This is always a really hot topic in fitness, what is the best form of cardio to burn fat? We all want to burn as much fat as possible when we do our cardio sessions so we can get that ‘six pack’ we desire and get as lean as possible so that we are ready for that summer holiday right?! Well there are quite a few different forms of cardio you can choose from, such as running on a treadmill or cross trainer for 30-45 mins at a steady pace this is known as ‘LISS’ or ‘low intensity steady state’ another is performing all out ‘sprints’ on a treadmill or even pushing a weighted sled for short periods of time from 10 seconds up to 45 seconds then resting for 2-3 minutes then going again, this is known as ‘High intensity interval training’ or ‘HIIT’.
So what is the best then, well if you are looking purely at burning the most amount of calories then you could perform ‘LISS’ for 45-60 minutes and you would burn a lot of calories anything from 500 or more. Where as a ‘HIIT’ session may only take you 15 minutes and burn around 200 or more calories but has taken a far shorter period of time so you may put it on the end of a strength session. The ‘HIIT’ session may not have burned as many calories as the ‘LISS’ but you have already done a strength session before it so you can kill 2 birds with 1 stone right? The thing to remember with ‘HIIT’ is it should be so hard that you can only repeat it for 10-20 mins max but the intensity is so high that you do get this really high ‘after burn’ effect! What that means is for hours after you have finished your session your body is burning more calories than normal as your metabolic rate has been raised by the ‘HIIT’ and ‘LISS’ does not really have the same after effect but also does not ‘smoke’ you physically. You could even come back to the gym later and do a strength session (if you have that much time free!) As you can see it is a case of ‘swings and roundabout’s’ right? Big benefits to both so how do we choose?
There is a third way as well that I am a really big fan of!
‘Interval training’ not to be confused with ‘HIIT’ this is where you will perform longer intervals than ‘HIIT’ so something like 2-3 minutes running at an effort of around 75-80% of your max and then resting for 2-3 minutes and then repeating this for 15-20 minute blocks… bloody hard work and will get you feeling super fit! These are brilliant as you can build up to doing 20-30 minute sessions so that you can burn as many calories as an hour of ‘LISS’ but in much less time. ‘Interval training’ is not only a great tool for burning a lot of calories but you can use it to build your fitness for a specific sport. look at a footballer they run really hard for 10 seconds through to maybe a minute where they may chase after a player and then turn around and run the length of the pitch after a pass, then they may walk for a short period of time and then do an easy jog again to get back in position. You can design an ‘Interval training’ session around those kind of demands. Personally I am a big fan of ‘Interval training’ as it not only burns a lot of calories but it really challenges your aerobic system to its maximum capacity. Just think your aerobic energy system is designed to be able work at an intensity that you could maintain for periods of time of 3 minutes up to 60 minutes and if you are working at a pace so high you can only just hold it for 3-5 minutes you are going to be really challenging the capacity of it. I use it all the time to help my clients feel much fitter and stronger than before!
Personaly I really enjoy either ‘HIIT’ or ‘Interval training’ sessions as I really feel a fantastic buzz from pushing myself up to those uncomfortable levels of intensity, I always say to my clients ‘Train like an athlete look like an athlete’ and that is what both of these styles of training are… athletic! For myself and my clients its not only burning calories but building a fit and strong body that looks good aswell!
So what is the best cardio to burn body fat then, they all work really well and I would recommend that you take your time to properly try each of them out, plan your session so that you know exactly what you are going to do and then you can see how you find them. What I would say is take a few weeks to try each of them a few times and see what you can follow long term and how it will fit into your training plan.
Feel free to message me through social media of how to plan your cardio sessions if you want.
LISS, HIIT and Interval training, give them a go!
I hope you have enjoyed reading this little ramble from me again guys and will catch you on the next one.
Stay fit and healthy everyone.