If you’re looking to lose weight, cardiovascular exercise makes a great addition to dieting & strength training that can help you burn extra calories and melt that fat away more quickly.
Cardio isn’t merely just one kind of activity, but a broad spectrum of activities that can be super intense, slow & gentle, or somewhere in between.
Whether one type of cardio would be better for you over another type is completely dependent on your unique needs.
Below is a brief summary of the different types of cardio:
Low-intensity steady-state, or LISS for short, is any kind of cardiovascular exercise that you can maintain for long periods of time.
Walking, cycling, or sometimes jogging falls under this umbrella.
It should take a considerable amount of time – let’s say, a minimum of 45 minutes – to get you towards any appreciable amount of fatigue or exhaustion. For most of the duration, you should be able to maintain a conversation without too much difficulty.
Interval training is a step up from LISS in terms of intensity, but is also a tad bit shorter.
This kind of cardiovascular exercise involves repeated bouts of effort that last anywhere from 30s or less to 2 minutes or longer, with rest in between each bout.
Each bout is rarely performed to exhaustion – there’s usually plenty left in the tank, until the end of the workout, when fatigue begins to set in.
Examples include pushing/pulling a sled, carrying a sandbag or kettlbell, performing calisthenics, or any combination of the appropriate exercises, with plenty of rest sprinkled throughout.
High-Intensity Interval Training
Similar to interval training, high-intensity interval training, or HIIT, involves performing bouts of exercise with rest in between, but the key difference is that each bout takes you close to or beyond exhaustion.
Because of this difference, the total amount of time spent exercising drops remarkably. An effective HIIT workout can be as short as 8 minutes. If you ever performed HIIT, you know why it’s so effective. It is hard.
Which type of cardio is best for fat loss?
Really, it depends. Any kind of activity that fulls under any one of those categories can technically help you lose weight.
We found that parents and working adults rarely have time for Low-Intensity Steady State exercise. Some do, but most don’t.
Additionally, for those just getting started again, High-Intensity Interval Training is too intense and can lead to regularly getting sick after workouts and, even worse, getting injured.
Regular interval training provides the right balance between time and intensity – it’s quick enough that you actually have time for it, but not so intense that you can’t complete it without falling apart.
That’s why our Team Metabolic classes are modeled after this form of training, which leads to our members seeing the best results long-term.
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