Cardio? Strength? Both? I don't have time...
I get it, you’re a busy bee. Taking time to workout, meal prep, go to the grocery store and be fully prepared, it can be difficult to keep it all in check in the midst of your to-do list.
Efficiency and productivity is my goal in terms of health and fitness.
As much as I love to workout, I just don’t have the time to spend over an hour, sometimes not even an hour at the gym and going to and from.
But, that doesn’t mean you have to cheat yourself on getting the results that you want. You can make progress, get those feel good endorphins pumping and still feel your best without all of the time consuming tasks.
In terms of meal prepping, click here to read my meal prepping for the busy person’s guide. It’s a keeper! And good news, you don’t need to go out and buy fifty-two tupperware containers. You’re welcome.
As for fitness? I like to be strategic with my workouts. You know, work smarter, not harder.
In order to have a half-hour workout just as effective as a full hour, you need to keep the intensity up. Keep your rest times shorter to keep your heart rate elevated and burn more calories, incorporate interval training for EPOC effect (a fancy way of saying you’re burning more calories over the next 12-36 hours), and be sure to include resistance training.
In the 21 Day program, all workouts are under an hour. The weeks are designed in such a way that each week includes HIIT (high intensity interval training), strength training for muscle definition and strength, and LISS (low intensity steady state cardio).
My favorite type of cardio is high intensity interval training. This method is a series of bursts of intense activity followed by a rest period and repeated for a predetermined amount of time. This is my favorite way to workout because it is sure to get the endorphins rolling and create the afterburn effect of EPOC. EPOC means excess post-exercise oxygen consumption which means that for about 12-36 hours, depending on the workout, your body is burning more calories in an effort to recover from the workout. What this means is you burn more fat in a shorter amount of time. Score! HIIT is also very straining on the body, so doing this every day is not advised. Too much can cause excess cortisol in the body. Cortisol is a stress hormone that creates fat accumulation in response to the stress, physical stress included. One to four times per week is great depending on your goals and fitness levels.
Some examples of HIIT include:
Sprints (running, bike, stairs, etc.)
Every Minute on the Minute
AMRAP (as many rounds as possible)
Or circuit training at an intense level
LISS is a lower intensity cardio variation that can aid in burning body fat. However, the body does get used to cardio. For more about this join my FaceBook Group here and watch the challenge video titled Day 3. In a nutshell, your body can get used to high amounts of cardio and will adapt, causing the rate of fat loss to decrease.
I hold a special place in my heart for LISS because I absolutely love weekend walks with my family, post-dinner walks around the neighborhood, and the mental clarity I get from a good run.
This is where the idea of being “toned” comes from. When we build more muscle, the fat that is covering that muscle actually gets burned in the process. To create that lean and strong looking physique, strength training is a major key! This type of training also creates a post exercise calorie burn similar to HIIT as well.
My favorite part of strength training is not the body that it brings, but rather the confidence and sense of strength that pours over into every other area of life. Myself and my clients can attest to this! It is truly life changing.
Examples of strength training are:
The point of me telling you all of this is that your body benefits best from a combination of all of these types of exercise. As well as a healthy amount of recovery, rest and stretching (hello yoga and foam rolling!). Sticking to Strength and HIIT helps your workouts become more efficient, aka all the benefits, half the time.
As we all know, creating a lifestyle you can stick to is what matters most. Find the types of exercise you LOVE to do and just can’t wait to get out of bed for, and do those as often as you can. Need help figuring that out? Click here and let’s talk about it. Finding motivation for exercise doesn’t have to be hard!