Browsing Tag

cardio

TRAIL HIIT WORKOUT (GLUTE EMPHASIS)

Who doesn’t get sick of cardio from time to time?! If you’re not feeling your workouts, it’s not you! A lot of people think that when they lack motivation, it’s “their fault.” Sometimes, all it takes is switching up your workouts to jump back in.

That was totally me yesterday! I wanted to do a cardio workout but wasn’t feeling the gym or a traditional walk/run type of cardio.

My husband, Anthony and I went to a park nearby with a walking trail. Instead of doing the trail in a standard way, I found a section that I could use to complete all sorts of glute emphasized/cardio movements.

If you’re looking for a switch up workout this week, I highly suggest you try this one.

WORKOUT VIDEO:

WORKOUT SUMMARY:

To Do: Before beginning this workout, find a portion of a trail you’ll be using that is about 100 meters. If you don’t have a trail, you can use any street, parking lot or track

^when I reference a “set” below: 1 set = 100 meters back and forth (=200 meters total)

^if you don’t want to measure in distance you can do 1 set = 1 minute

Warm Up:

3 sets – Jog

HIIT:

1 set – Long Jumps

1 set – Karaoke 

1 set – High Knees

1 set – But Kicks

1 set – Power Skipping

1 set – Walking Lunges

…repeat HIIT section 4-6x

Cool Down:

3 sets – Jog 

 

 

CARDIO BEFORE OF AFTER LIFTING – WHICH IS BETTER?

What a good question! To which, I have an answer you may not be expecting! Let’s break down if it is more effective to do cardio prior to a weight training workout or to hold off until after.

I’ve been receiving this question a lot as it relates to the Cardio + Ab Add On Plan. That’s something new I wanted to add into the Weight Training Plan 2.0 because I feel that both cardio and ab training kind of deserve their own plan and approach. My idea was that we will hit our daily weight training workouts then if we have the time and/or desire, we will do either a cardio or ab add on workout.

So, is there a particular order to weights and cardio that is most effective for seeing results?! Below I will share both the pros and cons to cardio before and after weight training. And, I’ll give my two cents on what I find to work best.

CARDIO BEFORE WEIGHT TRAINING

PROS:

WARM UP – cardio prior to weight training is a great way to warm up the body. While we are engaging in cardiovascular training, we are increasing our heart rate. An increased heart rate leads to increased blood flow. This is beneficial for lifting because blood contains oxygen and other nutrients to muscle cells and helps flush toxins out. So, not only are you providing your body the benefits of cardio, you’re also aiding in your weighted workout.

FOCUS – there’s no science to this one… just something I notice personally. Transitioning from a chaotic, busy world to a focused workout isn’t always easy. If I’m feeling extra distracted, I notice beginning my workout with cardio helps me focus on my workout. If you struggle to let your day go and enjoy a workout, you may benefit from cardio prior to lifting.

CONS:

MAY TIRE YOU OUT – where are results made? In my opinion, muscle goals all come in those last reps of the set. You know when your muscles start to burn… your legs get shaky… you want to stop… but, you say to yourself “just push through 3 more reps” and YOU DO! That is where I feel getting fit happens.

Now, if you just completed an intense cardio workout and then transition into weight training, are you as likely to push through and hit those last few crucial reps?! Maybe. Maybe not. For me personally, I can push through if I completed a lighter LISS cardio session, but a HIIT cardio workout (if completed prior) will fatigue me to the point that my weight training workouts intensity has to lower a bit.

BURNS GLYCOGEN – glycogen is the body’s way to store carbohydrates. It’s important to remember that the body doesn’t view calories/carbohydrates as food; instead, the body sees what we ingest as energy! When we are taking in more calories/carbohydrates than the body needs to pump back out for energy, the body actually stores them in the form of glycogen to be used for energy at a later time.

