push it to the edge.
Hopefully that all makes sense. If it doesn’t drop your questions below in the comments and I will do my best to answer them.
Lately I have been LOVING HIIT cardio. Like I said my timer is set for 10 rounds of 30 seconds on, 1 minute off, so a HITT session for me lasts about 15 to 16 minutes including a warm up and cool down. This type of cardio is really quick, and easy to fit into your workout routine. I was going to say quick and easy, but trust me, if you are doing HITT cardio right, it will not be easy. It will be so hard and you will be so sweaty that sweat will start pouring into your eyes and you’ll think you’re going blind, and that will just be after the first couple intervals. This type of cardio is difficult but it feels so good when it is over. And your body will thank you because doing HIIT cardio will burn more calories for you throughout the day. It will help you to drop those pounds, which I know everyone wants because we are in the midst of summer!
What I love about doing HIIT cardio…
is the buckets of sweat that pour off of my body while I am doing the session. And I love that when I am done I look like I have just gone for a swim with all my clothes on. It makes me feel like I have really accomplished something, and makes me feel like my body is working really hard. And I am not saying that weight training doesn’t make me feel the same way, because it does, but it doesn’t make me feel like I am a sweaty mess like HIIT cardio does. I don’t know, is it weird that I enjoy sweating and feel like I have accomplished more the sweatier I am? Please tell me that’s not weird because if it is, then I don’t want to be normal.
And there you have it friends, my take on HIIT cardio. I want to hear if anyone tries out HIIT cardio for the first time, so drop a comment down below, or hit me up on Instagram giving me your opinions.
What is your favorite way to get sweaty?