Want To Burn More Fat And Boost Your Metabolism?
Over the last few years the great debate in the world of fitness was whether HIIT burns fat faster than cardio.
HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training while cardio is more accurately referred to as steady state cardio.
The truth is both methods of exercise burn fat.
But there is no doubt that HIIT burns fat faster than cardio.
HIIT is performed by doing short bursts of all-out effort followed by period of decreased intensity.
A good example would be a sprint interval. Sprint at full speed for 50 meters then walk back to the starting line.
By the time you get back to the starting line, do another all-out sprint.
Go for 8 intervals but you’ll probably be spent by the 4th interval.
An 8 interval session covering 50 meters will take approximately 15 minutes to complete.
Steady state cardio as the term implies means performing an activity at the same pace.
Because the pace remains unchanged, steady state cardio covers greater distances and longer durations.
An example of a steady state cardio activity is a 5 km run.
If your average speed is 9 km per hour, you’ll probably finish a 5 km run in 35 minutes.
When doing HIIT, your heart rate can reach up to 90% of your Maximum Heart Rate (MHR) at the end of an all-out sprint.
By the time you get back to the starting line, your heart rate could be back to 65% of your MHR before you take off for the second sprint.
In steady state cardio, your heart rate generally remains at 60% to 70% of your MHR.
According to research, short bouts of HIIT will elevate your metabolism for up to 48 hours after exercise.
This means that when you do HIIT, your body will continue to burn fat for the next two days!
Steady state cardio will help you lose weight but will not increase metabolism which is needed to burn off body fat.
Steady state cardio is an aerobic activity which means it requires oxygen and is fueled by stored fat.
HIIT is anaerobic and does not require oxygen. Its primary source of fuel is stored carbohydrates.
But after training, the increased metabolic rate burns stored fat calories over the next 48 hours.
So while steady state can help you lose weight and burn fat, it cannot sustain the process as long as HIIT.
If you want visual proof, just compare the physiques of HIIT proponents such as sprinters and gymnasts to steady state trainers like marathon runners and triathlon players.
The best approach would be to use both methods in your training program.
A sample program would look like this:
Monday / Friday – HIIT
Wednesday – Steady State Cardio
By doing both, you get the fat burning benefits of HIIT while managing your calories with steady state cardio.