During an intense workout, especially HIIT or weight training, glycogen is key! Once we deplete our glycogen stores, the body has a more difficult time pushing through. So, this glycogen point relates to the above “con” of weight training prior to cardio because depleted glycogen may really tire you out for your lifting. Everyone has different endurance levels, so you may be someone who can handle cardio prior and maintain your energy, especially if it’s a lighter weight training workout. If you’re focusing on increasing in strength, this may be something you want to consider.

CARDIO AFTER WEIGHT TRAINING

PROS:

BURNS MORE FAT – let’s circle back to the glycogen discussion. The body has a preferred order in which it uses stored “energy” to complete tasks, such as working out. After a weight training workout, our glycogen stores are pretty depleted. This means our body will turn to other stores for energy.. like stored fat! Some people find that weight training first followed by cardio is a better option for promoting fat loss.

The science I’ve read on this goes both ways. Some studies find that burning stored fat happens a lot more effectively this way while others show it doesn’t make all that much of a difference. For my take on this, jump down to the next section.

CONS:

IT GETS SKIPPED – my hesitation with always putting something at the end of a workout is that when we are short on time or low on energy, it gets skipped. I always set a goal to stretch at the end of my workout. If I’m being honest, that happens about 20% of the time because I check my watch and want to get onto the next part of my day. Do you ever feel that way too?! If you’re like me, you may find it beneficial to sometimes do cardio prior and sometimes do cardio after your weighted workout.

MY TAKE ON WHICH IS “BETTER”

First off, there is no better. Better is going to be whichever you prefer because that is what you’ll work hardest at. My mom used to tell me to do my homework right when I came home from school but I hated that. When I tried doing so, I couldn’t focus. If I took a 30 minute break after school to relax and eat then do homework, I was way more efficient. The same goes for cardio before or after weights… you know what feels better to you.

For me, I prefer LISS prior and HIIT after. LISS 20 minutes and under doesn’t fatigue me all that much. However, HIIT cardio does! I actually think HIIT is more effective after weights because it aids in further muscle fatigue. If you’ve done my workouts, you know I like to make you sprint after leg day (lol, I really am cruel) but it becomes the best workout ever! That’s just what works best for me but feel free to tweak to your preference.

Bottom line.. there isn’t a set answer to this. Hopefully by reading through some of those pros and cons, you’ll be able to say “oh that’s me” or “oh yes, that’s where I struggle” so that you can make the best decision for you and your workouts!

WHAT ABOUT ABS??

The Add On Plan that pairs with our new Weight Training Plan 2.0 has both cardio AND ab workouts, so I want to mention a little something about ab training as well. Most women I know (including me!) train abs at the very end of their workout. However, when I can remember, I have 2 little switch ups that I want to share with you.

1) ABS BEFORE CARDIO – you won’t notice these workouts until we get to phase 2 of the Weight Training Plan 2.0 but there will be 2 days per week of cardio + ab only workouts. Again, most women would do cardio then abs. BUT I actually like to do abs first on occasion. I find that if I train abs then do my cardio, my entire core is engaged and working even harder during that cardio workout. It almost extends the ab workout. Try that out a time or two and see if you like it as much as I do.

2) FOCUS ON ABS PRIOR TO LIFTING – on upper body lifting days, I’ll sometimes do abs first. The occasional issue I encounter when I weight lift first then do abs is that I’m so tired and mentally checked out… my ab workouts get grazed over. I’ll do half the workout or just half ass it lol. So, on upper body weighted workout days, I’ll try to remember to start with abs to give that part of the workouts some extra focus. The reason I don’t do this on leg day is because leg day requires my full 100% and I’m usually pretty pumped to hit legs right when I start.

Photography by Jennifer Mathews Photography

Q+A: “How Much Cardio Should I Do?”

This is one of the top questions I receive. It’s something I’ve worried about in the past too, but now I have a great answer and approach for all of us. 

First off, you know I’m one of my top pieces of advice is to train according to your goals. For example, if your goal is to run a marathon and your physical goals take a back seat, you workouts aren’t going to be focused on muscle hypertrophy, muscle symmetry and overall aesthetics, right?! 

