The Best Form of Cardio for Fat Loss (Hand Down)

Recently one of our members shot over an email asking why my HIIT programs did not have any dedicated, built-in cardio sessions. We answered back of course, but I couldn’t get the question out of my head. So, I decided to take this opportunity to share with you the benefits of using HIIT workouts, like my HIIT MAX Elite platform, over traditional cardio.

What is HIIT?

HIIT stands for High-Intensity Interval Training. It is a highly effective type of cardiovascular exercise where you alternate between periods of high-intensity anaerobic exercises and rest periods. Entire workout sessions may only last half an hour or less, however, individuals who consistently engage in HIIT workouts gain profound benefits. Some of these advantages include incinerating fat by igniting your metabolism, improving your cardiovascular system, boosting the efficiency of your body’s oxygen consumption, and warding off disease. All this is gained without the need for traditional cardio workouts.

We might not be elite athletes, but YOU can still achieve elite health

Some advanced fitness professionals follow my programs and even some athletes, but I know that most of you don’t have the time to dedicate hours a day jogging, working out or whatever. Let’s face it. Life is busy. Work consumes eight or more hours a day, not to mention drive time, and then factor in family life, kids, activities, basically anything and everything which demands our attention and time – and you’re left with very little time to work on yourself.

HIIT saves you time.

I mean, think of all the moms out there. You ladies are like superheroes! You juggle waking up kids, feeding them breakfast, getting them ready for school while you’re getting ready for work, making sure lunches are packed, shoes are tied, and kids are on time for the bus, or maybe you’re even driving them. And once the kids are off to school, then your reward is fighting traffic to get to work on time! Towards the end of the day, you essentially do everything mentioned above but in reverse. Seriously, you all have my highest admiration and deepest respect!

But don’t get me wrong. HIIT isn’t just for moms. It’s for anybody who has a busy, hectic, crazy life. (Men, that’s us too). Just because we’re busy doesn’t mean we have an excuse to allow our fitness to suffer, because that can spell disaster in the long term. You deserve a workout that fits your hectic life. My membership platform, HIIT MAX Elite delivers just that.

HIIT sessions last, on average, 20-30 minutes. You can do the entire program anywhere you are. We have members who do their daily HIIT sessions at home, at the gym, in a dorm, on the road and even in hotels. Wherever you are, you can do High-Intensity Interval Training.

‘But what about cardio. You can do cardio for 20-30 minutes almost anywhere too, right?’

Sure, but here is where we get into the scientific benefits of HIIT.

HIIT ignites the metabolism.

HIIT ignites metabolism faster than regular cardio. An article out of Experience L!fe, a health and fitness magazine, interviewed certified strength and conditioning specialist Mike Robertson. When asked about the benefits of using HIIT for fat loss Robertson responded, “If you’re trying to lose fat, it’s pretty clear that HIIT is a more efficient tool than long distance cardio.” [1]

The article went on further:

Physiologists have yet to develop a full explanation of why this is, but one reason may be the so-called afterburn effect, in which the metabolism remains elevated for hours – and sometimes even days – after an intense workout… one 1994 study at Laval University in Quebec, Canada, found HIIT was nine times more effective for losing fat than steady-state cardio. [1]

The human body responds better to HIIT than cardio!

Clearly, one huge benefit is that HIIT primes your body to continuously burn fat even after you’re done with your workout sessions. That means you’re more likely to effectively burn fat while doing all those other important things in your life.

HIIT contributes to heart health.

HIIT guarantees the strengthening of your heart. And HIIT has an advantage over traditional cardio by design. The high-intensity interval aspect of any HIIT workout requires that your entire body work harder, compared to traditional cardio.

Imagine jogging at a moderate pace for an hour versus sprinting in short bursts for 20 minutes. If you’ve ever done HIIT or sprinting (a form of HIIT), or anything else using intervals of high intensity, then you know that you’re gonna feel the effects of this training long after you’ve finished. HIIT forces your body and your heart to push the limits, and consistently pushing the boundaries strengthens everything, including your heart.

