Should You Do HIIT Cardio or LEES Cardio?

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Should You Perform HIIT or LEES Cardio?

There is a lot of debate about whether you should do HIIT (sprints and intervals) or LESS cardio (walking, light jogging, etc.), and depending on whom you listen to, you'll be told that you should only do one or the other.

Have you ever heard someone say that they wish they had never done HIIT or LESS cardio because it harmed their health? I haven't either, so let's not worry about it and instead focus on staying healthy.

Why not combine the two?

As previously stated, everyone leans one way or the other when it comes to cardio, but I've discovered that a combination of both works best for the majority of people. Sometimes we feel good and want to do some HIIT training, and other times we feel wrecked and want to do something a little easier, which is when we can do LESS training.

Because of the effect it has on your mitochondria, both types of training have advantages. Endurance training will help you grow more mitochondria, and HIIT training will make those mitochondria more functional, so both LESS and HIIT training should be used to get the best of both worlds.

Remove the treadmill.

When we think of cardio, we usually think of getting on the treadmill and jogging or doing interval sprints. While there's nothing wrong with doing this if you enjoy it, if you want to avoid injury, I recommend eliminating it from your cardio routine.

How many people do you know who have been injured while running?

That's because most of us (myself included) aren't very good at it, and nothing is worse than getting hurt, especially when it prevents you from doing the things you enjoy.

So, instead of using the treadmill, I recommend getting rid of it and trying something new.

It's time to go to spin class

You've seen the stationary spin bikes in the studios, right? I used to laugh at them and think they were silly, and I used to say that if you want to ride a bike, just go outside, but boy was I wrong.

If you push yourself hard enough, a stationary bike is a great tool that will burn a lot of calories during and after the workout (known as the EPOC effect).

Another advantage of using a stationary bike is that you have little chance of injuring yourself. You're not going to fall off or crash into any walls, so you're safe there.

I stumbled into one of the classes one day after a friend persuaded me to try one with him after he swore it was one of the best things he did for losing weight. I later discovered that spinning was not only good for losing fat, but it also had a slew of other advantages.

My lungs were burning, my body was shaking, and I was exhausted after my first bike training session.

You won't believe how far you can go on a bike unless you try a class or what I recommend below.

After taking a few classes, I realized that I couldn't always make it because of the times they were held and how they interfered with my work schedule. So I decided to try some HIIT and LESS training that I used to do when I ran on the treadmill. I decided to give them a try on the stationary bike and see how it went.

It turns out that by doing the HIIT and LESS workouts on the bike, my health markers and energy levels have significantly improved. It didn't take up much of my time, and I had a lot more fun doing it than I did the typical cardio routines I was used to.

Adding HIIT and LESS training on the bike to mix things up and keep things interesting is what I've found works best.

Here are a few HIIT routines to get you started

One minute on, one minute off

1. Warm up for 3 to 5 minutes to get your heart rate up.

2. Cycle for 1 minute at an intensity of 7 – 8 /10.

3. Continue riding normally for one minute.

4. Cycle for 1 minute at an intensity of 7 – 8/10.

5. Repeat this 10 times, 1 minute on and 1 minute off (try to keep the intensity around 7 – 8 out of 10 for the first minute).

6. Rest for 3 – 5 minutes.

This should take 30 minutes in total, including a 5-minute warm-up, 20 minutes of exercise, and 5 minutes of cooling down.

Sprints of 20/40 meters (my favorite)

This is my favorite type of workout because I know I can push myself hard for 20 seconds and go all out, rather than trying to maintain a specific speed for 1 minute.

  1.  Warm up for 2 – 3 minutes to get your heart rate up.
  2. Sprint as hard as you can for 20 seconds (this should be a 10/10).
  3. Slowly, ride for 40 seconds.
  4. Repeat 8 times more
  5. After 8 cycles, take a 2-minute break to catch your breath.
  6. Repeat the cycle 8 times more.
  7. After 8 cycles, take a 2-minute break to catch your breath.
  8.  Repeat the cycle 8 times more.
  9.  Ride for 5 minutes to cool down.

This will also take about 20 – 30 minutes if you include warm-up and cool-down time.

Mini intervals of 20 seconds

  1. Begin by warming up for 2 – 3 minutes to raise your heart rate.
  2. For 8 seconds, cycle as hard as you can.
  3. Ride for 12 seconds at a leisurely pace.
  4. Repeat for a total of 20 minutes.
  5. Cycle slowly for 5 minutes to cool down.

Workouts with less

Fewer workouts are similar to treadmill workouts in their simplicity. Choose a pace that will raise your heart rate to the point where it is difficult, and you are breathing heavily, and maintain that pace for 30 – 40 minutes.

What I've discovered is that, like LESS training, this is still boring, so make sure you have a TV or a podcast to listen to in front of you.

Quick Tip – I also try to avoid having clocks around because there's nothing worse than looking at the clock and realizing it's only been five minutes. Try parking yourself in front of a wall or going into the cycle studio when it's empty, putting on a podcast or music, and just getting into your zone.

Tip for coffee

You want to get the most bang for your buck, don't you? Well, the more you push yourself, the more calories you'll be able to burn, which is why I love coffee. Coffee can always help you go that extra mile and fight fatigue. Furthermore, caffeine has been shown to help increase your metabolism.

Get your coffee game on about 30 – 45 minutes before your workout so that by the time you start, the caffeine will be in your bloodstream and you will be able to crush it.

How do you put this together?

The HIIT sessions will be brutal at first, so I recommend starting with one per week until you get used to them and working your way up from there. It's a good place to start with one HIIT session per week and two Fewer sessions per week. Once you've mastered HIIT training, you should swap one of your Fewer sessions for an HIIT session.

You don't want these sessions to interfere with your workouts, so I usually recommend scheduling them on your off days or away from your weight training – that way, you have enough time to recover between sessions. If you train with weights three to four days a week, you would do cardio on the other three days to maintain a healthy balance, as shown below:

  • Upper Body – Monday
  • Tuesday is Lower Body Day.
  • Wednesday is HIIT day.
  • Thursday is Upper Body Day.
  • LESS – Friday
  • Saturday is Lower Body Day.
  • LESS – Sunday

I recommend scheduling your HIIT sessions for the day after your lower body session or two days before your lower body session, so it doesn't interfere with your training and you don't overdo it.

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