Everywhere you look today you'll see ads or workout videos featuring how Hiit is the best way to drop calories in a shorter amount of time. while you can burn calories by doing HIIT, the problem is you don't burn nearly as much as people say you will, and people, also of influencers or these YouTuber do them wrong.
What an actual Hiit workout looks like
When you are doing HIIT there are certain exercises you can’t do because, in order to be able to perform A Hiit routine properly, you have to push yourself to your max capacity of breathing. It's pretty much to a point where you are panting and breathing like crazy. And you can only do this with certain high aerobic intensity exercises such as jump squats, burpees, high-intensity cycling, heavy sprinting. exercises like this are what you can use because they will be able to get you to such a high heart rate that will hit the limits of your V02 max, which means how much energy expenditure you can release in one huge 30-second full-throttle exercise. like if you add in pushups or sit up or pullups or basic squatting, you won’t be able to reach that level of intensity in 30 seconds because you simply can’t generate the intensity in a short period doing them. even if you went for a longer period you wouldn't hit your capacity. so, this is why a lot of YouTube videos and instructors are wrong and perform them wrong as well. what they are actually doing is just a regular interval workout. So instead of it being Hiit, it's just iit. Which means intensity interval training.
Steady-state cardio will always be the best form of fat loss. Now I know what you’re thinking though. “Some people have such a garbage cardio level that they can only walk”. Well even if that’s the case they wouldn’t be able to do a HIIT workout anyways. They can’t handle it. Even if they tried those really watered-down so-called YouTube Hiit workout videos, they might not even be able to handle those either. So, like anything else, you get better at it. Now lest say you have an individual who does 30 minutes of moderate-intensity to high-intensity cardio that THEY could respectfully keep doing without stopping. Whether it be riding a bike or going for a run or even swimming (which is the best form of cardio). They will burn more calories than if they did Hiit cardio. Because you are constantly moving and also moving at a steady rhythm that is RESPECTIVE TO YOUR OWN CARDIOVASCULAR CAPABILITIES (very important to understand this), then you are going to burn more. Simple as that.
Muscle loss with cardio
Now I know what some people might be thinking. That if you do too much steady-state cardio then you will lose muscle along the way. And frankly, you’re not wrong. But you can counteract that by of course making sure your nutrition is on point and also doing steady state cardio at a lower to moderate intensity. Competitive bodybuilders know this and understand this to keep on their frame which is why they generally do a fast-paced walk on the treadmill for 30 min or so, or they jump on the Stairmaster for 40 minutes or so. It allows you to still burn fat and retain more muscle. Everyone s body is built differently, and I have come across some people that can do the higher intensity of cardio and still retain more muscle because that’s how they are genetically pre-dispositioned. But even still, they lose some muscle doing it. But if you’re looking to lose a lot of weight then don’t worry about this too much. Continue to lift your weights, eat nutritionally as of course, nutrition is the bread and butter for weight loss. But you need to do cardio. Start with what you can handle and progressively get better.
Glycogen levels versus fat deposits.
Plain and simple, if you do longer state cardio then your body uses more fat deposit for energy and if you do more Hiit exercises then your body uses more glycogen instead. But regardless of what you end up doing, they are both interchangeable. Meaning if you Hiit then you still burn fat deposit, and you’ll use up some glycogen stores if you do more steady-state cardio. Unless you are an athlete of some sort of preparing for a competition, you really don’t need to worry about this too much lol. Iv comes across people who bend their brain around it when they don’t need to worry about it. Either way, whatever you do, you are burning calories.
Either way, whatever you choose to do, you burn calories. It also comes down to what you want as well. If you’re a person with much more muscle, then id suggests steady-state cardio with a lower to moderate intensity is better to retain the muscle and drop fat. if you want to drop a lot of weight, then do more steady-state cardio that is respective to what you can handle. I mean I you want to try either or then do that too. It's really up to you. Just know that the Hiit cardio you see over the internet is not really Hiit and won’t burn as many calories as you think it will or even as people claimed it will. You’ll probably burn anywhere between 200-400 calories at most. And then again, that varies on the individual’s effort as well. And understand that a REAL Hiit workout is tough and should be tough. Not the way a lot of YouTube videos or influencers or even trainers that I have met, seem to be doing them. And lastly, steady-state cardio, in the long run, will burn more calories for you.
Disclaimer: Adam is not a doctor nor a nutritionist. This is all from the experience Adam has gained through himself and through schooling. Through his videos, Adam shares his personal and educational experience that he has acquired over the past years of training individuals through fitness and nutrition. Adam would strongly recommend you see your physician before starting or completing any exercise program. You should be in good physical condition to participate in the exercises which are why consulting your physician would be recommended.
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