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Cardio? Strength? HIIT? HELP!

Looking to spend time doing some traditional cardio, strength, or a combo of them? It can be

confusing to decide how to spend your exercise time budget with so many amazing live classes offered on the PSK4LIFE platform and hundreds upon hundreds more in the library. What are the differences between the types of training?

HIIT Training

High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a type of training that has intense work periods followed by rest or low-intensity work periods. HIIT classes can be a combination of strength training and cardiovascular training or be all one or the other. Research tells us that HIIT training and traditional endurance training both lead to significantly improved cardio fitness, but HIIT leads to greater improvements in VO2 max than endurance cardio.

Consistency in taking HIIT classes is key to reaping the benefits; HIIT regimens of one month

or longer effectively improve cardiovascular fitness and lead to improvements in body composition. They also train with condensed intensity by making effective use of your time.

Endurance Cardio

Cardiovascular endurance training is any type of sustained movement that creates repeated

contractions of muscles at a lower intensity for a longer period of time. Steady-state cardio can

be walking, stepping, werqing, running, elliptical machine work, biking, indoor cycling,

rowing, or similar activities. Cardio keeps your heart and lungs healthy, burns calories, and

helps reduce stress.

A great way to get to grips with how hard you’re pushing yourself in your cardio workouts is by

measuring your heart rate while exercising. According to the CDC, we can use these guidelines.

Your resting heart rate is a great way to measure of your heart health and should be calculated

first thing in the morning before getting out of bed. Take your pulse three days in a row upon

waking or check your wellness tracker several days in a row and calculate the average for the

best accuracy.

Strength Conditioning

Strength training includes all types of exercises designed to improve your muscular strength. It

includes both bodyweight (yoga and body weight resistance exercises) and the use of resistance equipment (weights, tubing, barbells, kettlebells, weighted balls, etc). By creating tension over time on your muscles, they will become toned, stronger, create more power in your

cardiovascular training, and help stabilize your joints. Increased muscle mass also creates a

“hotter furnace” for your metabolic rate and helps you burn more calories all day and night

(even when you are asleep!)

So, How Should You Spend Your Time?

The answer is….it depends. What are your goals? How much time do you have to spend on

exercise each week? You won’t be surprised that there is not a single right answer for all

people. We do believe that the best way to train and avoid injury is to do some of everything.

Blending (i.e.: cross training with some HIIT, some steady-state endurance cardio, and strength

training), helps reduce overuse injuries, maintain good overall health, reduce body fat, and help create a body that can move quickly, move for a long time, and do so without injury. Remember to have a recovery day as well! Rest rebuilds our muscles, allows us to rehydrate and replenish and come back strong and ready to push hard.

Bev Beck Headshot.jpg
by Bev Beck
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