Most fitness rookies have probably asked themselves the following question, “Which type of cardio training is best suited for fast, healthy, and effective fat loss: high intensity interval training (HIIT) or the steady, old fashioned cardio?” The answer to this question is simple: neither. Both are good in their own way as each has its advantages.
But what will help you take your fitness efforts to the next level is merging the two types of training into a single routine. That way you can obtain a powerhouse of a fitness program that will burn off those extra calories like there is no tomorrow. In this article, we will be taking a brief look at the differences between HIIT and cardio and how they can be merged effectively. Without further ado, here is how to combine high intensity interval training with standard cardio exercises.
What is High Intensity Interval Training?
Whether you are looking to shed off a few pounds or build mass, HIIT is one of the most efficient training programs for achieving both these objectives. Not only does it burn tons of fat, but you can also eliminate many calories while improving your aerobic capacity at the same time.
For example, by performing a mere 10 minute-long HIIT routine, you can burn as many calories as you would by grinding on a treadmill for 40 minutes. To be more precise, this means between 12 and 16 calories per minute. During a 30-minute routine, you can burn between 261 and 374 calories.
High intensity interval training sessions are famous for being quite rough on the body, but their payoff makes the physical effort and the constant grinding worth it. Furthermore, the body has a way of adjusting to a HIIT workout easily, and that is thanks to the innovations in the gym industry, such as the Weider Pro 8500 cage strength trainer which is perfect for this type of training.
Weider Pro 8500 is the best all-in-one gym machine for every HIIT enthusiast that wants to take interval training into the comfort of their own home. If you want to find out more about weider pro 8500 smith weight cage description, specs, pros and cons, along with recommended routines, check the linked article.
Further on, HIIT is so efficient is because it combines highly intensive cardio exercises with recovery intervals at a ratio of 1:4. In other words, high intensity sessions are done at about 80% of your maximum physical capacity, while recovery intervals represent approximately 40% of your maximum capacity.
How to Combine High Intensity Interval Training with Cardio
Even if you lean heavily toward cardio, incorporating strength training into your fitnesss routine will help you tone your muscles and boost endurance levels. After growing your muscular mass, you will be able to increase the range of movements and exercises you can perform, not to mention that strength training will boost your body’s calorie burning capabilities.
The same thing goes in reverse – if you prefer strength training, adding a little bit of cardio will help you burn that extra fat faster than lifting weights alone. Strength training and cardio complement each other, even if done during the same day. Here is a basic schedule that will give you an idea on how to plan your workouts:
- Monday – High-Intensity Interval Training. Do 10 rounds, 30 seconds each with 60 second pauses;
- Tuesday – Upper Body Resistance (Weight) Training;
- Wednesday – Steady Cardio;
- Thursday – Lower-body weight training;
- Friday – Same thing as Monday;
- Saturday – Cardio;
- Sunday – Rest.
The logic behind this schedule is that it allows you to train as many muscle groups as possible through varied types of training. Moreover, it allows for enough recovery time in order to get the best results out of each training session.
Alternatively, you can ditch the proposed schedule altogether, incorporate between 5 and 10-minute cardio sprints after each weight lifting session and still reap the full benefits of HIIT. This is the ideal compromise if you find cardio boring.
If, on the other hand, you prefer cardio over weightlifting, one good way of incorporating strength training into your routine is by gradually working out each muscle group once per week. This includes the back, core, and legs (you know the old saying – “never skip leg day”). By making sure you are working out all your muscle groups equally, you will gain a great physical balance, while reducing the risk of injury.
However, if you have no experience with strength training, a steady approach is the best solution. Remember, while the numbers vary from person to person, each muscle group usually needs to rest between 24 and 48 hours to fully recover and grow. Overtraining can backfire badly, leading to muscle atrophy and, paradoxically, to an overall loss of strength.
In this case, there are two options:
- Hitting one major muscle group through a 30-minute workout for five times per week.
- Work all muscle groups in a single session, twice per week.
Further on, you can dedicate an entire day to strength training, or simply do it before a cardio session. However, the general consensus amongst experts is that strength training is best done before cardio to ensure that the body has enough physical ‘’momentum’’ to perform the exercises as effectively as possible.
Whether you are a homebody or a fitness junkie, combining strength and cardio in the form of HIIT is one of the best ways to get the most out of your workout sessions. If you lean toward one particular type of training and want to take your fitness efforts to the next level, read through our guide and apply the tips presented here.