Chasing NPC Bikini: just do the CARDIO



One of the things I loved most when I started lifting was that it meant I didn’t have to sweat. I went in to the gym, did a few reps and was done. Compared to the hours I’d spent over the course of 30 years in exhausting classes with tricky moves this was a welcome change!get_physical

And then it got harder.

Little by little I started lifting heavier weights, and along the way figured out that if you’re not working hard enough to break a sweat, you’re not working hard enough.

Still, however, when my first trainer said I only needed to spend 20 minutes on the stair climber at a slow speed to get my cardio, I was thrilled!

Fast forward to today. That’s not enough cardio for me to burn off the stubborn fat that has yet to vacate my hips & thighs. For this show prep process Justin has me doing HIIT cardio 3x per week.

Here’s what that looks like…

5 minute warm up

15 sets of 30 seconds fast exercise alternating with 60 seconds of slow

5 minute cool down


I do not love HIIT, but I do what I can to mix it up and keep it interesting.



Warm up on level 5 for 5 minutes

First fast 30 at level 9

Slow 60 at level 4 (for all of them)

Then for each fast 30 I increase the level until I’m running up those stairs (today I maxed out at level 18)

Once I max out I reverse and level down each fast 30

Cool down on level 5 for 5 minutes


Floor exercises:

Warm up & cool down on stairclimber or treadmill


Jump lunges – 30

crunches – 60

mountain climbers – 30

supermans – 60

jump squats – 30

jump rope – 60

jumping jacks – 30

wall sit – 60

All the way thru and then repeat till you’ve done 15 total rounds


The routines I make up are based on 3 criteria:

  1. No burpees (because life is too short for burpees)
  2. Not too much straight up & down jumping (it’ll make me pee)
  3. Not too much chest involvement (the girls are still new enough I use caution)

I’ve also done my HIIT at the local school stadium, running/walking up and down the stairs. That was fun but the junior high stands are too small & metal really noisy. Next time I’ll go to the high school.

Another option is to ride a bike to a nearby hill (warming up with the bike ride), then running up the hill for the fast 30 and walking back down for the slow 60. Running up hill is not really fun but great for the booty!

On Mondays one of our amazing trainers leads a HIIT class. I try to go to that when possible because it’s nice to have someone else tell me what to do every now and then rather than coming up with my own ideas. The gamble, though, is it may not meet my 3 criteria mentioned above. Although Lauren is actually really good about not adding burpees if she wants me to show up.

The most important part of HIIT is to just get it done. Procrastinating only makes it worse. And guess what, it’s working! This week I bought a pair of jeans in a size 6… a size I don’t believe I’ve ever worn. I think at puberty I went from children’s sizes to a women’s 8 overnight.

Trust the process!


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