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Steady State Cardio VS. FiveStar’s PowerDose

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Steady State Cardio

Lets start with steady state cardio. Steady state is just that–any form of cardiovascular/aerobic activity that is maintained for an extended period of time. Generally steady state cardio is performed at a low-moderate intensity for 20+ minutes. This can be anything from marathon running, to walking at an incline on the treadmill for an hour, to using the (dreaded) elliptical for 30 minutes.

Pros: 

  • Great for beginners: For those just starting a weight training and cardiovascular program, and better than sitting on the couch.
  • Performed more often: Steady state cardio has a low enough impact on the body that it can be performed on a daily basis, if desired.

Cons: 

  • Prolonged stress: Cardiovascular activity places stress on the body, and up to a certain point, this stress is actually good for you. Excessive amounts of cardio however, keep your body in this “stressed-out” state for too long, and can hinder fat loss, as well as promote muscle catabolism (breakdown of muscle tissue).
  • Overuse injuries: Activities like running, place quite a bit of stress on the joints, especially when repeated over an extended period of time, day after day. This makes injury more likely.

 

PowerDose (high-intensity)

PowerDose is a comprehensive, high-intensity training program designed to get you in the best shape of your life FAST, regardless of your current ability. This can be performed indoors, outdoors, and you can even use equipment like battle ropes, kettle bells, sleds, dumbbells, jump ropes, or even your own bodyweight.

Pros: 

  • Short duration:5-20 minutes of exercise? I’m sold. This also translates into muscle sparing because you are performing the exercise for such a short period of time. Your body is less likely to break down your muscle tissue.
  • Fat-burning: Enter “EPOC”, or Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption. This means after you stop working out, your body is still burning through calories while you go about your daily routine. Not to mention, your resting metabolism increases, and your body becomes more efficient at using fat for fuel. POWERDOSE for the win!

Cons:

  • All-out effort: Yes, you may be working out for a shorter period of time, but this is balls to the wall, 110%. If you sell short and think you’re getting the same benefit, you’re wrong. You must push your body to your OWN personal limit (90% of your HR Max).
  • Less is more: Generally 2-3 times a week will get the job done. Con? Maybe not, but I had to give you the heads up.

 

THE VERDICT

We have the facts, but what do I believe? Personally, I do what I like, and you should too. In my case, that includes a little bit of both. My goal is to improve myself as an overall athlete, and to be an overall healthy person. This means I suck it up and go for a leisurely run, or push myself to the max with some sprints.

Rather than follow a strict cardio routine, I throw in some sprints or a PowerDose session ATLEAST 2-3x a week. Some weeks I’ll do more, and some weeks I’ll do less. It all depends on how I’m feeling and how I’m recovering from my workouts. Find what works for you!

IN CLOSING…

The deeper I get into health and fitness and the more experience I add to my resume, the more I realize that everything is individual. It’s all about tuning into your body and discovering what works for you… Cardio is no exception.

Some people live for that hour on the elliptical in the morning, and for others (like myself), the thought of being on an elliptical for 5 minutes brings on a massive wave of nausea. I suggest you do what you enjoy. Carry the knowledge that performing cardiovascular activity holds great benefits, and decide for yourself what’s best. Go work that heart muscle. You’ll be happy you did.

 

Dani B.