- Rate of current progress
- What’s the target deficit in terms of energy expenditure?
- How low are current calories?
- How much time can you commit?
We’ve seen our best results coming from clients that utilise a combination of creating an energy deficit via both diet and cardio. It appears that using both avenues leads to a better physique as opposed to purely exhausting one or the other.
At RNT, we tend to use three types of cardio ranging from beginner, intermediate and competitor level for different situations and outcomes:
Step Count: This is a staple within all of our RNT transformation journeys (within physical means, of course) as it can be fitted easily into a client’s lifestyle and can be done wherever and whenever. Steps could range anywhere from 8,000-20,000 daily. To read more about getting your steps in, check out this article here.
LISS (Low Intensity Steady State): This is still low impact in terms of its effects on joints and recovery, but at a slightly higher intensity than a step count by usually setting a heart rate target (e.g. 120bpm). This is ideal for intermediate clients that can set aside between 25min-60min daily.
HIIT (High Intensity Steady State): As the name implies, this is high intensity and therefore its impact upon recovery and joints will be greater than the previous two options. The real benefit for this type of cardio is that it burns a lot of calories in a short period of time. HIIT is generally capped at 15-25min 2-3x per week MAX for the majority of clients. Though, as with everything, exceptions can be made for certain circumstances.
Below are a few examples of how your cardio set up could look:
Complete Beginner – Step Goal
MONDAY | Full Body | 8,000
TUESDAY | | 8,000
WEDNESDAY | Full Body | 8,000
THURSDAY | | 8,000
FRIDAY | Full Body | 8,000
SATURDAY | | 8,000
SUNDAY | | 8,000
Intermediate – Step Goal and LISS
MONDAY | Upper | 8,000 | 25min
TUESDAY | Lower | 8,000 | 25min
WEDNESDAY | | 8,000 | 25min
THURSDAY | Upper | 8,000 | 25min
FRIDAY | Lower | 8,000 | 25min
SATURDAY | | 8,000 | 25min
SUNDAY | | 8,000 | 25min
Advanced – Step Goal, LISS and HIIT
MONDAY | Upper | 12,000 | 40min
TUESDAY | Lower | 12,000 | 40min
WEDNESDAY | | 12,000 | 40min | 18min
THURSDAY | Chest & Triceps | 12,000 | 40min
FRIDAY | Back & Biceps | 12,000 | 40min
SATURDAY | Shoulders & Abs | 12,000 | 40min
SUNDAY | | 12,000 | 40min | 18min
Our advice when devising such a cardio plan is:
- Decide where you are in terms of beginner, intermediate or advanced.
- Next, consider how much time you can dedicate to your cardio as well as how extreme of a goal you have?
- Finally, look at how both your weight training and nutrition is set up in order to maximise recovery.
While meatheads are often averse to cardio and see it as a waste of time, striking a healthy balance between cardio and resistance training can improve your overall performance and, in our experience, your physical outcome.
As with every transformation, training is never black and white, and everybody has their own thresholds. The key is self-awareness and identifying where you rest on the spectrum. Only then can you truly tailor your cardio strategy to best complement your strengths and physical goal.