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HIIT vs Steady-State Cardio

Save time, burn more fat. Here are five reasons to skip the long, boring cardio in favor of high-intensity intervals.

HIIT vs Steady-State Cardio

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Are you tired of doing endless, boring cardio workouts? Then stop doing it! Not only will the cardio boredom go away, but if you do HIIT instead, your results will improve, too.

For many years, the fitness community favored low- to moderate-intensity steady-state cardio, such as brisk walking or moderate-paced cycling, for what was believed to be its muscle-sparing and fat-burning benefits. Pretty much every bodybuilder and female fitness competitor I talked to 15 to 20 years ago had the same cardio routine: 45-60 minutes walking on a treadmill at 3-4 MPH. Many of them would do this twice a day — very time-consuming!

The rationale was that higher-intensity cardio would lead to muscle breakdown and that lower-intensity exercises put the body in an optimal fat-burning zone. However, modern research debunks these myths, highlighting the numerous benefits of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) over steady-state cardio.

So, should you swear off low-intensity walks, hikes, and bike rides altogether? Absolutely not. Being active is always a good thing, especially when you can do it outdoors. Do all the walking, hiking, and cycling you want. But to maximize your fat loss, fitness, and performance results, HIIT cardio should be a regular part of your routine as well.

Here are 5 good reasons to choose HIIT over steady-state cardio:

1. Better Fat-Burning Efficiency

While lower-intensity cardio burns a higher percentage of calories from fat, it’s less efficient overall compared to HIIT. Steady-state cardio requires much longer durations to burn the same amount of calories as a shorter HIIT session. Moreover, the concept of the "fat-burning zone" is misleading. The real benefit of cardio for fat loss lies in the calories burned after the workout, known as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC).

HIIT significantly enhances

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