Cardio: Pick your Poison

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 width=After the hours and hours of slaving away doing cardio, I still do not like it.  And I probably never will—but being in the fitness industry, it is a necessary evil. This blog today isn’t going to reiterate that cardio is good for your heart and fat loss and other clichés you’ve heard a million times before—this blog is going to be about picking your cardio poison: HIIT and LISS. HIIT and LISS? What are these crazy acronyms you may ask? HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training—think of it as a shorter, intense sprint coupled with longer, low to moderate work rate and repeating, as the “interval” in HIIT name implies that you do. LISS stands for Low Intensity Steady State—think of it as a fancy name of something you already might be doing: keeping your work intensity low to moderate for a longer amount of time such as walking on a treadmill or riding the bike for 45 minutes. The 2 main reasons I do LISS is because 1) it’s easier on the body—walking on the stair master might suck, but it is low impact on the joints. 2) Keeping my intensity lower and in a steady state is aimed towards burning my fat stores directly. The 2 main reasons I do HIIT is because 1) it’s less time consuming than my LISS cardio sessions (10-15 minutes of sprints vs 30-45 minutes of steady state cardio). This is a big factor for me because of my school and work obligations. 2) HIIT/my sprints not only hits my hamstrings, calves and glutes, but the higher intensity kick starts my metabolism and heart rate, thus burning more calories and fat even after I stop. So which one is right for you? Honestly, everyone could benefit from utilizing both! I’m in the middle of my contest prep right now for a show July 21st and I have 4 set days of cardio, two of which are LISS and two of which are HIIT. On my LISS days, I do moderate intensity on the stair stepper for 35 minutes. On my HIIT days, I do 15 second sprints, 45 second jog for 10-15 minutes. I have it set up that I do LISS on two of my training days where I’m NOT doing legs (Tuesdays; Chest and Thursdays; Back) and I do my HIIT when I’m not training with weights at all (Wednesdays and Sundays). Cardio is not my favorite thing, but I treat it with just as much of importance as I do with my training and dieting.  It’s just another piece of the puzzle that will help me in my overall goal of becoming a professional natural bodybuilder. What are some of your favorite cardio routines? Let me know in the comment sections below or tweet at me (@DANIMAL_Beast).   Danny Quach is a senior at the University of Georgia and he’s studying Health Promotion and Behavior.  He’s a powerlifter at heart and has done it for over six years.  He just competed in his first bodybuilding show in Summer of 2011.  For powerlifting, he holds some Georgia records.  In his first bodybuilding competition, he placed 2nd in Novice in INBF Southern States.  On his spare time he’s a part of the University of Georgia’s cheerleading co-ed squads; his favorite past-time? Throwing girls around and catching them.