Episode 88: OMG! Don’t Be An Active Couch Potato

Have you heard of the term Active Couch Potato?

It’s real, and not something you want to be.

The name reminds me of being called half-wit, which a nasty substitute teacher once called me for talking too much in her class. Can you imagine? I am still pissed about her comment.

Q: What exactly is an Active Couch Potato?

A: A adult person who meets the public health requirements for being physically active^ and also who is sedentary for most of the day.  (reference Australian Diabetes Obesity and Lifestyle 2008)

^ 30″ of physical activity most days of the week

You can have perfect attendance and participation in your program of choice but if you remain sedentary for most of the day you are negating your efforts in the gym.  Yikes!

As a coach, it is my responsibility to make sure people who trust me to train them are active throughout days and hours beyond our sessions.  And this includes cardio.

This could be a two-hour discussion, but let’s keep it short so we don’t sit here too long. I have already been sedentary longer than I should be editing this.

There are five training zones for cardio training based on max heart rate. I used to scoff at the 220-age rule, but the truth is an effective way to gauge your sessions.  Below are the stages and their benefits.

ZONE  % Max Heart Rate Effort Effect
1 50-60% very light enhances recovery
2 60-70% light builds endurance
3 70-80% moderate develop aerobic capacity
4 80-90% hard develop anaerobic capacity
5 90-100% maximal train speed & power

Zone 1:  leisure walks of at least 10”  of continuous motion every day no maximum.  How often every day no upper limit.

Zone 2: Low Impact Steady State cardio or LISS x 30″ three times per week.  This is always always always done in ZONE 2.  Most people leave Zone 2  when doing this because it is too easy and very boring. Don’t.  Everyone needs Zone 2 time.

Zone 3: Moderate can be done before LISS one  or two times per week

Zone 4:  HITT short and intense,  2x week. Can be done before LISS and after a warm-up.

Zone 5: Not necessary unless you are a performance athlete or elite competitor.

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How are we applying this to real life in our current program? Here is an example 7-day rotation.

Day  1   Full Body session  [Zoom or in-person]

Day  2  Mixed ESD  (Energy System Development aka cardio) WU, HIIT**,  LISS*

Day  3   Full Body session [Zoom or in-person]

Day  4  Mixed ESD aka Energy System Development aka cardio-> warm up, HIIT, LISS

Day 5  Lunges, Core, and Arms  [Zoom or in-person]

Day 6  Carry***  dominant  Zone 3 + LISS 30 ”  [on  own or  in-person]

Day 7  Recovery walk LISS,  optional foam roll or massage gun.

 *LISS Low Impact Steady State STAY IN ZONE 2 your choice of walking or cardio equipment. 

 ** HIIT  perform 15 hard effort max-effort sprints on your equipment of choice (or run stairs if you are able) followed by 45 -60 seconds of rest. repeat for 8-15 intervals.

 Pair this with a fat loss nutrition plan and you will be leaner after 4-6 weeks.  Got questions about your personal strategy? Book a consult here.

The purpose of this is to keep you from you being an Active Couch Potato.  More importantly, this is a means to improve your metabolic system and mortality.

Connect with me on Instagram


and contact me judy@judyarazoza.com


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