We all know that guy or girl who pounds the stair-master or the treadmill every day.. Typically hyper type-a personality, routine driven, got to pound the ole’ knees on the daily.. While I don’t want to demonize any movement, and I consider walking in a separate category, I’m not a huge fan of the “10 miles a day” or any other amount that’ll make you think, “oh geeze man..”
Let me begin by saying this…
If you love some sort of exercise you’re doing and you believe it’s what’s best for you, KEEP DOING WHAT YOU’RE DOING. Don’t let the opinion of some guy online steer you from something you legitimately enjoy and is a foundation of discipline for you.
That being said.. We’ve talked about before, that harder isn’t always better. Better is better. If you’re truthfully looking to make a drastic body transformation, you have to be calculated with your cardio. Your body only has so many resources when it comes to recovery, which is the name of the game (see last week’s email).
When you pound your cardio workouts into the dirt with high intensity and long durations of time, you pull from your body’s recovery capacity, defeating the ability to recoup from your resistance training workouts (which are the key component to any body transformation). (I'll reiterate by typing it out one more time, resistance training is the key component of a body transformation.) The name of the game in optimizing cardio for a body transformation is high intensity interval training combined with walking with a focus on mindfulness and deep inhalations/exhalations.
Typically I start people with anywhere from 10-15 minutes of some sort of HIIT training once or twice per week and a long walk from 30-75 minutes two to three times per week. This isn’t a magic number, just what I’ve found to be a good starting place for most individuals. This way, you reap all the cardio benefits from high-intensity training without overtaxing your systems, while enjoying the stress management and general activity increase from walking (a good approach is also just looking to increase step-count).