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Tuesday, June 27, 2017

How much cardio do you need to get ripped? CROSSFIT :-)

How much cardio do you need to get ripped?
The answer: Not as much as you think.
And which kind should you do?
The answer: All of it.
Let us explain.
Assuming you’re cutting calories and lifting weights three to four days per week (three is the minimum amount that most trainers say you need to see progress), you only need about three cardio days per week to see your abs. That’s the recommendation of Don Saladino, a New York City-based trainer to celebrities like Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively.
On each cardio day, do a different type of cardio. But wait, aren’t there only two kinds—steady state and intervals?
Actually, “there are three forms of cardio,” says Saladino. “You’ve got your steady state, your HIIT, and then there’s medium-intensity.” This last category is what most people think of as HIIT, but it really isn’t. “People tell me, ‘I do HIIT training—I run for 30 seconds and then walk 30.’ And I say, ‘No, you don’t. You do medium-intensity,’” which is the gray area in between true HIIT and aerobic work.
Medium-intensity intervals could be alternating fast runs with walking. They could be jumping rope, doing battle rope waves, running through a circuit of bodyweight exercises, or anything else that gets your heart rate up high and lets you sustain it for a little while, recover a bit but not fully, and go again.
This differs from textbook HIIT, which is work that is so demanding that you can only sustain it for four to six seconds. We’re talking a full-on sprint, battle rope slams, or pedaling on an Airdyne bike like a UFC fighter. Because it’s so hard on your nervous system as well as your muscles, Saladino says you should limit HIIT sessions to twice a week.
Finally, there’s steady-state cardio, where all you have to do is get your heart rate between 120 and 150 beats per minute and keep it there for 30–60 minutes. You could do this kind of training virtually every day if you wanted, but for the purposes of getting ripped, one day a week is enough when done in combination with HIIT and medium-intensity intervals.
Each cardio type trains a different energy system, so each is important to develop for well-rounded fitness, but none can replace weight training and diet when it comes to getting beach-ready abs.
For more about Don Saladino, visit
Additional reporting by Vince Kreipke, Ph.D.
Sean Hyson
Sean Hyson is the Senior Content Strategist for Onnit. A Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (C.S.C.S.), he is the author of 101 Best Workouts Of All Time, an best-seller, and the e-book The Truth About Strength Training (

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