How Much Cardio Do You Need?
Now that I am post contest, what is the amount of cardio needed to stay in shape and what will I do? Well this is a great question! I ended doing 2 sessions of 45-50 minutes so you can not just stop all together with cardio! You have to slowly tapper off and get back to balance. This is what I will do and what I suggest. Now mind you, everyone is different, but this is a good balance.
I recommend doing high intensity interval training (HIIT) three times per week and steady state cardio about three times per week. As for HIIT, I like to either do intervals, incorporating the stepmill or running. Today my HIIT was running on the treadmill, going from 6.5mph-7.5 mph and the last minute up to all out 9.0mph to open up and burn out. I ran for a total of 2.5 miles and did that in 20 minutes. 20 minutes total is a good rule of thumb for HIIT, while at least 30 minutes is optimal for steady state work.
It is important to reevaluate your progress every couple of weeks and see how your body is responding. Off season is the fun time where you can play around with things and see what works and what doesn’t work for you. I had a blast with my cardio this a.m. My second cardio is going to be a nice bay walk with my dog. That is the joy of off season, do something different. Take your dog out to the part or kids out for a stroll. Have fun and do something other than that machine you are so use to.
Reevaluate yourself every few weeks, If you’re not progressing after two weeks, add five minutes to each cardio session and fine-tune your diet even more. At some point, you may also need to bump up the frequency of your steady state sessions, and maybe even add another HIIT session per week.
Going up to as many as seven hour-long sessions per week might be necessary to achieve the leanness you desire. However, I wouldn’t increase the HIIT to more than four (maybe five) days per week.
The good news is that it’s harder to get lean than it is to stay lean. So, while you may have to do what seems like endless amounts of cardio to get ripped, it won’t take near that much to keep your condition. Once you have your body where you want it, it is so much easier to play around and maintain it. This is what I recommend… take the time to build that foundation and get your body where you want it, as hard as the prep or progress may be but then once you are there it is easy to maintain! Let me help you with it!!