February 11, 2016

Cut Your Cardio in Half!

Do you ever wish you enjoyed going to the gym? That lacing up those running shoes put a smile on your face?

I used to feel that way. While training for my first bikini competition, I worked out so hard that I began to despisethe gym. I spent two hours at the gym every single day. I’m not over exaggerating. I would do cardio for 30 minutes before work, meet my trainer for an hour of lifting after work, and finish up with another 30 minutes of cardio after that.

Not anymore. What changed you may be wondering? Well, in a word, EVERYTHING.

In short, I completely changed my view on food and fitness. I met incredible mentors who showed me the light. This is the main reason why I started Pretty Pretty Pineapple, I want to help YOU! There’s no need to starve yourself or rack up 100s of miles on the treadmill.

I’m here to tell you how to CUT YOUR CARDIO IN HALF. That deserves all caps for sure.

raquel 4.26.14-382

It’s as easy as this…

High Intensity Interval Training.

What does that mean, you ask? Well, let’s start by breaking a typical cardio session up into intervals. We’ll alternate between high-intesity intervals and less-active periods of training, or event rest.


Here’s an example:

Sprint 1 minute

Walk 2 minutes (at a fairly quick pace)

Repeat 5 times

Total workout time = 15 minutes


If you do this workout 3 times a week, you will burn more calories than someone jogging on the treadmill for 1 hour! Not only is this good for someone with a busy schedule, but it’s great for people who get bored easily, too!

So how does it work? Most people don’t actually push their heart rate high enough to get into the anaerobic zone. FYI, anaerobic means “without oxygen” and is found at about 80-90% of your maximum heart rate. You know that point where you feel like you can’t breathe? That’s the anaerobic zone. To increase endurance, we bring the heart rate here for a short period of time. Then we lower it. Your body burns the most calories when it’s at about 50-60% of your maximum heart rate. This fat-burning zone is also optimized for gaining cardiovascular benefits, too.

When your workout is over, it doesn’t stop there. Your body will thank you by reaping benefits for the next 24 hours. High Intensity Interval Training is a proven way to see fast results. By cutting your cardio in half, you’re also preserving your lean muscle mass while burning fat, too.

As a bonus, I’ve included three of my favorite HIIT Cardio Workouts below! Let me know what you think.



HIIT Cardio - Pretty Pretty Pineapple

Workout #1:

Treadmill Intervals

Warm up by walking backwards on steep incline 3 minutes (Incline 10-12, Speed 2-3).

Lower incline and sprint 1 minute (Incline 1-2, Speed 7-10).

Walk 1 minute (Incline 1-2, Speed 3-4).

Repeat sprint and walk intervals for a total of 10 minutes.

Cool down by walking forward on steep incline 2 minutes (Incline 10-12, Speed 3-4).

Total Workout Time = 15 minutes


Workout #2:

At Home Cardio

30 seconds of each exercise:

Body-Weight Squats

Jumping Squats

Single-Leg Lunges

Single-Leg Squat Jumps (jumping lunges)

High Knees

Butt Kicks

Jumping Jacks

Power Jacks

30 second rest

Repeat 4 times.

Total Workout Time = 18 minutes


Workout #3:

Cardio with Upper Body Emphasis

Burpees, 10

Pushups (knees ok if needed), 1

Hold plank 20 seconds.

Burpees, 9

Pushups, 2

Hold plan 20 seconds.

Burpees, 8

Pushups, 3

Hold plank 20 seconds.



Repeat until you’ve finished your last set…



Burpees, 1

Pushups, 10

Hold plank 20 seconds.

Total Workout Time = 12 minutes


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