HIIT Versus Steady State Cardio Workouts: The Face-Off

If you're reading up on all the various resources available on cardio training, you've likely come to the conclusion that high intensity interval training, sometimes referred to as HIIT, is the top form of cardio to complete.

It burns calories faster, helps you continue to keep burning calories all day long, and it gets you in great physical condition.

It would seem that there's no argument, given the choice between high intensity interval training and more moderate forms of cardio training, the high intensity sessions win hands down.

But, is this always the case?

Before you run to the gym to perform some intervals, there are some key factors that you should be considering. Let's take a look at what these are so you can be sure to make the right choice for you.

Your Overall Workout Program

The very first thing that you need to look at when assessing whether HIIT is right for you is what the rest of your workout program looks like. How many days of the week are you planning on doing weight lifting?

If you're in the gym doing your weight lifting for four days a week, adding another three or four days of interval training to this is very likely going to be overkill and you'll wind up injured and burnt out.

Remember, the body can only take so much physical intestinal exercise and there will come a time where it'll just give out.

If you're doing two or three weight training workouts a week, this leaves more time open for the intervals and for recovery purposes.

The Intensity Of Your Diet

Next, you also should consider the intensity of your diet as well. How high is your calorie take? If you're just using a moderate calorie deficit to lose fat, you'll have more energy available to complete those hard workout sessions.

If you're using a very low calorie diet though, then it's going to be pretty trying doing these on a regular basis. You need fuel to exercise and if that fuel is not coming in, your body is going to struggle along.

Your Carbohydrate Intake

In addition to considering calories, you also must take a close look at your carbohydrates specifically.

The reason for this is that to perform this high intensity cardio training, your body absolutely must have glucose present in its system. If it does not, you will not be able to do it – period.

This is simply because glucose is the only form of fuel that the body can run off to perform this intensity of exercise so when it's not coming in through the diet, your exercise capacity is strictly limited.

If you are eating carbohydrates, then you can keep up with the HIIT sessions. If you're low carb dieting, moderate intensity cardio will be a wiser choice.

Your Recovery Ability

Finally, last but not least make sure to consider your recovery ability. Each person has their own recovery ability and if you know that yours is poor, adding too many interval training sessions may not be a wise decision.

If you recover fine though, then two or three per week should not pose too much of a problem. Just make sure you look at your own situation and not compare with what other people are doing.

So there you have a few important facts to remember about high intensity interval training. If you can keep these in mind then you should have no problem making the decision of what type of training is going to be best for you.

Source by Dana Jafferman