There are many forms and types of cardio and many debates about what is wrong and right…

I believe in doing low intensity cardio not only for fat burning but muscle preservation as well..But I am a bodybuilder-

Many of you may enjoy the sweat and thrill of higher intensity cardio

HIIT cardio is great for burning calories!! And getting fit! What is HIIT?

You’ve probably heard of HIIT. And no, it’s nothing to do with violence, although after a good HIIT workout you might come away feeling like you’ve been in a fight!

HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training. For any given exercise, (or exercises), you have a short period of going all-out, maximum effort, followed by a longer period of light or no exercise. It’s not for the faint hearted.

There are many different forms of HIIT using different timing protocols and different exercise selections but they all fundamentally share the same core; maximum effort followed by little/no effort until the next round starts.

This is what it comes down to really.

For every exercise out there people want to know – how does this benefit me?

Compared with traditional cardio/conditioning such as endurance training or Low Intensity Steady State (LISS) exercise, HIIT may be harder and scarier looking, but it has a range of potential benefits.

A lot has been said about the “afterburn” effect of HIIT; this is something you might have heard people on forums or on various websites throwing around.

So what’s that all about? Simply, this is the idea that the majority of the calories expended through HIIT occur after the fact via boosted EPOC, (Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen consumption).

This has led to HIIT being heralded as the be-all-and-end-all of fat burning exercises because you may not use as many calories compared with, say, a longer endurance session, but you’ll use more in the long run due to EPOC.

It’s not as simple as that of course.

The reality is different;

 EPOC does exist, but its effects have been vastly overblown. Compare a 10 minute HIIT session with a 30 minute running session and chances are, once you include EPOC in the equation, the two will roughly balance out or even come out in favour of the 30 minute run. However, a desire to burn calories is not the only reason that you should be doing HIIT.

So what’s the point? Why should you, a busy modern individual work harder for a similar calorie burn?

One of the main benefits of HIIT is time; you can get just as good a workout using a short HIIT session as you can with a longer endurance/lower intensity cardio session. Why spend 30/40 minutes on the treadmill when you can spend just a third of that doing HIIT? You may not get quite as high calorie expenditure per minute, but it’ll be close and in a lot less time.

Low steady state cardio can be a very long session indeed! Not to mention boring.

The key benefit of HIIT comes from the fact that you are constantly pushing yourself to the limit; rather than simply increasing your heart rate you are really working your body hard, with both aerobic and anaerobic conditioning taking place. Alongside this comes metabolic adaptation and conditioning which means that the calories you do expend are more likely to come from a source of fat.

For the people who regularly train using HIIT,  the benefits are apparent even after only a few sessions…

Fitter, faster, better.

In my opinion, the best cardio is the one that you enjoy! So find what you love and do that!