Integrating Steady State into Your Workout Program

In this section we’ll talk about how to add steady state into your workout program. We’ll also provide examples of different workouts you might use in your weekly workout program.

Steady State and HIIT

HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training. These are typically short workouts performed at a high intensity. During a HIIT workout you’re giving 100% effort. There’s no pacing. It’s just GO!

As you might imagine, a HIIT workout can burn a lot of calories. Not only are you expending a ton during your workout, the recovery period for an HIIT workout can last 24 hours, and during that time you’re burning more calories.

HIIT is terrific for weight loss, but it can take a toll on your body. It’s difficult to do HIIT every day of the week. This is where steady state can really help. You can use steady state once or twice a week for active recovery. You’re still burning calories and moving, you’re just not pushing your body so hard.

Integrating Steady State Cardio
Integrating Steady State Cardio into Your Workout Program

Here’s an example of what an integrated week might look like:

●  Sunday Rest Day
●  Monday HIIT
●  Tuesday HIIT
●  Wednesday Steady State
●  Thursday HIIT
●  Friday HIIT
●  Saturday Steady State

Continuing with this weekly plan, your HIIT workouts could be:

What does steady state look like? It looks like you heading out your front door for a brisk 20-30-minute walk. It looks like you getting on your bicycle and riding the local trails for a nice relaxed workout. It looks like you getting on the rower or elliptical and watching a program on a screen while you get your heart rate up to a moderate rate. A moderate rate means that you can easily carry on a conversation while you’re working out. You’re not gasping for breath.

Interval Training at the Track: sprint a 400, walk a 400. Repeat 4 times so you’re sprinting one mile and walking one mile. (You could also cut the distance in half and sprint 200, walk 200.)

Tabata Pushups, Pullups, Sit-ups, and Squats: A Tabata is 20 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds of rest, repeated 8 times for a 4-minute workout. During the “work” phase you perform as many repetitions of the movement as possible.

Push Ups
Integrating Push Ups as part of your Steady State Cardio Workout Program

Spin Bike Sprints: If you have a spin bike, a treadmill, or even a rowing machine, you can go all out for 30 seconds and then pedal, walk or row, for 30 seconds. Repeat this until you can no longer get the same results from your sprint. For example, if you find that you’re able to row 50 meters in 30 seconds, then when your distance drops to below 40, you are done with your sprint workout.

Steady State workouts with this weekly workout plan might be rowing a 5k at a moderate heart rate pace. Remember, you should be able to hold a conversation while you’re working out. If you cannot, then you’re working too hard. Additionally, you should be able to hold the same pace throughout the entire workout.  

Jog or walk three miles on the other steady state day. Keep the guidelines for steady state in mind; don’t try to get a new personal best 5K time!

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