2. High-Intensity Interval Cardio (HIIT)
High-intensity interval training is a simple exercise protocol that can be applied to many types of cardio, such as running, biking, swimming, or rowing.
The basic idea is you alternate between periods of (almost) all-out intensity and low-intensity recovery.
During your high-intensity bouts, you push yourself almost as hard as you can, and during your low-intensity periods, you catch your breath in preparation for the next sprint.
Now, why do I recommend this specific style of cardio over the more traditional low-intensity type of cardio that many people do?
Well, several studies such as those conducted by Laval University, East Tennessee State University, Baylor College of Medicine, and the University of New South Wales have conclusively proven that shorter sessions of high-intensity cardio result in greater fat loss over time than longer, low-intensity sessions.
In fact, a study conducted by The University of Western Ontario showed that doing just 4 to 6 30-second sprints burns more fat over time than 60 minutes of incline treadmill walking (one of the staples of “bodybuilding cardio”).
Furthermore, keeping your cardio sessions shorter means you better preserve your muscle and strength, which is vitally important when it comes to building a physique.
Now, chances are you’ve heard these things before but still have several important questions, such as…
- How “intense” do the high-intensity intervals need to be in terms of exertion and length?
- How “restful” and long should the rest periods be?
- How long should the workouts be?
- How frequently should you do HIIT workouts?
Basically: what actually qualifies as a HIIT workout and how do you get the most out of this type of training?