Move over long slow duration exercises and make way for high-intensity interval training (HIIT). Recently, it has been suggested that HIIT is far more effective in burning fat fast, than LISS (long intensity steady state) exercise. I’m often been told ‘I do cardio but the weight is not coming off’. So, with this in mind, here’s my advice to help clear up the cardio myths and help you get the burn you are looking for.
HIIT vs Steady State Cardio
Jogging on a treadmill is a great way to burn a few calories, but maybe it’s not something that you have to do. Instead, try doing some high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and/or metabolic resistance training which research suggests is far more effective than just steady-state cardio alone. Even better, you’ll not only be burning calories during the workout but even up to 24 hours after! Plus, HIIT workouts are far more time friendly, you can work hard in a short space of time and it’s done, unlike steady state cardio. So if you are someone who is pressed for time or uses time as an excuse not to work out, then continue reading for your answer.
Although steady-state cardio is not useless and still benefits your body, studies have shown it is a thing of the past for it to burn fat as effectively as something like HIIT can. It is the short interval work that does the job. If you love a run, then great keep doing what you like, but there is no need to run for hours and hours just to burn calories, especially if it’s not something you enjoy (if you do, then make your run a higher intensity interval one for faster results). When it comes to cardio, there are other options out there if running or sitting on a stationary bike is not your thing. Keep focusing on getting stronger with metabolic/resistance training and eating better, the weight will come off your body even without stepping on a treadmill (if the treadmill is not your thing!)
What You Didn’t Know About HIIT
Here are some interesting facts on HIIT workouts compared to long slow distance/duration workouts:
Compared to moderate intensity endurance exercise, HIIT causes more calories and fat to be burned following the workout.
HIIT is good for your heart strength. The rapid heart rate rise, then consequent drop-off remodels the ventricular, helping with your heart with a faster cardiac output.
Mitochondrial function is improved with HIIT exercise, thus the aging process of the body may be slowed down. Mitochondria in cells are responsible for energy production and transform energy into chemicals that cells are able to use.
HIIT training also helps to increase our maximal oxygen consumption which is vital because oxygen is fuel for our muscles! As we age, our hearts beat slower, pump less blood and lung capacity decreases, so HIIT is great for more oxygen. HIIT helps with speed, strength and stamina – perfect for what we need in our everyday lives.
Metabolic syndrome, along with a combination of high blood pressure and cholesterol, abdominal obesity, and insulin resistance that increases your odds of a heart attack; may all be lessened with regular HIIT training and a healthy diet.
HIIT also is proven to help relieve stress and make you feel overall better and fitter than long duration cardio exercise.
Your New HIIT Workout
Here is a quick HIIT workout you can do anywhere. Repeat 4 times, with a 1 minute rest between sets.