Steady-State Cardio Vs. High-Intensity Interval Training

Both cardio and interval training can help people lose fat.  But in order to find out what is best for your, you simply have to experience them.

Steady-State Cardio Vs. High-Intensity Interval Training

Three times a week, she gets up early, slips on her running shoes, and ventures out into the cool air, running at a strong, steady pace. If it’s cold or rainy, she heads to the gym and hops on the treadmill. The routine is always the same: 30 to 60 continuous minutes at an even speed.

Jane’s neighbor, Susan, is equally dedicated, but she gave up jogging last year in favor of something a trainer told her is more effective: Instead of trotting steadily, she sprints as hard as she can for 30 seconds, rests for a couple of minutes, and then repeats this sprint-rest cycle for 20 minutes. Sometimes, she, too, does her workouts indoors. But like Jane, she never alters the structure of those sessions — it’s always sprint, rest, repeat.

Jane and Susan are both in great shape: They look fit, and they’re lean and healthy. Lately, though, Jane’s been hearing about the benefits of high-intensity interval training and has started to wonder whether Susan’s approach may be just what she needs to kick her fitness up another notch. For her part, Susan has begun to miss her mellower workouts and questions whether slower cardio might be the ideal way to give her achy joints a chance to recover.

Both women are onto something. Though some trainers argue that steady-state cardiovascular training is inefficient, others counter that this traditional approach to cardio exercise delivers indispensable benefits you can’t get from pushing the envelope every time you work out. And although plenty of researchers have recently trumpeted the value of fast, über-intense cardio (also known as high-intensity interval training, or HIIT), in practice, many fitness professionals have found that the system has drawbacks, particularly when practiced regularly over long periods.

“The truth is that both high-intensity interval training and steady-state cardio are effective in their own ways,” says exercise physiologist Jonathan Mike, MS, CSCS, from Albuquerque.

The best system of cardiovascular training probably isn’t the all-or-nothing approach. Rather, it’s a blend of both higher and lower-intensity cardiovascular training that’s tailored to your body and your goals.

The best system of cardiovascular training, say Mike and many other forward-thinking fitness pros, probably isn’t the all-or-nothing approach toward which Jane, Susan, and many other exercisers gravitate. Rather, it’s a blend of both higher and lower-intensity cardiovascular training that’s tailored to your body and your goals.


Steady-state cardio and HIIT are convenient, versatile, and safe ways to develop your cardiovascular system. You can do them virtually anywhere with a minimum of equipment; you can switch up your activity at will (from running to swimming, say); and you don’t need a lot of coaching to …


Read more:

Share Button

Speak Your Mind