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Not a fan of HIIT workouts? Steady-state training is here for you

Tehrene Firman

Tehrene FirmanDecember 30, 2019

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HIIT, or high-intensity interval training, might be one of the most efficient workouts you can do. But jump squats, sprints, and burpees aren’t for everyone. Instead of pairing short and intense bursts of physical activity with periods of rest, you can reach your fitness goals with the help of steady-state training.

“Steady-state training is cardiovascular training focused on maintaining a lower end—or moderate—heart rate rather than the shorter high-intensity interval training we see so much of in today’s fitness world,” says Sam Tooley, a personal trainer and the owner of Alpha Performance Studio in New Jersey.

There are perks of slowing things down a little. HIIT can give you great results in an impressive amount of time, but it can also be hard on your body. Steady-state training is easier to stick with, says Tooley, and can help make working out something you love to do.

“While high-intensity interval training will get you bang for your buck, it can take a toll on your body if you overdo it,” Tooley says. “Steady-state cardio, or working within a lower heart rate zone, will help you build your aerobic engine over the long haul, which is needed to make significant fitness gains and reach new levels.”

So, what exactly does a steady-state training workout look like? It’s simple. Instead of having a long list of exercises to do, Tooley says it could be anything from working on a stationary bike to using the StairMaster or going on a run—essentially any cardio exercise where you’re putting forth the same amount of effort (like a 6 out of 10 on a scale of not moving to all-out effort) the entire time you’re working out. After you’re done, you’ll be sweaty, feeling good, and amped up on endorphins.

If you want to give HIIT a try, start with this 5-minute workout:

The first ‘true HIIT bike’ is here, and it promises to improve your cardiovascular fitness in just 8 minutes. And if you’re new to HIIT, these 6 insider tips will help you slay your workouts.

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