I’m writing this post for those of us who have goals of getting fit by focusing on muscle as well as getting lean through reducing overall body fat. What I call the “fit and lean” body is pretty much always my goal, so my answer here is tailored to that. 

-THE DILEMMA-

Why does this question even come up? For me and many women is arises when we start talking about weight training and cardio. There’s an older school of thought that cardio “eats” at muscle. At least, that was the fear I had and what I heard people talking about when I first began my journey. 

I also think it’s a common and good question because let’s say we only make time for a one hour workout each day. We think about the best way to spend that hour in order reach our goals, right?! Like is 30 mins of cardio and 30 mins of weights going to be the most effective? Should I be doing more cardio if I want to focus on losing weight? Will that stop me from putting on muscle? So, maybe more weight training? I can see why this is a common question. Let’s get into it.

-TYPES OF CARDIO-

First off, I suggest rethinking your idea of cardio. The definition of cardiovascular training is a workout that exercises the heart, lungs and associated blood vessels; it is any exercise that raises our heart rate for an extended period of time. 

HIIT: high intensity interval training consists of a high intensity interval followed by a recovery interval. During a high intensity interval, you give your maximum effort (100%) through a short, burst of exercise. Following that interval comes a recovery interval of complete rest or an active recovery period. A HIIT workout is typically much shorter than a more traditional workout and includes workouts like sprinting.

HIIT is highly effective because during this type of training, our muscles “burn” due to the lactic acid build up and our oxygen stores begin to deplete, which is the shortness of breath we experience. When high-intensity workouts are completed, the body will work to stabilize itself on many different levels; one of those ways is to pay back the “oxygen debt” created during exercise and to clear out the lactic acid. This requires calories to be burned! In fact, our bodies will work to do this for 16-24 hours following a HIIT workout. This is commonly referred to as the “afterburn” also known as EPOC or excess post-exercise oxygen consumption.

Not only do HIIT workouts allow us to burn the same amount of calories in a shorter time period as compared to a longer steady state workout, but also calorie burning may occur for up to 24 hours following the workout! In short, the HIIT style of training can burn more fat in less time and allow us to burn calories for hours after the workout has ended.

LISS: low intensity steady state cardio can be thought of as the opposite of HIIT. Instead of maximum effort for short bursts as is the goal during HIIT, under the LISS approach, we aim for a low level of exertion for a longer, continuous period of time. It was once thought that steady state workouts kept the heart rate in a “fat burning range,” but that is not exactly the case. LISS cardio includes walking, jogging and swimming as just three of many examples.

LISS is effective at burning calories and fat but the benefits go beyond that; it is great at developing aerobic fitness, cardiovascular endurance and overall health. Also, because we need to allow our bodies to recover, LISS workouts serve as a low-impact option for days when our muscles feel sore. This is often called an active rest day: no lifting, just LISS cardio.

Which is more effective?? HIIT and LISS are equally as beneficial, but uniquely effective. HIIT allows us to burn just as many calories (plus that after-burn) in less time as compared to LISS. HIIT is likely the better option under a time constraint. LISS is a great choice for days when our bodies are too sore for HIIT. Plus, ask anyone who completes a nice run or walk (LISS) and some of the benefits such as a clearer mind are unmatched. I find the most effective training approach utilizes both of these styles, which is what you’ll find in my plans and challenges.

-CARDIO/WEIGHT TRAINING BALANCE-

Balancing cardio and weight training becomes tricky when the goal is to build muscle mass. Muscle hypertrophy and retaining muscle mass requires a sufficient amount of calories. Too much cardio can burn the calories necessary for muscle hypertrophy, making building muscle a bit more difficult (but certainly not impossible or something to be fearful of). Still, cardio is important for overall health and keeping body fat low. 

