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Which do you prefer?

Which do you prefer?

•HIIT: High intensity interval training consisting of short sprint intervals coupled with low/moderate intensity work e.g. 20s sprint/1min walk.
•LISS: Low intensity steady state cardio consisting of purely low/moderate intensity work eg. walking on a treadmill.

Time efficiency: HIIT is an extremely time efficient way to train which can induce the same or sometimes even SUPERIOR changes in mitochondrial enzyme activity & whole body/skeletal muscle carb & fat metabolism to those induced by traditional longer endurance training.

Fitness: Both HIIT & LISS have shown to increase endurance and VO2max however again, HIIT seems to be slightly superior (Foster et al 2015, Helgerud et al 2007).

Fat loss: Though a kcals deficit is all you need for fatloss , cardio definitely has a role. Both LISS & HIIT are effective at losing fat however HIIT has proven to produce a greater fat reduction effect relative to energy expenditure compared to LISS in many studies.

Muscle retention: HIIT seems to be superior for muscle retention with some studies showing increases in lean mass vs LISS. This is likely due to sprinting involving high intensity hip flexion & knee extension, similar to that during weight lifting and thus another way to overload & activate type 2 muscle fibres.

Problem: Most studies on HIIT are done in individuals who DON’T lift. However, lifting has shown to be very similar to HIIT in terms of overall intensity and EPOC meaning that if you lift regularly, you are ALREADY following a strenuous training protocol & additional HIIT may actually do more harm than good by increasing recovery demands thus LISS may be more suitable.

Conclusion: Both methods are highly effective for increasing overall fitness & fat loss thus the one you pick is highly dependent on time availability, personal preferences & other variables.