Steady State Cardio Explained (SSC) | The Locker Room Steady State Cardio Explained (SSC) – The Locker Room

Steady State Cardio Explained (SSC)

A sustained period of low-moderate paced exercise is often referred to as Steady State Cardio (SSC). This can be done in various ways, be it on a rowing machine in the gym, on a stationary bike at home, or even a brisk walk or jog around town!

You may choose to buddy up with a friend or meet up with a local group to make it a more social and enjoyable way to burn those calories. Or you may like to use SSC as a bit of alone time to unwind, giving yourself a chance to clear your head, or perhaps zone out with your music in your ears.

Whatever you choose, ultimately SSC is a great way to burn calories, at an intensity which allows your body to utilise stored energy (fat) as a fuel source!

SSC allows you to exercise for a prolonged period in what is known as the ‘Fat-Burning Zone’. This is where you exercising at approximately 65% of your maximum heart rate. In this zone, your body is working at an intensity that it can utilise fat as a source of fuel. If you increase the intensity the body will then move to utilise Carbohydrates as its fuel source, which although not a bad thing, is moving away from our ultimate objective


An advantage of SSC is that, being a low intensity, your body doesn’t become too physically fatigued in terms of muscle soreness. This makes it a great session to do between higher intensity or resistance sessions to give your muscles some recovery time.

SSC increases blood flow around the body too, which circulates oxygen, vitamins and minerals around your body, helping to further improve the Recovery process. An example of this would be the riders in the Tour De France, who still complete an SSC ride on their rest days!

Examples of a Steady State Cardio Session…

– 60 Minute Brisk Walk (Find some Hills!)

– 60 Minute Steady Jog (Get out with a friend and chat along the way!)

– 60 Minute Cycle on flat terrain (Get off the beaten track on a Mountain Bike!)

– 60 Minute Stationary Cycle (Why not do this at home while watching your favourite TV programme)

– 60 Minute Steady Row (Plug in your music and get into a rhythm!)

The main thing is to enjoy it and work hard. Make it fun, and remember why you’re doing this! 2017 is YOUR year to hit YOUR goals!

Mark Harrison

MSc Sport & Exercise Science

Head of Product Development

CNP Professional