hiit cardio

What is the best type of cardio?

What is the best type of cardio for losing fat?

Summer arrives, cardio arrives.

That's the story for many, after all, you have to be in shape for the beach.

The truth is that most people don't like doing cardio.

It's boring, boring and the bench press is there in the background, blinking.

But to lose fat, although it is not mandatory, adding cardio training is a good idea.

But, what is the best method?

Is it HIIT?

Is it low-intensity, long-duration cardio?

This is a question for many, and in this article we will compare these two different approaches.

Let's start by talking a little about each of these methods.

Note. Let's use the expression ?Classic Cardio? or ?Normal Cardio? to refer to low/medium intensity and medium/long duration cardio.

Classic cardio

This is the most popular method, and for a long time it was THE method for losing 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 walking at an incline, cycling at a calm pace, or using the elliptical while talking to the colleague next to you are examples of this type of cardio.

The duration is at least 20 minutes, and can last up 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 achieve a calorie deficit easily.

Cardio HIIT

HIIT has been gaining more and more popularity, and is a protocol very opposite to classic long-duration, low-intensity cardio.

HIIT is a short-duration, high-intensity cardio method.

Thirty seconds of sprinting 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 around 10 to 15 minutes, which for many is a big advantage.

This method can be considered more effective in obtaining 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.

There are even several protocols for this type of training, as you can see here.
HIIT cardio

Now that you know a little about each method, we decided to contact two experts to defend their points of view:

  • Antonio Passadeira
  • Zé dos Sprints

Why should I use classic cardio instead of HIIT?

António Passadeira: It's obvious that classic cardio is better!

With this method you can easily combine weight training with cardio training, without affecting your loads too much, as it is less exhausting.

You can recover better than on diets hypocaloric it's very important.

I use this method and unlike that sprint thing, I can do cardio several times during the week.

In addition to burning a good amount of calories and being able to recover easily between workouts without compromising weight training, the likelihood of injuries is lower.

I wouldn't trade this method for anything!

Why should I use HIIT instead of classic cardio?

Zé dos Sprints: 40 minutes on the treadmill? How dry.

HIIT is a more effective workout, both to burn fat and improve physical capacity, in addition to being much more challenging and interesting to do.

Usually within fifteen minutes I'm already heading to the shower, while António is still in the middle of his boring workout.

I'm full of muscle aches the next day, but I burn more calories throughout the day and that's what matters!

people doing cardio


After all, which of the two 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 metabolism and ends up burning more throughout the day than classic cardio.

The problem is that it is a very demanding method, both muscularly and mentally, and it is difficult to combine it with intense bodybuilding 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 exhausting, but it is more boring and longer.

None of the training will help you if you don't reach a calorie deficit, and that's the most important thing if you want to lose fat.

You should look at cardio as a tool to help you achieve that deficit, and not as the solution that will lead you to losing fat.

Furthermore, it is important to take your tastes into account, and choose a method that you can follow consistently, and not a method that you give up after two or three workouts.

Conclusion, HIIT is slightly more effective at burning fat, but it is not necessarily the most effective method for your plan.


Start moderately and gradually, 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 during high-intensity training, choose lower-impact exercises, such as cycling or the elliptical.

If you are going from gaining muscle mass to losing fat, take a look in this article, and if you don't know what to eat to lose fat, This one is the guide for you.

cardio gym

Common questions

What is the difference between classic cardio and HIIT?
Classic cardio is a low to medium intensity and medium to long duration workout, while HIIT (high intensity interval training) consists of high intensity exercises interspersed with recovery periods, being a short duration workout..
What are the advantages of classic cardio?
Classic cardio is less exhausting, facilitates recovery, can be easily combined with weight training and is less likely to cause injuries.
What are the advantages of HIIT?
HIIT is more effective in burning fat and improving physical capacity, it is more challenging and interesting, and has a shorter duration, usually between 10 and 15 minutes.
Which of the two methods is the most effective for losing fat?
HIIT is slightly more effective at burning fat, but both methods can be effective if combined with a calorie deficit and adapted to individual preferences and needs..
How can I combine both methods in my training plan?
Start with one to two classic cardio sessions per week and, depending on your preparation, diet and goals, add one to two HIIT workouts..
To reduce the risk of injury, choose lower-impact exercises, such as cycling or elliptical.
Ultimately, it’s about setting priorities.
If gaining excellent physical condition and losing fat along the way are priorities for you, HIIT is very good and can be made a priority in your training..
If, on the other hand, good physical condition is enough, and although losing fat is part of your plans, you don't want to lose the muscle mass that took so long to gain, then it's different..
HIIT will always be secondary, and a focus on strength training with low to medium intensity cardio, combined with a low-calorie diet, will be the best way forward..
If you have any questions, just leave a comment below, as well as your opinions on the topic and your experience with each of these methods.

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