12 weeks out from UKBFF Men’s Physique and Lee Malone talks us through his cardio split.
There’s lots of activity on twitter with people taking part in the Bodybuilding Warehouse Transformation Challenge, which is great and extremely motivating. Since I’m currently working towards my goal of stepping on stage for the second time, I thought I’d share my cardio spilt to help everyone taking part in the challenge. First thing to note is that I perform all my cardio in the morning on an empty stomach. I literally wake up, get dressed and take my vitamins and hit the session hard whilst sipping on the new PURE 8:1:1 BCAAs.
HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training)
I do my HIIT on a treadmill, however it can be performed on a cross trainer, rower, bike or even swimming. Each HIIT session will be 20 minutes long (excluding a 5 minute warm up).
Firstly, I warm up by doing 5 minutes at jogging pace, not a fast walk, for me this is 9km however it will vary depending on your fitness level. This is my rest speed and I could do this all day long without getting out on breath and I am able to hold a conversation.
After the 5 minute warm up I’ll increase the speed to more of a sprinting level, I will hold this speed for 1 minute giving 100% effort, for me this is 17km. However, by the end of the session I can increase to 19km for sprints, again for you it could be different depending on your fitness level. This should be the toughest minute of your life and you should be out of breath by the time the 60 seconds are up.
Once you’ve completed a sprint you should drop the level back down to your resting level (9km) for a further minute to allow you to get your breathing stable again then repeat with sprints after a minute of resting. The session should last 20 minutes so that’s 1min sprint and 1 minute rest ten times.
Low Intensity Cardio
Again, my low intensity cardio is done first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. Low intensity cardio can be done by walking, cycling, rowing, on a cross trainer or swimming. I personally mix it up between cycling and on the treadmill as its easier and less impact on the joints.
The idea behind low intensity cardio is to keep your heart rate within your fat burning zone for the whole session. Time wise I started off doing 30 minutes sessions 3 times a week for my prep and have increased it to 45 minutes sessions, 5 times a week at present. The time depends entirely on yourself and how long you can commit in the gym.
I’d advise purchasing a HR monitor or using the HR handles on the cross trainer, bike etc to ensure that your keeping your heart rate inside the fat burning rate. One final tip for low intensity session is that they can become extremely boring so I personally read magazines or watch videos on YouTube to help time pass so that I’m not sat there clock watching and pedalling away.
I hope this helps everyone and gives you an idea of my current training during the run up to my Men’s Physique show in 12 weeks’ time. Make sure you subscribe to the Bodybuilding Warehouse YouTube channel and time will fly past during your low intensity sessions.
By Lee Malone