• Oli

Cardio For Fat Loss


Cardio is an essential component of health and wellbeing not only fitness, cardio is a form of exercise that challenges your aerobic and anaerobic capacities, burn tons of calories and aids fat loss / weight loss and for health benefits such as reduction in the risk of certain health complications i.e. heart attack, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes and other diseases.


The 2 forms of cardio that I will highlight are LISS (Low Intensity Steady State) and HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training).


LISS is any cardio exercise(s) that is continuous (mainly endurance cardio exercises) and that maintains a steady heart rate and a moderate intensity. I would recommend about 60-70% of MAX Heart Rate, gets you sweaty and bothered progressively and generally can last between 30 - 60mins. This is usually limited to your conventional forms of cardio and cardio equipment (treadmills, cross trainers, bike etc) or outdoor jog.


HIIT involves performing high intensity activities in a short intense burst over 70% of MAX Heart Rate followed with duration of rest or low to moderate intense activity. Examples are sprints, circuit and tabata workouts, generally using weight / bodyweight / functional or cardio equipments.


Which is better for me? There are 2 main considerations before deciding on which to embark on, your starting point; current ability and current shape, limitations; injuries and medical complications (consult your doctor before embarking on any exercise program).


LISS can be a great starting point for both considerations as its low impact exercise so even if your fitness level is low or carrying a lot of body weight, it is perfect to get you started and you can slowly get more active and progress further. Training can be scary, LISS offers that great initial entry that can help keep you motivated and active longer than HIIT, HIIT can be very tasking on the nervous system and can be very difficult or demotivating for a beginner.


HIIT can be described as high impact exercises and less gentle on the joints, the benefits of HIIT are as follows; helps you build lean muscle and drop body fat at the same time, helps you burn calories whilst at rest and increases your metabolism and provides variety as it doesn’t limit you only to the traditional cardio kits.


Will I get results? These cardio protocols are merely tools to aid your results, nutrition is by far the most superior element in getting results and cannot be ignored or taken lightly. Therefore yes as long as you have good nutrition to support it as both forms promotes fat oxidation potentially leading to fat loss.


In my opinion the main differences ranges from time taken for execution, output and post exercise. A 30mins HIIT session potentially burns more calories than 30mins LISS depending on individual, average heart rate and type of exercise, so it can be said that the output calories wise in relation to time will be higher when it comes to HIIT. The post exercise effect on the body can also differ, the body ability to keep burning calories after training with HIIT is more significant than LISS.


I still wouldn’t outright place HIIT as been superior than LISS, as different factors comes to play for individual prescription. These are tools that can aid fat loss / weight loss and weight management, factors such as individual preferences, abilities or limitations plays a crucial role in establishing the best mix and allocation.


I would recommend 2-3 hours weekly of cardio for fat loss or weight loss or weight management, broken into different blocks depending on availability and in relation to your strength training. Example; 30 / 45 / 60 minutes, fasted, before or after workout etc.


Get in touch for a free consultation to find out the best solution for you and how to optimise these tools.


35 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All