HIIT or cardio? Which is the best exercise for fat loss?

HIIT (High Intensity Training)  training increases your capacity to transition smoothly from burning fat (work and rest periods), to carbohydrates (intense work periods) and back again.

As for the second consideration of resting metabolic rate, a hard session will see your excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) increase. In English, this means you are burning more energy than you are normally at rest, as your working muscle cells restore themselves back to their pre exercise levels (or better still, a little stronger and more efficient).

Now, steady state cardio may not show in the studies to be as effective as HIIT but I believe it is still good to keep a balance with both. If you are only ever doing HIIT style workouts it can stimulate a near constant fight or flight response from the increase in adrenaline it stimulates. If you are an already stressed person with anxiety, sweaty palms, difficulty sleeping etc. than this may not be the best thing to hammer your body with.

But if you regularly hit the treadmill or cross trainer, why not try a little simple interval training? The simplest way I like to start is, when on the treadmill, do 30 seconds of 90 per cent maximum effort, either up speed/incline or both, followed by 30 seconds of a slow recuperative jog. Repeat this 10 — 20 times and you will be cooked! Done like a dinner!

There’s a host of exercise programs out there that focus on similar HIIT principles like F45, crossfit, Agoga..

A HIIT WORKOUT TO TRY AT HOME

Here’s a sample workout from  for you to try. Attempt each exercise for 30 seconds intensely and with maximum effort, and then have 30 seconds rest. Repeat 3-5 times depending on fitness level.

All of these exercises are demonstrated in the video above.

1. PIKE PUSHUP

Get in the downward facing dog position and then do a push-up.

Get in the downward facing dog position and then do a push-up.

2. JUMP SQUATS

Just like it sounds. Squat and then jump — either onto something, or just in the air.

Just like it sounds. Squat and then jump — either onto something, or just in the air.

3. REVERSE CRUNCH

You can do this flat on the floor, or as demonstrated here, on an incline.

You can do this flat on the floor, or as demonstrated here, on an incline.

4. HANGING KNEE RAISE (OPTION TO TOUCH FEET TO BAR)

Lift and lower, alternating sides. If you can help it, don’t let your feet touch the ground in-between.

Lift and lower, alternating sides. If you can help it, don’t let your feet touch the ground in-between.

 5. SHRIMP SQUAT (SWAP LEGS HALFWAY)

To isolated the muscles in each leg, do one legged squats.

To isolated the muscles in each leg, do one legged squats.

6. HEADBANGERS (OPTION FOR FEET OFF THE GROUND L-SIT)

Lean back and then pull yourself forward until your head touches the bar.

Lean back and then pull yourself forward until your head touches the bar.

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