Cardio for weight loss

When it comes to weight loss, which form of cardio is more effective? Is it High-intensity interval training (HIIT) or low intensity steady state cardio (LISS)?

HIIT – Short bursts of maximum intensity followed by a longer period of rest. For example, 20-second sprint followed by 60-second slow walk. Repeat this circuit multiple times. If you feel uncomfortable whilst completing this form of cardio, you’re probably doing it right…

HIIT pros:

  • Causes the body to make positive metabolic changes

  • Can be completed in short period of time

  • Causes less muscle loss than LISS – higher muscle mass equals greater weightloss.

HIIT cons:

  • Increased injury risk

  • Extremely exhausting so may interfere with training schedule due to fatigue

  • If you have existing injuries, higher chance of aggravation.

LISS – Steady state cardiovascular training, which maintains a similar level of effort throughout. A 30 minute jog, for example.

LISS pros:

  • Less stressful for body and mind

  • Increases calorie deficit

LISS cons:

  • Body adjusts quickly to LISS training. Intensity needs to be increased regularly to show benefits.

HIIT training brings multiple benefits but due to its higher energy output and increased injury risk, it isn’t something that can be performed every day to a high standard. Alongside your weight training, use the muscle sparing properties of HIIT training and increase your daily energy deficit by performing LISS. Best of both worlds.

Just remember whichever form of cardio you enjoy the most, go with that! What is going to show better results long term? The world’s best programme you half-heartedly stick to and then discard of because you don’t enjoy it, or a slightly less beneficial form of exercise that you enjoy and can stick to for the rest of your life? Enjoyment comes first every time. As personal trainers, we see this very often! You may not enjoy EVERY workout that you complete, but if a trainer has you regularly training in a way that you don’t enjoy, kick their butt to the curb and find someone that puts your preferences first.

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