The Most Effective CardioA lot of people think that to lose weight and get the body you want, you have to do cardio. True. Cardio will help you burn fat. BUT, overtraining cardio will also start to eat your muscle. Muscle is what keeps you tone and helps you burn fat when you’re not working out, so too much cardio will give you the result of “skinny fat”. I’ve been there. Being completely clueless, I didn’t understand how I could be so skinny but look like play dough. TOO MUCH CARDIO, NOT ENOUGH WEIGHT TRAINING. Ain’t no shame in having a goal to be lean but not really understanding how to get that way and stay that way. I would spend an hour a day at the gym on the elliptical or treadmill and I’m here today to say that you don’t need to do that and it just works against you!

How many of you have heard of HIIT? That stands for High Intensity Interval Training. This is the principal put forward in boot camp type workouts, but It can also be applied your favorite cardio machines like the elliptical, treadmill, and stationary bike. Cardio should be short and intense. If you’re training for something like a Marathon, obviously your cardio will be longer and more evenly paced, but for those of us that just need to get lean or stay lean… SHORT AND INTENSE. How do you HIIT on a treadmill? Pick your walking pace, your jogging pace, and your running pace. For me, It’s 3mph, 5mph, and 7mph. From there, I do short bursts of each pace and cycle back and forth between them. My bursts are any where from 30 seconds to 60 seconds. Here’s a sample:

3mph –60s
5mph –30s
7mph –30s
5mph –60s
7mph –60s
3mph –30s
5mph –30s
7mph –30s
5mph –60s
7mph –60s (Sometimes… if I’m feeling saucy, I’ll put the incline up and down)

I’ll continue this for no longer than 30 minutes. This type of cardio will continue to burn fat calories even after you’re finished. What I love about this is that after 30 minutes, you are DONE. I mean physically done. You’re tired and sweaty and accomplished so much for your body in just 30 minutes. If you’re not a runner, you can easily do this on an elliptical or bike by playing with the resistance levels. Since my ankle injury, I haven’t been able to do impact cardio and I’ll tell you, putting the resistance up alllllll the way and then dropping it down on the elliptical will give you a great workout too! Let me know when you’ve done HIIT and if you enjoyed it!