“I want to burn fat so I can A) Lose weight B) Reduce health risks C) Look toned.”
Does this sound like you? If so, this is for you.
Now I will admit that I am excited to post this entry because I know it will go against so many of you cardio lovers out there. The best thing about posting an article like this is that nobody can argue with me when i present the science behind what I’m about to tell you.
When deciding what type of cardio is best for burning fat, you have to first know your options. The two main ways to perform cardiovascular work are what is called ‘steady state’ cardio and ‘HIIT’ cardio. During steady state cardio, one usually works at a medium to low level of intensity and maintains this for a long period of time, sometimes hours. HIIT (high intensity interval training) cardio on the other hand is extremely high intensity work and is only performed for a short period of time (10-30min).
Now you might be asking yourself, ‘Ok, so what’s the difference?’ Well, I’ll break it down in a nutshell. The difference between the two types of cardio at work here are that 1) steady state will take you much longer to burn calories from fat, and 2) HIIT demands so much oxygen that it keeps your body in a fat burning mode for hours after you leave the gym – steady state cardio doesn’t.
I don’t want to start any fights here by saying that there is no place for steady state cardio but to be honest, with the exception of athletes who need to prepare for a race where they will be running/swimming/biking for long distances, I don’t really see the need. Call me crazy but I don’t overly enjoy doing cardio so I’d rather work hard and get it done and over with as soon as possible instead of dragging it out and wasting time that could be put towards something more productive. The added bonus of burning extra calories after I’m finished working out is a deal sealer for me.
When looking for the fastest way to burn fat, choose HIIT cardio. Not only will you burn more calories overall but you will burn more calories from fat specifically which means you will decrease actual fat, not just bodyweight. It takes up way less time in the gym and will keep working for you even after you stop. This one’s a no brainer.