The photo on the left was taken on day 15 of of #15daysofsteady state, and the photo on the right was taken on day day 16 of #15daysofintervals

According to the scale, and as I mentioned in my original recap here and here , I was up 1.6 pounds after 15 days of steady state cardio, and on the left, I was up an additional 1.4 pounds for a total of 3 pounds total on the scale, ha! This just makes me laugh.

Both photos were taken first thing in the morning on an empty stomach and I’m “flexing” the same amount in both photos.

My eating more or less stayed the same during the entire 30 day process.

My eating process goes like this: I eat when I’m hungry, I stop before I’m full. All of my meals are centered around a lean protein source and a ton of veggies, and I make sure to eat something each day that I enjoy. Whether that’s some Ranch dressing on a salad, a peanut butter cookie, a glass of wine, a handful of chips, etc.

Full disclosure: I do think it’s easier for me to “lean out” just based on my current body composition and history of lifting heavy and regularly. I’m not so sure that I would have “seen” such results a few years ago if I had a slightly higher body fat percentage and was more of a “beginner” in this journey.

However, these things I know to be true:

-Intensity is the #1 driver for results when it comes to your workouts. Interval training can provide that intensity for you.

-Intervals, if done correctly, have a metabolic effect called EPOC, or, Excess Post Oxygen Consumption. This means that after a proper interval training session, your body will continue to burn calories at an accelerated rate even AFTER your session is over. STEADY STATE CARDIO DOES NOT DO THIS.
After you hop off the treadmill after a slow, steady pace, your body immediately goes back to it’s original metabolic rate. Womp womp.

They are efficient. Seriously, who has time to lift AND do cardio? NOT THIS GIRL. I need something that’s quick and effective. I’m also 100% unwilling to stop lifting just to get my cardio in. Best of both worlds is incorporating intervals (short in time but effective!)

Also, not all cardio even NEEDS a treadmill. Ever done a metabolic conditioning workout with just dumbbells? If you’re working hard and your heart rate and breathing is UPPPP, guess what? That’s cardio!

They’re fun. Not even in a “Christina’s sick and twisted” kind of fun. But like, if you’re going to just trot away on the treadmill anyways, you might as well spice it up a bit!

How do you know if you’re doing intervals correctly?

There is a wide range of different formats of interval training.

I think where it gets tricky is when people are left to their own devices to really, truly push themselves outside of their comfort zones.

Ever heard of Tabata? Most people AND trainers think they’re doing them right, when really, Dr. Izumi Tabata created Tabata intervals, it was only effective if done at 170%+ of one’s VO2Max.

That’s why it was so effective if only done for 4 minutes at a time. For the record, and I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news (don’t shoot the messenger) none of you are working at 170%+ of your VO2Max. VO2Max is a scientific term for one’s maximum oxygen uptake during training. Most people become uncomfortable (you know, that “omg I can’t breath, my heart might fall out of my ears if I keep going” feeling) well before they’re even close to 100%, let alone almost double that.

At this point, the best way you check in with yourself and whether or not your intervals are effective is a two fold process:

1: Following the chart below. Intervals are effective only when you are truly pushing yourself. The best part about this, is that it is ALWAYS, 100% relative.

Your level 10 may be totally different than someone else’s level 10- and that’s OK! Even more so, your level 10 may differ from day to day!

So long as you’re checking in with yourself throughout each working interval, and can truly say that you’re working around a level 9-10, you’re doing great!

The second part to this process is progression.

I talked about the importance of progression over on the podcast, which you can listen to here.

By keeping track of your metrics, you can ensure that you’re getting better, faster, stronger (Kanye, anyone?) over time. This is the only way to truly change your body.

If you are participating in cardio or an exercise routine exclusively to change the way your body looks and feels, progression is the ONLY thing that will prevent a plateau, or no results at all. (I’ll save the nutrition mumbo jumbo for later, ha!)

And that is where the FREE #15daysofintervals PDF comes into play. 

I have created the exact cardio workouts I have done over the past 15 days of this program and complied them into a PDF so that you, too, can incorporate them into your routine.

There are spots for you to keep track of your metrics and ensure progress overtime. They WILL be challenging, but they will be fun, and I know you’ll see better results by slowly veering away from steady state cardio and more towards interval training for a portion of your workout.

To make sure that you get the PDF (getting sent out this Friday!), make sure you’re on the email list. You can sign up by going here and filling in your info!

Keep an eye on your inbox on Friday morning!