I first started strength training roughly five years ago. I had zero experience with strength training or lifting weights. Although I was new to strength training, this was my not my first attempt at weight loss. In high school, I had a brief stint with extremely low carb dieting and lots of cardio. You’ve probably heard this story before. It worked well at first. The weight literally dropped off, but I still wasn’t satisfied with my body. I was smaller but I will still soft and never achieved the “toned” look I longed for.
However, the weight loss was short lived. I entered my freshman year of college, where I mainly had access to dorm cafeteria food, and as soon as I reintroduced carbs into my body, I rebounded hard, really hard. I gained all the weight back plus some.
I spent the next few years yo-yo dieting. I would lose some weight, gain it back, and the cycle would continue. At the urging and encouragement of my sister, I joined a gym and hired a trainer. This was probably one of the best decisions I ever made in terms of my fitness. My trainer introduced me to strength training as the primary focus of my training. In addition to strength training, she encouraged me to do 30 to 45 minutes of cardio a few days a week. My body responded really well to the mix of strength training and cardio. So naturally, I decided to up my cardio to an hour on most days of the week. More equals better, right? Not always.
I got pretty lean doing this. But here’s the thing, I hated spending an hour a day on the treadmill or elliptical, and I really didn’t have the time for it. Eventually between the time commitment and the fact that that I hated it, I backed off, and my cardio was more sporadic and definitely for shorter time frames. I enjoyed spending less time on the treadmill but I couldn’t maintain my leanness. My body had become accustomed to that level of cardio.
I just accepted the fact that I wouldn’t be as lean. In my mind, I couldn’t maintain that level of leanness unless I was willing to be committed enough to invest hours each week doing cardio. Even so, I was ok with it because I was healthy, strong, and I still liked the way I looked even if I wasn’t as lean.
Through a series of events, I ended up training at a strength and conditioning gym and witnessed people doing less steady state lengthy cardio and utilizing prowler sprints, battle ropes, and hill sprints. I met a woman who was in amazing shape, and she told me that she primarily did HIIT cardio. I had no idea what this was but I pretended like I did (LOL…how silly?!). Anyway, I went home and began researching HIIT cardio. I literally read everything I could about it.
If you’re not familiar with HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) cardio, it’s basically cardio that alternates between intense bursts of activity and periods of less-intense activity or it could even be a complete rest period. The best part about HIIT cardio (for me anyways), it that you only need about 15 minutes to complete it.
Armed with this new information, I begin implementing different forms of HIIT cardio into my training 2 to 3 days a week. The results were amazing. I was leaner than I had ever been with the least amount of time. Here I was spending only 30 to 45 minutes a week on cardio, and I was back to a leaner physique. Since then, my love for HIIT has grown. I truly believe it’s the most effective cardio for reducing body fat while preserving hard earned muscles.
There are a several different options for cardio, but if your goal is to develop a lean physique in a minimum amount of time (and also look fit), then HIIT cardio is the way to go.
That being said, I’m excited for you to integrate HIIT into your workout regimen. If you aren’t familiar with HIIT cardio or if you’re just looking for some new HIIT workouts, you are in luck! I have created a free HIIT Cardio Crusher guide with 5 unique HIIT workouts. Grab your copy here—->>>> http://bit.ly/cardiocrusher