In an article from Women’s Health Magazine, titled “7 Reasons to Try High-Intensity Interval Training”, Dr. Jordan Metzl M.D., an exercise physician and the author of The Exercise Cure, talked about the strong relationship between HIIT and heart health:

When you turn up the intensity of your workout, as high-intensity interval training does, you’re making your heart work harder. And since this muscle (like most) becomes stronger after putting it through tough training, this workout is very beneficial for your heart health. [2]

HIIT beats Cardio in VO2 Max improvements.

VO2 Max is the maximum rate of oxygen your body can consume during physical exertion. Obviously, oxygen is required for us to carry out any task, but as we exert ourselves, our bodies need more oxygen to keep us going.

What many people don’t know is that how efficiently our bodies consume oxygen and that can vary widely. Elite athletes’ bodies typically consume oxygen at higher rates than let’s say a couch potato. That enhanced rate of oxygen consumption, or better VO2 Max scores, can be significantly increased by using programs like HIIT. In fact, scientifically speaking, HIIT gives larger improvements in one’s VO2 Max scores than traditional cardio.

A 2015 review of 723 participants in over 28 different scientific studies revealed that while both HIIT and traditional cardio increased VO2 Max levels, HIIT participants scored higher on their VO2 Max compared to other non-HIIT participants.

The review, titled “Effectiveness of High-Intensity Interval Training (HIT) and Continuous Endurance Training for VO2max Improvements: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Controlled Trials”, concluded:

Endurance training and HIT both elicit large improvements in the VO2max of healthy, young to middle-aged adults, with the gains in VO2max being greater following HIIT when compared with endurance training. [3]

And I want to be clear, I’m not discrediting traditional cardio in the least, but if your goal is to achieve maximum benefits within the shortest period, the research is very revealing – HIIT beats cardio.

HIIT benefits diabetics and those at risk of becoming diabetic more than cardio.

Diabetes is truly one of the great epidemics of our time. If you don’t have diabetes, I’m certain you know someone who does or who is at risk of developing diabetes. It is that prevalent. Obviously, any general exercise is a good way to help prevent the onset of diabetes and even help manage symptoms if you have diabetes. But some exercises offer more benefits than others, and again the advantages of using HIIT over traditional cardio to beat diabetes is a no-brainer.

An article on MedicalDaily.com titled, “High-Intensity Interval Training More Effective, Efficient Than Traditional Exercise For Weight Loss Or Managing Diabetes,” gave insight into a study done by researchers from the University of Leicester and the National Institute of Health Research Leicester-Loughborough Diet, Lifestyle, and Physical Activity Biomedical Research Unit. Their research spanned 50 scientific studies and over 2000 individuals!

The article stated,

The researchers compared HIIT to continuous training and control conditions, which meant only moderate-intensity exercise or no exercising at all outside of the daily habitual movement. They found HIIT caused a reduction in insulin resistance, weight loss of just over 2 pounds, and lower levels of blood glucose (a common symptom in diabetic patients). The meta-analysis also found respiratory fitness improved to a greater level than it did in those who took part in continuous training, as well as those who were in the control group.

This study involved a meta-analysis of experimental research, allowing us to pull together evidence and establish cause and effect,” lead researcher Charlotte Jelleyman said in a press release. “We have demonstrated that HIIT conveys benefits to cardiometabolic health, which, in the cases of insulin resistance and aerobic fitness, may be superior to the effect of traditional continuous training. [4]

All my HIIT workouts on HIIT MAX Elite, as well as HIIT MAX and HIIT MAX Vol 2, are customizable and adaptable. That means if you need to modify some exercises so their intensity is less, or you need to take a few more seconds to recoup during your rest period you can do that. You’ll still have the benefit of pushing yourself to achieve better fitness and improved health no matter who you are, or what conditions you might have.

