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The Best Cardio To Lose Weight – The Quickest Way To Melt Fat Off Your Body

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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.

treadmills at gym

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.

hiit cardio

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.

11 thoughts on “The Best Cardio To Lose Weight – The Quickest Way To Melt Fat Off Your Body

  1. Thanks for the post, I never knew there was a difference in cardio exercises ! Its comforting to know that steady state cardio burns more fat which is great for me because I am most definitely past doing HIIT cardio. Although I think I will have to incorporate it after I hit a plateau in my weight loss as you said.

    1. Hi lee, I am happy that this post has helped you discover the difference in cardio exercises and to know that your going too incorporate HIIT cardio if you ever hit a weight loss plateau. Wish you the best on your weight loss journey !

  2. WOW ! I never knew that steady state cardio burnt more fat than HIIT haha it sounds like a dream to me. One question I have though is even though steady state burns more fat does it actually burn more calories of fat than HIIT cardio since HIIT burns a lot more calories?

    Looking forward to your reply Sophie.

    1. The answer to your question is quite simple Sophie say you do 20 minutes of HIIT and burn 300 calories that means you will burn 105 calories of fat, but if you do 20 minutes of steady state cardio and burn only 150 calories that means you have only burnt 75 calories of fat. So actually HIIT burns more calories of fat if you calculate the amount of time each cardio is taken to do, but of course if the calorie burnt is the same for both then steady state will burn more fat calories always.

  3. Great information Andrew.

    I have been trying out HIIT lately just because you say: it takes less time. But you raised some interesting points here with saying that it’s not as good for keeping muscle mass and that you might lift less at the gym because you’re just tired.

    I have heard somewhere that a power walk (walk really fast) burns more calories than running? Do you know if this is true?

    1. With a power walk or any form of cardio it depends how long and intense you will be doing it for so a power walk could burn more calories than running if you do it long enough. So its neither true or false.

  4. Interesting, I’ve always thought steady state cardio was simply a waste of time. What if you did HIIT after your strength training? Would that not prevent you from lifting less since you already lifted?

    1. Haha cardio is never a waste of time if your doing it correctly and should always be done after strength training. If you did HIIT after strength training it would not affect your lift on the same day since you’ve already lifted, but it will affect your other sessions since your muscles need a longer time to recover.

  5. Nice post Andrew , I play a lot of football and I also box , which cardio exercises would you recommend I do, to increase stamina etc.

    1. Thanks Rahul, I would recommend you do steady state cardio to increase your stamina by increasing your mileage by 10 percent per week and running at a slow steady pace for longer.

  6. Yes , I do agree strongly. I like HIIT cardio.
    This is a better option of exercise for me which saves a lot of time helping me lose weight much quicker.
    Although HIIT is little bit tough to do to begin with, practice will help me become better.

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