We’ve spoken about cardio at length before on FF, but the questions still come in thick and fast.
With so much conflicting information out there, we understand how hard it can be trying to figure out what methods are best, when.
So, we’re going to try and keep it simple. There are 3 different types of cardiovascular exercise:
1. Long Slow Duration (LSD) - Exactly what it says on the tin: long, slow, for a considerable duration. We online train a few marathon runners here at Fitness Fondue and these are the only clients we recommend LSD to. For them we structure training programmes that incorporate all 3 cardio methods, in order to get their bodies fully prepped and ready for the race.
2. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) - This is the form of cardio we most recommend. HIIT is yet again, exactly what it says on the tin: high intensity intervals. Sprinting, boxing, rowing etc for an extremely intense period (30 seconds – 1 minute) followed by a recovery period (stopping completely) of the same time. HIIT is the best cardio you can do when it comes to burning out fat stores while maintaining muscle.
3. Fartlek - A different type of HIIT, but not so much what it says on the tin! Fartlek is ideal for sportsmen as it randomly switches up the intensity of the intervals in a totally unpredictable order. You may find yourself sprinting, walking, jogging and stopping all in a matter of minutes. If you’re a little bored of HIIT, give Fartlek a go for a session or 2.
As we state above, we highly recommend HIIT as your chosen form of cardio. We suggest you perform 5-10 intense intervals after a weighted session, or try a gentler approach as your fasted cardio.
LSD can have a negative effect on muscle (essential for fat loss and body transformation of any kind), metabolism, joints and overall health. As incredible, respectable and admirable as marathon running is, it’s also very hard on the body.
Fartlek is what we suggest if you’re trying to get ready for a sporting season, or as we said as an alternative to HIIT some days.
Good luck Fondues!