Cardio exercise is any exercise that increases your heart rate and today you will understand the different types of cardio there is and which one would be the best for weight loss. So there are two different forms of cardio. The first is steady state cardio that typically ranges from 40-60 minutes, this is the longer kind and would include the more traditional long distance walking on a treadmill or riding away on the cycling machine. The second is HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) which typically ranges from 10-20 minutes, this is the shorter kind and includes exercises such as the burpees, jumping squats and mountain climbers with much shorter rest periods normally less than 1 minute between each set. It is very important to remember that if your not eating in a caloric deficit you will not lose weight no matter how much cardio you do.
Steady State Cardio
This type of cardio will burn less calories, but 50% of the calories you’re burning is from fat. Now doing steady state cardio has it’s advantages, but taking 40-60 minutes a day to do cardio is way to long especially if you are doing it after your gym workout. That means you would spend around 2-3 hours in the gym a day ! Some of us just don’t have that much time.
Although it is recommended that most people try and stick to steady state cardio if they are trying to lose weight because HIIT cardio is very good to add in later for your fat loss to stop plateaus (when your weight doesn’t go down and stays the same for more than 2 weeks). Unless you are extremely overweight the best way for most of us to do steady state cardio is to aim to finish it in 25-40 minutes. For example, instead of trying to burn 200 calories by walking in 40 minutes you can burn 200 calories by jogging in 20 minutes on the treadmill. This will save a lot of time and is not as hard or intense as HIIT cardio.
This type of cardio will burn a lot more calories, but only 35% of the calories you are burning is from fat. Doing HIIT cardio is great for weight loss and will save you a lot of time in the day since it only takes a maximum of 10-20 minutes, but if you’re trying to build or maintain muscle mass it isn’t the best because it could adversely effect your gym workouts since you may lift less weight due to fatigue resulting in less lean muscle mass retained.
For example, a lot of HIIT cardio routines require you to use your core and leg muscles which means now your core and leg muscles are more taxed so they will need a longer time to fully recover. Since most muscle building movements require you to have a strong core and a pair of fresh legs you could end up lifting less weight because your core/legs hasn’t recovered from your last gym session resulting in less muscle mass being retained. Considering how much energy HIIT cardio requires, especially if you do it after your lifting sessions taking a pre-workout may greatly benefit you to push through it: Click Here For A Full Pre Workout Review
To conclude steady state cardio is the best for weight loss as it is the easiest to track because you know how many calories you have exactly burned, but if you have hit a plateau in your weight loss then it is best to add HIIT cardio in your routine by letting them replace half of your steady state cardio sessions. So for instance, if you did 4 cardio sessions a week 2 should be steady state and 2 should be HIIT. If you have your own opinion on which cardio is better for weight loss or any more questions about HIIT/steady state cardio feel free to leave a comment below.