Enhanced Fat Loss with Interval Training
In this article I want to compare traditional long, slow, steady-state cardio with interval training for fat loss. From a fat loss standpoint, the more calories you burn, the better. Let’s see how good these two very different types of cardio training are at burning calories.
Steady-state cardio burns more calories during training, but interval training burns more calories overall, because it makes you burn calories between training sessions since your body must recover from the intense bout of exercise. It’s “hard” on your body. Winner: interval training.
Steady-state cardio won’t help you gain muscle mass. On the other hand, interval training helps you gain and strengthen muscle mass, because to sprint or bike like crazy you need to push on the pedal really hard. This builds lean muscle (think of a sprinter). Since the more muscle you have, the higher your resting metabolic rate will be, interval training makes you burn more calories all day, every day. Winner: interval training.
Another benefit of interval training is that it takes much less time (about 30 minutes per session). Winner: interval training.
On the other hand, interval training is too hard for beginners. Once that becomes easy, shorten the work interval and increase its speed.
Overall, if you’re fit, interval training is best. To lose fat quickly, your best bet is a combination of interval training (1-2 times per week) and steady-state cardio (2-3 times per week).
To sum up, if you want to maximize fat loss, I suggest you do interval training alone on the days you do it, and that you do some weight lifting and then steady-state cardio on the other days you train.
This being said, the specifics of interval training can get tricky. Hopefully I can share with you the method I prefer later. Athletes and smart personal trainers use interval training and so should you!