There are many different theories when it comes to training for cardiovascular health and weight loss. All of the options that you have will provide you with different benefits. One of the top forms of cardiovascular exercise, and a favorite of fitness trainer Eugenio Pallisco, is called high-intensity interval training, or HIIT.
Below, Pallisco provides a closer look at what you should know about HIIT.
What is HIIT?
Most cardiovascular exercise is done at a steady state. Some people like to go for very long walks and at a light pace. This type of exercise is known as low-intensity steady-state cardio. Some people go for jogs or sprints. These types of workouts are referred to as high-intensity steady state. High-intensity interval training is different in that it combines both low-intensity and high-intensity cardio.
After a warmup, you will run as quickly as you can for a brief amount of time, typically thirty seconds or less. After your intense period, you will follow up with a longer period of low-intensity cardio. The low-intensity phase will typically be about double the length of the high-intensity one, but it can be adjusted depending on the requirements of your plan. These alternating cycles of high and low-intensity cardio will be repeated a set number of times for your workout. Although running was used as an example, any type of cardiovascular workout can be adapted to be HIIT.
Advantages of HIIT
One of the main advantages of HIIT is that your metabolism will be increased much longer after your workout is over. This increase means you can burn many more calories in a shorter time. An effective high-intensity interval training session can be as short as 15 or 20 minutes long. HIIT is also good for athletes as it may be able to cause greater improvements to your cardiovascular performance. The pace of many sports mirrors the cycles of high-intensity interval training.
Disadvantages of HIIT
HIIT can be very taxing on your body, leading to a few disadvantages. HIIT can be counterproductive for people whose primary goal is to put on muscle mass. You run the risk of going into a catabolic state that burns muscle for energy.
Eugenio Pallisco’s Pro Fitness Tip: For people who are trying to retain as much muscle as possible while including cardio, low-intensity steady-state training may be the best option. HIIT may also be too intense for people who are very out of shape or overweight.
Which Option is Right For You?
Generally speaking, high-intensity interval training is one of the best cardio options for people looking to lose weight and athletes trying to improve cardiovascular performance. Its effectiveness in a brief amount of time makes it your most time-efficient cardio choice. However, bodybuilders and people who are new to exercise may want to try a less intense cardio program.
About Eugenio Pallisco
Eugenio Pallisco is a skilled and compassionate fitness instructor with years of experience based in the greater Dallas area. As a personal trainer, he has helped hundreds of individuals transform their lives. Eugenio believes sculpting the body goes hand in hand with the mind and practices a holistic approach to help people achieve their fitness goals while avoiding injury or burnout. While his primary focus is on in-person training programs, Pallisco has since expanded his services online to better serve clients who are always on the go.