To lose fat, what is the best cardio method? High or low intensity?
Arrives the summer, cardio arrives.
This is the story for many, after all, you have to be in shape for the beach.
The truth is, most people don't like to do cardio.
It is boring, boring and the bench bench is there in the background, winking.
But to lose fat, although not mandatory, adding cardio training is a good idea.
But, what is the best method?
Is it HIIT?
Is the cardio low intensity and long lasting?
This is the question of many, and in this article we will compare these two different approaches.
Let's start by talking a little bit about each of these methods.
Note. We will use the expression “Classic Cardio” or “Normal Cardio” to refer to low / medium intensity and medium / long duration cardio.
This is the most popular method, and for a long time it was THE method to lose fat, until HIIT started to gain more popularity, creating doubts.
In classic cardio training is done at a low or medium intensity, but never high, with a medium or long duration, but never low.
In other words, slow runs on the treadmill, or even inclined walks, cycling at a leisurely pace, or elliptical while talking to a colleague next door are examples of this type of cardio.
The duration is at least 20 minutes, and can be extended to 1 hour or more.
This is the most boring method of cardio, as it is usually monotonous and long, but it burns Calories and helps you to achieve a calorie deficit easily.
HIIT has been gaining more and more popularity, and it is a very opposite protocol to the classic long-duration, low-intensity cardio.
HIIT is a short duration, high intensity cardio method.
Thirty seconds of sprint followed by thirty seconds at a slow pace, repeated several times, is an example of a HIIT workout.
This type of training is short, lasting about 10 to 15 minutes, which for many is a great advantage.
This method can be considered more effective to obtain results in terms of fat loss, and better physical capacity, but in addition to being difficult, it requires greater recovery.
If you want to know more about HIIT, take a look in this article.
Now that you know a little about each method, we decided to contact two experts to defend their points of view:
- António Passadeira
- Zé of the Sprints
Why should I use classic cardio instead of HIIT?
António Passadeira: It is obvious that classic cardio is better!
With this method you can easily combine weight training with cardio training, without harming your loads too much, since it is less stressful.
You can recover better, which in diets hypocaloric it's very important.
I use this method and unlike that sprints thing, I can do cardio several times during the week.
In addition to burning a good amount of calories, being able to recover easily between workouts without impairing weight training, the likelihood of injury is lower.
I didn't exchange this method for anything!
Why should I use HIIT instead of classic cardio?
Zé of the Sprints: 40 minutes on the treadmill? Dry.
HIIT is a more effective workout, both to burn fat and to improve physical capacity, in addition to being much more challenging and interesting to do.
Usually in fifteen minutes I'm already going to the shower, while António is still in the middle of his boring training.
I get full of muscle aches the next day, but I burn more calories throughout the day and that's what matters!
After all, which one is right?
The truth is each method has its advantages and disadvantages, and you can even combine the two.
HIIT burns less fat during training, but increases the metabolism and ends up burning more throughout the day than classic cardio.
The problem is that it is a very demanding method, both at a muscular and mental level, and it is difficult to combine with an intense weight training, at least on a regular basis.
It also carries a greater risk of injury, especially in impact situations, such as running.
Classic cardio, unlike HIIT, is easy to combine with weight training, as it is not very stressful, but it is more boring and long.
None of the workouts will help you if you don't hit a calorie deficit, and that is the most important thing if you want to lose fat.
You should look at cardio as a tool to help you reach that deficit, and not as the solution that will lead you to lose fat.
In addition, it is important to take into account your tastes, and choose a method that you can follow consistently, and not a method that you give up after two or three workouts.
In conclusion, HIIT is slightly more effective at burning fat, but it is not necessarily the most effective method for your plan.
It starts in a moderate and gradual way, with one to two sessions of classic cardio, and depending on your preparation, your diet and goals, you can add one to two HIIT workouts per week.
To reduce the likelihood of injury in high intensity training, choose exercises with less impact, like the bike or the elliptical.
Share your favorite method in the comments area below!