There’s definitely a balance to be reached and that balance can be highly personalized. I also love to mention this… weight training is actually a form of HIIT. The weight training sets serve as the high intensity intervals and the time between sets are the recovery intervals. This is why I’m such a proponent of weight lifting. Think of it as hitting two birds with one stone: cardio for calorie burning and muscle targeting for building a fit physique.

In short, I like to use weight training as my staple workout as it’s both cardio and sculpting. Then, I add cardio in as a supplemental workout based on my goals at the moment. I’ll go into that in the next section. 

-FINDING YOUR BALANCE-

Always remember, the cardio and weight training balance will vary person to person. For example, I am a naturally thin individual and it takes a lot of work for me to build muscle. Too much cardio can quickly keep me from my muscle mass goals, so doing cardio just 2-3 times per week at 15-30 minutes is plenty for me and maybe you too. For others, you may do better with cardio every day or every other day. 

So, where do you start?? I suggest 4x per week of weight training and 2x per week for cardio (maybe 1 HIIT and 1 LISS session) as a good place to begin assessing your cardio/weight training balance. This doesn’t mean you have to workout 6x per week. You could do those 2 cardio sessions before or after your weighted workout to workout 4x in a week or you could spread that out to 6 days per week.

From there, assess. If you feel you need more cardio to keep lean, add some more in. If you’re finding it extra difficult to put on muscle, maybe dial down the cardio. Also, cardio isn’t just about the physical goals. A walk helps clear my mind. I love the way I feel after a short run. I’ll go through periods when I do a bit more cardio than at other times just to feel better. Or, maybe I’m getting ready for summer or a beach vacation and want to lean out a bit more; I’ll add in some more cardio than usual. Follow your goals and listen to your body! It knows best!

You may have heard Anthony and I chatting on Instagram stories last night as I was writing this post. Basically, we were saying that focusing on exactly how much cardio we should do is a secondary type of question. The more important thing to focus on first is establishing an overall healthy lifestyle, which entails making workouts (of any kind) a habit and most importantly, focusing on nutrition.

We cannot out-train a poor diet. If you need any help there, I highly suggest checking out my Eat Your Way Lean Meal Plan as a place to get you started with how to eat for physical results: getting fit and lean.

HIIT CARDIO WORKOUT

Ready, set, sprint! Today’s HIIT workout will make you sprint whether you’re ready or not. HIIT workouts are most effective when we complete short bursts of maximum intensity followed by recovery/rest intervals. These maximum intensity intervals should be more than just “challenging” and considered an all out effort interval, so really give those sprints all you have. Bonus points if you try this workout outdoors!

(SCROLL DOWN FOR TODAY’S WORKOUT)

(AB WORKOUT IN AB PLAN 2.0 FOUND IN THE PREMIUM CHALLENGE PACKS)

 

TRAINING TIPS:

  • Complete the HIIT portion of the workout for 6 total rounds
  • If you would prefer to do a bodyweight hiit cardio workout, try THIS one

DAILY PHOTO CHALLENGE:

“FAV GYM OUTFIT” snap a pic of yourself in your favorite gym outfit today! #LGTeamKini

-TODAY’S BLOG POST-

-UPGRADE YOUR CHALLENGE-

At any time, you can upgrade to the Challenge Premium Pack or Bundle and instantly receive the exclusives including the early access link to your weekly workouts and the meal menus!

$14

$60 $50

*Note: the Premium Challenge Bundle is for those who don’t yet have the Meal Plan but would like to join at a discounted price; if you already are a meal plan member, opt for the Premium Challenge Pack.

HIIT CARDIO WORKOUT

Hey, HIIT day. I keep a HIIT workout in my split at least once per week for two main reasons: 1) HIIT supports both my muscle and lean goals and 2) it’s a workout that always leaves me feeling good. Whether you decide to complete this workout on the treadmill or outside, I hope you enjoy!

