Updated: Dec 3, 2021
We've all been there. Thinking that in order to cut inches from our waistlines we must endure in endless hours of cardio. Am I right?
And I'm assuming you've been doing this for X amount of days and it may have worked in the beginning but now you've hit this weight loss plateau and you don't understand why because you've added an extra day this week with cardio and you still aren't seeing results.
Well let me tell you what is happening.
You are stuck in what I like to call the Yo-Yo Effect.
One day you finally got the motivation to set out and start focusing on your health, but you had no idea where to begin. You may have googled numerous things and some how found the result to all of your problems either laid in endless hours of cardio, or all of these (pardon my honesty) bullshit products that promised a quick fix but instead do not help your health, but instead harm you. Not to get off track of what I’m saying, but this is a lifestyle, not a quick fix. Anyways, after you decided to throw on the runners and hit the road you may have seen some changes at first. (Props to you for having that mentality to get out there and be active!)
Now. Two things to consider: 1. Did you change your eating habits when you decided to take on cardio as a routine? 2. Are you following a running plan or just simply out for a simple stroll?
After you stopped seeing any decrease in your waistline and a slow halt has come to your progress you’ve started to get discouraged. At this point you have skipped the runs all together and may have gone back to eating poorly and have just thrown in the towel all together. Sound like you?
This is where I’d like to tell you that you are NOT ALONE.
Many times I see women start a routine, see results, hit a plateau, see a decrease in results, and then fall off the wagon. The Yo-Yo is a nasty thing if not stopped correctly. This may discourage anyone from starting a new routine because last time they tried it was unsuccessful. But keep an open mind.
Now, I’d like to steer you away from the endless amount of cardio and on to a better solution that does not take HOURS in order to achieve results. This is what is called High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). You may have seen this term floating around on social media, fitness pages etc, and have never understood what it really is. Let me explain.
HIIT is a form of cardiovascular training that may last anywhere from as little as 10 - 30 minutes while performing short but intense bursts of anaerobic exercise with less intense recovery in between. It does not require to be done every day, it can still be as effective 2-3 times per week.
Not limited to, but here are some benefits of HIIT training:
1. It’s efficient 2. You’ll burn more fat 3. You’ll build on your cardiovascular strength 4. No equipment necessary; So it’s easy to do at home! 5. You will torch fat, not muscle 6. Increases metabolism; and burns calories longer than endless cardio 7. Can be done A N Y W H E R E - therefore you have no excuses ;) 8. It can be as challenging as you make it
At this point you’re probably curious what kind of exercises are included in a HIIT circuit, how do you decide what to do etc. HIIT circuits can include a wide variety of exercises, and the intensity is based on how hard you push yourself through it. That does not mean only doing half of the reps, or half of the time in order to complete the exercise. Give your all when completing a HIIT circuit in order to fully benefit from it.
I promise you by switching from endless hours of cardio to completing 2-3 HIIT circuits 2-3 times a week you will see progress that you never did by completing basic cardio.
By no means am I saying cut out cardio completely, if you enjoy cycling, or an hour jog 1 time a week then keep with that, but incorporate HIIT training if you want to see results.
Now, aside from the training - how is your nutrition? If you haven’t made any nutritional changes at this point then it really does not matter what kind of exercising you do, the benefits will still be lacking if you aren’t fuelling properly. Over-all health goes hand in hand when it comes to exercising and nutrition. You can’t be doing only one to see results. You must have a balance of both.