I'm always being asked what sort of cardio is best for burning fat, steady state or high intensity interval training (HIIT)?
They both have their pros and cons.
Steady state as the name suggests is usually done at a steady pace (one speed)
It generally lasts between 20-60 minutes depending on your fitness level, so it can be quite time consuming. Steady state is usually performed at a low to moderate intensity and can use body fat as an energy source, especially if done on an empty stomach.
HIIT training is usually performed mixing steady state with short bursts of speed (high intensity interval)at regular intervals. Sessions can typically last anywhere between 10 - 40 minutes, so a better option if time is an issue.
Due to the higher level of intensity, the primary fuel source is carbohydrates as that is more readily and available and quicker to break down in the body. However a good hiit session can elevate your metabolism for 14 - 18 hours after your workout, so the overall calorie burn can be much greater which obviously leads to greater fat loss.
Even though I've found through my own experience and with clients, that HIIT burns more fat, I like a mixture of both types of cardio for best results.
This helps to avoid plateaus and doesn't allow your body to get used to one type of training.
HIIT is also pretty demanding which can affect your strength and performance if you're training with weights as well.
So that would be my advice to you too.
Mix it up.
Whats your favourite type of cardio?
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