Welcome back to Game Strength Insider!
I guess there are people out there that feel Cardio exercise is only important for a healthy heart, but it also helps you burn fat and dig deeper than the other guy when competing. This is true whether you’re using steady-state, variable intensity or high-intensity cardio exercise. However, here’s an insider tip: Don’t do the same type of cardio routine all the time.
You see, your body is awesome at adapting when it spots a pattern. If you jog the same distance at the same rate every time you do cardio, your body will spot the pattern. In turn, it will learn how to use less energy to perform this task. That’s great if you need to conserve energy… but not so good when you’re trying to lose weight or training to compete.
With that said you should mix up your cardio. Start by being sure to incorporate all three kinds into your weekly routine. This includes:
Steady state cardio. As the name implies, this is where you perform an exercise at the same speed. For example, you might walk on a flat surface or peddle a stationary bike at the same speed for the duration of your cardio session.
Insider tip: “steady state” doesn’t necessarily mean slow. As your fitness levels improve, you should pick up the pace of whatever forms of cardio you’re doing.
Variable intensity cardio. Again, this is self-explanatory. Instead of exercising at one pace, you vary the intensity. For example, you might jog for a while and then walk for a while.
Not only does this keep your body guessing, it’s just an effective way to exercise when you’re working on improving your level of fitness. For example, you can mix walking into a jogging session if you get too winded. Once you can jog for a few miles without walking, then you can add sprinting sessions into the mix.
High intensity interval training (HIIT). This is where it’s at. You give 100% effort for 15 seconds to a minute and then drop back to partial effort. For example, you sprint as hard as you can, and then jog to recover. I like to sprint and then slow and control my heart rate- the second it gets down to where I want it I sprint again.
This particular form of cardio is very effective, which is why we’ll devote a couple special articles and videos to it (so keep an eye out).
Secondly, you should also be sure to incorporate different kinds of cardio each week. For example, don’t just jog at different speeds. Instead, use different forms of cardio.
Here’s a short list of different types:
Biking (real bike or stationary bike)
Climbing/running stairs or using a stair stepper
Rebound (AKA mini trampoline)
Rowing (in a boat or using a rowing machine)
Playing a sport, such as basketball, tennis, soccer, etc.
Using a Gazelle
Mountain climbing (or a climbing wall)
…And so on.
You should also choose forms of cardio that you enjoy. If you absolutely hate biking, then don’t do it. Sure, you may add it in once in a while just to keep your body from adapting, but you don’t need to do it weekly. Instead, you want to choose forms of cardio you enjoy, which will keep you motivated to do it each week.
That’s it for this time. Get creative with your cardio. If you have any questions or if you’d like to add something, do so in the comments section below.