Should I Do Slow or Fast Cardio For Best Fat Loss Results?
just got back into the gym and I really like to use the elliptical
trainer. I do it for about 1 hour per day and I've been losing about
1 pound of fat per week. I find that going slower with higher resistance
burns up to 250 more calories per hour than going faster with less
resistance. It seems logical that the higher calorie burn method
would yield faster weight loss results. Which of these methods (slow
versus fast) is truly better for overall fat burning and weight
you're looking to lose weight then you've probably realized that
there are many different forms of cardio, each presenting their
own benefits. But which one is the best for you? Many factors would
have to be taken into account in order to answer that question.
However, the two most popular forms of cardio are LISS and HIIT,
so we will review these two forms and come to a conclusion of which
would be the best for your particular situation.
What exactly is LISS and HIIT? These are acronyms; LISS stands
for Low Intensity Steady State and HIIT stands for High Intensity
Interval Training. In basic terms, LISS is the cardio that we're
all familiar with, such as walking on the treadmill for 30 minutes
or riding the stationary bike for an hour at pretty much the same
speed and intensity (hence the term "steady state"). HIIT
is a lesser-known form of cardio but it's extremely effective. It
involves switching up the intensity of your cardio workout. So for
example, you might sprint for 60 seconds as fast as you can and
then walk for 60 seconds at a slower pace. You can also do this
type of HIIT workout with your elliptical machine. Just make sure
to go all out on the intense interval session and don't let up!
High intensity interval training supercharges your metabolism and
burns lots of calories in a short amount of time. With a HIIT routine,
you will basically work in intervals of intensity through your workout.
Another example is using the stationary bike. You will warm up for
2 minutes at about a 50% exertion rate. Then, for the next 60 seconds
you will go all out as fast as you can go at about a 90-95% exertion
rate. Then, cool down for 30 seconds at about 50-60% and do it all
over again. Do this for the next 15-20 minutes and then finally
cool down for the last 2 minutes at 50% exertion. Trust me, you
will be absolutely burnt out at the end and will be screaming to
get off the bike. This is a good thing!
So now that you know a little bit more about these two common forms
of cardio, we'll get into the advantages and disadvantages of each
Low Intensity Steady State (LISS)
A better solution for those who want to relax during their
cardio session and take it easy.
Could quickly become boring for some people.
Much easier on your bones and joints, so probably a better
choice for the older individual.
Requires longer time to complete the workout which is not
ideal for busy people who don't have a lot of time for cardio.
Doesn't provide results as fast as HIIT.
Easier to keep track of your workout and set goals for next
Ability to talk with friends during your cardio session.
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
Requires very little time to get a high calorie burning workout
(15-20 minutes) which is great for people with busy schedules.
Requires more focus as you have to keep track of timing.
Better results than LISS (a nine-fold expansion in weight
loss has been reported from a 1994 study).
Tougher on your joints as your sessions are much more intense.
Might not be the best choice if you're a beginner and not
familiar with cardio.
Harder to keep a record of your workout.
Must concentrate on the workout, no time to socialize.
A better solution for the more serious fitness enthusiast,
may be too hardcore for the casual gym-goer.
As you can see, there are many advantages as well as disadvantages
to both forms of cardio. While high intensity interval training
has been proven to be more effective and promote nine-fold results
for weight loss, it is also a much more difficult workout and harder
to keep track of. For these reasons alone, I would see HIIT as a
cardio workout suited more towards the serious fitness enthusiast.
A casual lifter might benefit more doing standard steady state cardio.
So the debate of slow cardio versus fast cardio for fat loss really
comes down to your individual goals and how much you are dedicated
to health and fitness.
Also keep in mind that if you are inexperienced or elderly, it's
probably best to stay away from HIIT as it requires a lot of concentration
and monitoring. You will still achieve great results with steady
state cardio and it will be a lot more fun.
To answer your specific question, the simple fact is that the more
calories you burn per session, the more body weight you will lose.
So, by going slower with higher resistance, this will be the ideal
way to drop weight since you're burning 250 more calories per hour.
It might also be great to incorporate both styles of training into
your cardio routine so you can mix it up and see which one works
best for you!
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