Today is the day. Today is the day you will jump out of bed at 5 am, put your clothes on in the dark, and head to the gym to start Day 1 of your fitness program. But once you get there, you spend most of your time looking around at the cardio machines, wondering where to start.

Do you just get on the treadmill and walk for 30 minutes? Or would it be more effective to do shorter bouts of high intensity interval training?

What is the best form of cardiorespiratory exercise for couch potatoes who are just beginning their exercise programs?


A recent study at the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse, assigned test participants to one of three groups: Steady State Cardio, Tabata (20 seconds work, 10 seconds rest) and Meyer Group (30 seconds work, 60 seconds rest).


All the groups improved in a number of areas but there was no evidence that one group did better than others. The findings from this study suggest that HIIT workouts are not significantly more effective for beginning exercisers. What?! That’s my favorite way to work out :)

Here’s what it comes down to - do what you enjoy!! What is important is that you find an activity that you enjoy and are able to stick to. Staying consistent is key. It could be a HIIT class, a run, or strength circuits. If you keep at it and stay motivated, you will see results.

The study only mentioned beginners. I believe HIIT training is perfect for improving performance in active individuals and excellent for breaking through plateaus. But sometimes, you just need to go for a run to clear your mind! Programs need to be tailored to each person’s specific issues and goals. Add some variety from time to time, but keep it FUN!

If you need some help designing your own workout program, let me know! I’m always here to help.

~ Katie