The school of thought behind calorie burning and weight loss used to be “slow and steady wins the race.” Well, things change. And that mindset has certainly been changing over the years.
While many a study shows that slow and steady “fat burning” cardio (during which you generally aim to keep your heart rate at around 60% of its max) does burn a lot of calories, research also shows that high intensity interval training (HIIT) burns more calories – during AND after your training session. This is certainly in part thanks to the fact that HIIT builds muscle in addition to burning calories; and we all know that more muscle means more calories burned.
HIIT, as well as many explosive and intense types of training like CrossFit (which incorporates compound movements at high intensity), play a part in the production of GH (growth hormone) – a major factor in muscle building.
So, what are your goals? If you’re like most people, they could be: build muscle and get lean enough to show it, be stronger, be heart healthy, have more energy in daily life, and/or live long and be happier. The fact is, as long as you include some HIIT or CrossFit style training in your program at least a few days a week, it can only benefit you to add in a couple slow, steady state cardio sessions. Many of my clients love long, slow runs. So, my suggestion? Everything in moderation and DO WHAT YOU LOVE while keeping your fitness goals and health at front of mind. You can’t go wrong.
Here are some resources for more info on HIIT and CrossFit style training.