A man and a woman on a run outside and exercising

Cardio 101

Do you know...

The three types of cardio?

Which is best for recovery and why?

Which is best for fat loss and why?

When cardio should be implemented?

Low Intensity Steady Sate

Commonly referred to as LISS. This type of cardio is done at an exertion level of 5 out of 10 at which your body is in a "fat burning zone." It can be done for a long duration and you are able to hold a steady conversation during. LISS is great for social exercise and getting blood flowing throughout your body. It also promotes recovery and oxygen delivery to cells. LISS is best after sitting after a long duration, recovery from a hard workout, or as part of a fat loss program. A great way to implement LISS is going for a walk!

Moderate Intensity Steady State

Also known as MISS. The perceived effort of MISS is about a 7-8 out of 10 and is usually done for a duration of about 45-60 minutes. It is a steady, challenging workout that gets your heart rate around 135-160. This type of cardio is a steady jog, swim, bike, or a tough hike. It is most commonly known as your "endurance" activities. This is great for beginners and is relatively easy to recover from.

High Intensity Steady State

Most commonly known as HIIT. It is characterized by short bursts of effort that is followed by a recovery period to bring the heart rate back down. It is the most grueling and physically demanding form of cardio with a perceived effort maxing out at 10 out of 10. It can only be done at short spurts and for a duration of 10-20 minutes. HIIT cardio has the greatest effect on metabolism and after-calorie burn. In addition, it trains fast-twitch muscle fibers which turns into rounder muscle bellies all while burning fat. One 20 minute HIIT session can burn as much calories as a LISS cardio session lasting 60 minutes. The downside of HIIT is that it is extremely taxing on the body and takes a while to recover from; therefore, you should only do 2-3 sessions of HIIT a week in addition to lifting to maximize fat loss. A great way to implement this form of cardio is sprints on the bike or track, battle ropes, tire flips, or sled pushes.

Cardio should be implemented in everyones training for the cardiovascular benefits!


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