Before HIIT became the undying craze at the gym, people used to hop on a cardio machine, set the resistance level and go for 30 or 45 or even 60 minutes – all at a steady pace. Without having to alternate between moderate intensity and totally grueling intervals, sometimes they could even read a book while racking up cardio minutes.
Back then, it was all about burning calories with LSD – long, slow, distance routines that by necessity were submaximal intensity and sustainable for extended workout durations. People would boast about their hour-long treadmill sessions or 45-minute StairMaster climbs.
How things have changed. As interval training gained raving fans, workouts became shorter, faster and harder, and steady-state routines sort of fell out of favor. Cardio equipment manufacturers loaded up machines with interval regimens, group ex schedules were packed with HIIT classes and trainers had clients wave battle ropes and push sleds. For diehard fitness fanatics, it seemed as if you weren’t killing it at every workout, your session didn’t really “count.”
The reality is that while HIIT has valuable benefits, it’s definitely not the only way to exercise. In fact, it’s not recommended for everyday, and, in fact, too much interval training can lead to overtraining, fatigue, burnout, injuries and more. Steady-state cardio regimens are a great way to condition the cardiovascular system and burn calories and fat.
Plus, steady workouts are particularly beneficial for beginning exercisers, those who cannot tolerate high-impact work, people dealing with an injury or physical limitation, and seniors. It is also an ideal way for gym rats and athletes to embrace active recovery.
Steady-state training is simple and manageable. You simply need to keep your pace and/or resistance level the same throughout the entire workout. Apart from the warm-up and cooldown, maintain your heart rate in the aerobic zone, which is about 65-80% of your maximum heart rate (220-your age). When using cardio equipment, you can hit Quick Start or Manual, set the resistance level and go – without having to program in different levels, intervals or target heart rate zones.
Max Trainer Workouts: New Variety
The new Max Trainer from Octane Fitness delivers total-body, low-impact workouts that can range from steady state to HIIT, and anything in between. It’s best known for its signature, 14-minute Max Interval workout, where you push hard for 25 seconds, then recover for 80 seconds, and then repeat for eight cycles – which is true HIIT.
But you can easily capitalize on the Max Trainer’s total-body benefits with steady-state sessions as well. What’s great about the Max Trainer is it has 10 levels of resistance, so you can go lighter or harder, according to your preference – and keep progressing as you get fitter!
Plus, its unique combination of wind resistance and a magnetic brake yields a customized, virtually endless intensity for steady-state or interval training. The ergonomic handlebars offer multiple placement options for your hands to ensure that you fully engage the upper body and maximize your results. And the motivating calorie meter delivers a real-time report of calories burned per minute to keep you consistent throughout workouts, with no slacking allowed.
The Quick Start and Manual programs are the easiest way to dive into a steady-state routine. Bonus – the Max Trainer is simple and intuitive to use – with no adjustments required, so you can get on and go without delay. And, it is compact and has a low step-up height, so it fits anywhere at home.
To use the Max Trainer for steady-state workouts, look for it health clubs, or snag one for the comfort and convenience of home routines from a specialty fitness retailer.