HIIT workouts are amazing, and because of HIIT’s super-effective benefits in very manageable 20-30 minute sessions, HIIT has made its way into all walks of life. Even celebrities use HIIT to achieve their best in fitness and their active, constant on-the-go, performance lifestyles. Some very well-known celebrities who swear by HIIT include Carrie Underwood, Heidi Klum, Usher, Karolina Kurkova, Seal, Britney Spears, Doutzen Kroes, and Kourtney Kardashian.

Andrea Orbeck is a former Olympian, celebrity trainer, and a pregnancy fitness specialist. She studied Kinesiology at the University of Calgary and is certified for Intracellular Physiology, Postural Assessment, and Myofascial Release Therapy. 

In an interview with Shape magazine Orbeck had this to say when asked about her vision on her fitness, as well as her approach to training others:

When it comes to getting results, HIIT (high-intensity interval training) trumps long, boring workouts any day… You’ll burn more calories and tone more muscle in the same amount of the time it took your friend to find parking at the gym. [5]

HIIT workouts are the way to go!

We covered a lot of ground, so let’s reiterate the top reasons HIIT beats traditional cardio:

  • HIIT is more time efficient and more effective than traditional cardio
  • HIIT ignites your metabolism better than traditional cardio
  • HIIT benefits your heart better than traditional cardio
  • HIIT increases your VO2 Max (oxygen consumption) better than traditional cardio
  • HIIT is better than traditional cardio for managing and even preventing diabetes

With all this said, I want you to join me. I want you to feel better than you’ve ever felt before. I want you to wake up with more energy, more stamina, and an overwhelming sense of self-satisfaction. I want you to live longer, happier, and healthier.

I developed HIIT MAX Elite a while back, and it’s been a huge success. I’ve reached thousands of people through this online platform. Included in HIIT MAX Elite is a daily workout calendar, so you know what to do, and you can easily track your progress. I’ve included a BMR calculator, tons of healthy recipes to encourage proper (and delicious) nutrition, an online forum, example videos of every movement and exercise performed, and so much more. HIIT MAX Elite takes all the guesswork out of achieving the health and fitness you deserve.

I’ve been to gyms where they require commitments up front – 6 months to a year – to me that’s utterly ridiculous… and suspicious. If your service is great you don’t need to force people to stay. That’s why HIIT MAX Elite requires zero commitment. You can sign up and cancel in a month. But I’m betting, like so many other HIIT MAX Elite members, you’ll want to stay because HIIT MAX Elite is the best of the best in High-Intensity Interval Training!

 

References:

[1] Heffernan, Andrew. “Steady-State Cardio Vs. High-Intensity Interval Training.” Experience Life. Experience Life, Jan.-Feb. 2014. Web. 02 May 2017. <https://experiencelife.com/article/steady-state-cardio-vs-high-intensity-interval-training/>.

[2] Oerman, Ashley. “7 Reasons To Try High-Intensity Interval Training.” Women’s Health. Women’s Health, 14 Aug. 2014. Web. 02 May 2017. <http://www.womenshealthmag.com/fitness/high-intensity-interval-training/slide/2>.

[3] Milanović, Z., Sporiš, G. & Weston, M. Sports Med (2015) 45: 1469. doi:10.1007/s40279-015-0365-0 <https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs40279-015-0365-0>

[4] Smith, Steve. “High-Intensity Interval Training Beats Out Regular Exercise For Weight Loss.”Medical Daily. Medical Daily, 21 Jan. 2016. Web. 02 May 2017. <http://www.medicaldaily.com/high-intensity-training-more-effective-efficient-traditional-exercise-weight-370428>.

[5] Aldridge, Kristen. “Hollywood’s Hottest Trainers Reveal How They Stay Fit.” Shape Magazine. Shape Magazine, 10 Dec. 2015. Web. 02 May 2017. <http://www.shape.com/celebrities/star-trainers/how-hollywood-hottest-trainers-stay-fit-and-happy>.

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