Are HIIT Classes More Effective Than Steady-State Cardio?

Many people have a hard time burning calories and losing weight. One of the best ways to burn calories is to increase your heart rate. Engaging in cardiovascular activities are effective step to achieving this goal. These exercises give your body a lot of benefits such as reducing risks from diseases, relieving stress, maintaining a normal weight, and helping you to get in shape for daily your activities.

Any activities which help increase heart rate can be considered cardiovascular activities. But, there are two popular forms of these, the SteadState Cardio and the High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). You might wonder what type of activity is more effective to lose weight? To get to know more about this, we have asked 2 of the expert trainers to guide us on which kind of exercises provides the help we need. Kindly read on to find out.

How Can Steady-State Cardio Help Lose Weight?

Traditional cardio refers to any activities which can help burn calories and thus results in weight loss. It increases your heart rate when maintained during the workout period, especially during the zone called "fat-burning". According to a trainer, it is usually in the range of 166-186 BPM.

Reducing the intake of calories in food helps in weight loss but engaging in traditional cardio exercises is more effective as it loses calories more quickly than just low-calorie consumption.

Remember that losing weight can be more achievable if we burn calories than we reduce our calorie consumption. Aerobic exercises which include dancing, running, and swimming increase heart rate and metabolism resulting in burning more calories.

What Are The Benefits of Steady-State Cardio?

Aside from weight loss, this traditional cardio, also considered an aerobic activity has a lot of benefits. Thus, if you decide to be regular in doing these exercises, you have done a wise choice. Here are the reasons why.


  1. High endurance for a longer time for workout
  2. Stronger immune system preventing illnesses
  3. Anxiety and stress buster
  4. Healthy Heart
  5. Blood sugar control/ minimizer
  6. Reduce health risks such as heart diseases, high blood, obesity, and type 2 diabetes
  7. Sound sleep due to an increase in the release of endorphins (energy and mood booster)
  8. Better lung function

How To Attain Weight Loss Through HIIT?

Although HIIT (High-intensity interval training) is still a form of cardio activity, it is performed in a different way than steady-state. A trainer described it as an intense burst of exercise then followed by some short rest and repeat. To help you understand it, let us put it this way: sprint 110 m dash within 30 seconds, take a rest for just a minute then repeat these 2 steps 3-6 times.

HIIT also helps in weight loss since it burns calories, just as how traditional cardio does. However, HIIT has distinct physiological aspects compared to traditional cardio. It has an after-burn effect which means that after exercising, it increases the body's metabolism for hours. This really helps in losing weight since burning calories is still at work even after your workout.

This is what you call excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC). This happens when your body returns to normal, you are working out in a state that is called anaerobic. This is the state you are working in while in the high-intensity, thus it is the goal of HIIT.

Benefits of HIIT

Although they have almost similar benefits to traditional cardio, HIIT has some additional gains which make it also a good choice for those who want to achieve their goals. According to an expert trainer, here are some of the health benefits one can achieve with this exercise:


  1. more calories are burned in a shorter period
  2. makes an exciting combination of training
  3. helps lose fats
  4. helps lose weight without losing muscles
  5. improves blood and oxygen flow
  6. enhances cardiovascular health
  7. builds a healthy heart
  8. increases metabolism

Which is more effective between these two?

With the benefits mentioned above, it is proven that these activities are both effective. However, aerobic and anaerobic exercises have different effects on the body. Cardio exercises lead to a rise in heart rate during the activity that is sustained. Therefore, traditional cardio is considered aerobic since the muscles have sufficient oxygen to extend their performance. This will not burn many calories though but will result in less stress on the body. Having known these factors, traditional cardio is recommended for those who want extended periods of exercise or who need a low-impact kind of exercise, especially for health reasons.

Meanwhile, HIIT is an anaerobic kind of exercise. This means that the vigorous exercise you are performing needed more oxygen supply compared to what your body can provide. The increasing intensity in our body while working out and during the "after-burn effect" causes the short intervals to burn the calorie more than traditional cardio. Therefore, HIIT is recommended for those who wish to burn calories and lose weight in just a short period of time. Some studies show that HIIT is a proven effective way to burn fats while retaining the mass of the muscles. It may be due to the ability in increasing growth hormones which is lacking in traditional cardio.

The Takeaway

Concerning the goal of weight loss and having a healthy cardiovascular system, both of these exercises are proven to be effective and even safe. Traditional cardio proves its effectiveness if you invest time, effort, and energy every time you workout. Thus, it suggests that you need to have a regular schedule of these exercises and strictly follow it. Meanwhile, since HIIT means a very intense workout, it burns more calories within just a short span of time. Since both are effective, preference now depends on the individual. If you already have chosen between the 2 options, give it a priority, focus on it and see for yourself the results. But you can only experience how effective these exercises are if you apply consistency. So be comfortable with your choice and try mixing it up with another cardio every now and then. Soon you will know what kind of exercise suits you and provides the help you need to achieve your goals.

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