There are various reasons why people choose to practice a sport. The decision can be caused by a desire for health, weight loss, toning or just for fun. Whatever the reasons, one thing is for sure and that is that everyone is different and everyone reacts differently to different workouts and sports.
When people hear cardio, they imagine running in the park, cardio training in the gym on the trail, cross trainer, stepper and others. However, the truth is that there are several different forms of cardio exercise, and in this article we will look at only two of them – high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and cardio at a constant pace.
What is high-intensity interval training?
High-intensity interval training is cardio training, which alternates between periods of low-intensity exercise and high-intensity training. It usually starts with low-intensity exercise for about 90 seconds, then moves on to high-intensity exercise for about 30 seconds. These stages alternate about 8-12 times or until failure. This workout can be practiced in the gym, park, as well as in the swimming pool.
What is constant-pace or low-intensity cardio?
As the name suggests, this is a cardio workout that is performed at a steady pace for an extended period of time. They usually last from 30 to 90 minutes.
Low intensity training (LIT) is the most typical form of cardio training. These are repetitive movements with long duration and low load. Low interval training is certainly not the best cardio workout, but it is a healthier workout for overweight people or those who have not exercised before.
What are the benefits of high-intensity interval training?
High-intensity interval training and cardio at a constant pace are very popular forms of cardio training and both have advantages and disadvantages:
It can be done quickly – The best thing about high-intensity interval training is that they can be completed quickly, making them ideal for people who don’t have much time. Typical High-intensity interval workouts last less than 30 minutes, and are just as effective as long, steady-state workouts.
You will burn more calories in less time – As a workout that is done so quickly, many people often fear that they do not burn enough calories while exercising. The truth, however, is that it doesn’t matter how much time you spend in the gym, but what you do at the moment. High-intensity interval training allows you to burn about 500 calories or more in just 20-30 minutes.
You do not need equipment – To perform high-intensity interval training, you do not have to have equipment available. It is enough to have the desire to play sports. Obviously, you can choose to use cardio equipment such as bicycles and treadmills, but if you don’t have time to go to the gym or work out in the open air, you can run outside. Many people prefer this option, even if they have time for fitness.
High Intensity Interval Training Cons – We’ve seen the benefits and advantages, now let’s look at a few cons.
High-intensity interval training is more difficult – Don’t be fooled that high-intensity interval training is shorter, meaning it’s easier. High-intensity interval training is difficult and extremely physically demanding. The first round of sprints may be relatively easy, but after each round, you will be more and more exhausted.
High-intensity interval training is more suitable for advanced – If you are a beginner, it is better to start with training at the same pace. HIITs are physically difficult and you must first improve your physical fitness before trying. Stick to cardio workouts at a steady pace.
What are the benefits of cardio at a steady pace? – We are already looking at the benefits of High Intensity Interval Training (VIIT), but now is the time to look at the benefits of cardio at a steady pace.
Recovery is faster – High-intensity interval training is exhausting training. Just because they last less doesn’t mean that VIITs don’t put a strain on your body. Steady-state cardio depletes your body far less, allowing you to recover faster.
Steady-state cardio is better for your joints – As mentioned, high-intensity interval training alternates between periods at different rates, which can contribute to greater strain on your joints. Low-intensity cardio loads your joints evenly and doesn’t put as much strain on them.
Most people prefer it – Because constant-pace cardio is easier, most people prefer it to HIIT. You may have noticed that most exercisers do low-intensity cardio. They read books, talk to others. Few prefer to do high-intensity interval training.
After looking at the benefits and advantages of low-intensity cardio, let’s look at the pros and cons
Constant pace cardio is time consuming – If you prefer to do this type of cardio, you should spend between 45-60 minutes in each session. Although the duration depends on whether you have trained strength before cardio or just going to do cardio. If you have trained strength, it is enough to do about 30 minutes. But it also depends on your goals. If you want to gain muscle mass and do cardio to speed up your metabolism, it is enough to even do 20 minutes. But if your goal is to burn subcutaneous fat, the minimum is 30 minutes.
When you notice a visible result of fat loss, do not become obsessed with cardio. Think of it as something that will tone you up and keep you healthy.
When starting a complete diet to lose excess fat, focus on diet and light cardio workouts. Our proposal for a six-week cardio plan:
- 1 week – twice a week for 15-20 minutes.
- 2 weeks – two or three times a week for 15-20 minutes.
- 3 weeks – three times a week for 20-25 minutes.
- 4 weeks – three times a week for 25-30 minutes.
- Week 5 – three or four times a week for 30-35 minutes.
- 6 weeks – three or four times a week for 35-40 minutes.
When you are close to the desired result, instead of reducing cardio, increase it. Add another 10 minutes each week, this will speed up the removal of fat and tighten your body. And if that doesn’t help, reduce your daily caloric intake by another 200. You shouldn’t panic if you stop losing fat at some point. Do not engage in intense cardio training and drastically reduce calorie intake. If this lasts more than one – two weeks, it’s time to increase cardio and reduce calories.