The main reason why people work out is to burn fat away. Ever think about what kind of cardio is going to help you do this in the best way? There are two main versions of cardio, HIIT and LISS which one had a greater fat loss percentage and what’s going to be more beneficial to your body in the long run. There are many studies proving that both versions of cardio are needed to receive the best results in fat burning. This will serve as an informational guide into you choosing what version of cardio will be best for your body.
Why is it that cardio is always the main topic when talking about physical fitness? Apparently cardio is the fix all solution to burning fat. When you go into the gym you see everyone on a cardio machine, trying to run or pedal their way to their dream weight. Even though cardio is constantly said to be the best total body work out, when it comes down to actually doing it, the majority is split down the middle. Either you have a strong love for it or you absolutely hate it. The number one question most people have is what type of cardio is the best for fat loss? There are two main versions of cardio; high intensity interval training (HIIT) and low intensity steady state cardio (LISS). HIIT consists of short sprint intervals coupled with low moderate intense work. LISS is purely low moderate intensity work for a long period of time. Now you’re probably thinking cardio is cardio right, well not necessarily. Each type of cardio focuses on a different spot of calorie molecules. Depending on if you want to be a bodybuilder, a fitness model, or just get lean and fat free, your next question should be what type of cardio is for you and how do you accurately use each one to the max benefit for your body? Before you can decide what type of cardio is best for you, you might want to know a little bit more on what exactly your body does while you are working out. Whether it is HIIT or LISS you are producing ATP. ATP is a quick burst of energy that happens when your muscles contract. The anaerobic threshold (AT) and the lactate threshold (LT) are great tests because it gives a great predictor of which type of work produces ATP. When ATP is produced your mitochondria become more active and the more active they become the greater percent of fat loss will be achieved. During HIIT your mitochondria activity is increased due to the oxidase capacity. Allowing you to continue to burn calories after your work out is over. In LISS you are burning the calories that you have taken in at that precise moment. Once your work out is over you are no longer burning calories. Sound like a no brainer, not exactly. Now let’s dive into the more detailed stuff.
A study done by Natio el al from Juntendo University in Japan, found that in rats the enhancement of satellite cell pool caused by endurance training is influenced not by the duration but by the intensity of exercise. (Martinez 2013) This study suggests that HIIT is the optimal way to burn fat. HIIT produces better changes in exercise capacity and hits the AT and LT levels needed to continue to burn calories. What exactly is HIIT? An example of a HIIT workout is 30 second sprint followed by a 3 minute steady run, then repeat 4 to 5 times. Anything that has short intervals of you pushing your body to the max then slowing down to a steady pace is considered HIIT. Basically saying that you have to put your body into an uncomfortable state to use the max energy. HIIT is quicker and proves to be more effective for fat loss percentage than LISS. It helps create metabolic changes and helps with muscle retention. According to Abbie Smith a PhD and CSCS, “HIIT is the only way to go, if you are not using HIIT you are wasting your time. LISS is easy but HIIT burns calories constantly not just what you intake. It is hard to disregard the growing body of efficacious literature on HIIT, not only for fat loss but also rapid cardiovascular adaptations.” (ncbl.com,...
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Schoenfeld, B. (2012) Both HIIT and LISS protocols can be effectively employed in a fat loss program. Retrieved from http://Themaxmuscleplan.com
Wilson, C. (2013) The Cardio Question: What type of cardio is best for fat loss? Retrieved from http://muscleandstrength.com
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