(SCROLL DOWN FOR TODAY’S WORKOUT)

(AB WORKOUT IN AB PLAN 2.0 FOUND IN THE PREMIUM CHALLENGE PACKS)

TRAINING TIPS:

  • After the cardio warm up, complete 4 total rounds of the HIIT portion 
  • If you’d prefer to do a body weight cardio workout, try THIS one from last week

DAILY PHOTO CHALLENGE:

“#TBT” the only thing worth looking back on is progress and good times… share a throwback you love to reminisce on with the community #LGTeamKini

-TODAY’S BLOG POST-

-UPGRADE YOUR CHALLENGE-

At any time, you can upgrade to the Challenge Premium Pack or Bundle and instantly receive the exclusives including the early access link to your weekly workouts and the meal menus!

$14

$60 $50

*Note: the Premium Challenge Bundle is for those who don’t yet have the Meal Plan but would like to join at a discounted price; if you already are a meal plan member, opt for the Premium Challenge Pack.

BODYWEIGHT HIIT CARDIO WORKOUT

Switching up cardio styles is important in keeping our bodies from adapting to our workout regimen as well as keeping our minds interested. This week’s cardio workout will use just your bodyweight as resistance. Don’t let it fool you… it’s a lot harder than it looks. 

(SCROLL DOWN FOR TODAY’S WORKOUT)

(AB WORKOUT FOUND IN PREMIUM CHALLENGE PACK)

TRAINING TIPS:

  • Complete the 4 HIIT movements back to back (with no rest in between)
  • Perform 10 total rounds of the HIIT cardio section (4 exercises)
  • If you prefer a treadmill workout, you can do THIS one from last week

DAILY PHOTO CHALLENGE:

“Yoga Pose” – share your favorite yoga pose or challenge yourself to try a new one; while you’re there, why not stretch and breathe for a few minutes?! #LGTeamKini

-TODAY’S BLOG POST-

-UPGRADE YOUR CHALLENGE-

At any time, you can upgrade to the Challenge Premium Pack or Bundle and instantly receive the exclusives including the early access link to your weekly workouts and the meal menus!

$14

$60 $50

*Note: the Premium Challenge Bundle is for those who don’t yet have the Meal Plan but would like to join at a discounted price; if you already are a meal plan member, opt for the Premium Challenge Pack.

HIIT CARDIO WALK/RUN WORKOUT

I love a sweaty, feel-good workout on Wednesday to push us over the hump of the week with a positive attitude. This walk/run workout is perfect for those newer to cardio and those who are quite experienced because you can set the pace. Always adjust your pace based on your fitness level. For example, during the sprint intervals, go as fast as you can and this workout will surely toast you. 

(SCROLL DOWN FOR TODAY’S CARDIO WORKOUT)

(AB WORKOUT FOUND IN THE PREMIUM CHALLENGE PACK)

TRAINING TIPS:

  • This workout can be completed on a treadmill or outdoors on pavement. If you’re on the treadmill, follow the mph speed suggestions (ex: 3.5) and if you’re outdoors, use the pace suggestions of moderate, quick and fast
  • The HIIT portion of the workout can be completed a total of 4 times (or more or less depending on how you want to tweak it)

DAILY PHOTO CHALLENGE:

“OOTD” – share your outfit of the day with the community… it doesn’t matter if it’s PJs a dressy work outfit or something in between #LGTeamKini #LGAccountability

-TODAY’S BLOG POST-

-UPGRADE YOUR CHALLENGE-

At any time, you can upgrade to the Challenge Premium Pack or Bundle and instantly receive the exclusives including the early access link to your weekly workouts and the meal menus!

$14

$60 $50

*Note: the Premium Challenge Bundle is for those who don’t yet have the Meal Plan but would like to join at a discounted price; if you already are a meal plan member, opt for the Premium Challenge Pack.

FITMAS: HIIT + ABS

screen-shot-2016-11-19-at-9-20-19-am

[ ] WORKOUT: HIIT + Abs

[ ] Daily Photo Challenge

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