High Intensity Interval Training vs. Traditional Steady State Training

High-intensity interval training (HIIT):

Is a form of interval training which involves short intervals of maximum intensity cardio interspersed with longer intervals of low to moderate-intensity cardio

Any type of cardio exercise can be used for a HIIT workout including running, swimming, walking, jumping rope or the use of equipment such as a treadmill, elliptical or stair-stepper.

Takes very little time. A typical HIIT workout is 15 to 20 minutes in duration, depending on one’s fitness levels.

Short, intense cardio intervals burn more body fat than sustained activity, such as steady-state cardio. During traditional cardio workouts, calories are burned while performing the workout and for only a short period of time after the workout.

HIIT can boost metabolism for up to 48 hours after a workout.

HIIT workouts help the body retain muscle mass during weight loss as opposed to traditional cardio where muscles can start to break down after 40 minutes into a moderate-intensity cardio workout.

Since glycogen stores are low after a strength training workout when HIIT is performed after strength training, the body has to turn to excess fat stores to provide the body energy to complete the HIIT workout.

As the body becomes stronger and adapts to a specific high-intensity interval training workout, the intervals can be prolonged with a maximum-intensity interval of 1 minute and low to moderate-intensity intervals up to 4 minutes. Because of the intensity level, HIIT workouts are usually performed only 2 to 3 times per week.


About fitchick007

I aspire to educate and motivate others towards acheiving a healthy body and lifestyle.

Posted on January 6, 2013, in Fit Tips and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. how would one go about starting this kind of work out? Let’s say I am a some what over weight middle aged woman who’s only real source of exercise right now is walking her dogs. How could I start a sort of beginner HIIT? Would I just walk as fast as I could for one minute and then walk normal for 4? And do that for 20 minutes? thanks! 🙂

    • Hi! First thing is to always make sure you are clear to begin any kind of fitness program with your doctor. Walking is definitely a good way to start. Always start with a warm-up to get your heart rate up and to get your body ready for exercise. Then you could start with a brisk walk, faster than your normal walk, for one minute then back to a normal walk for four minutes. If that’s not challenging enough try doing a 2 minute brisk walk and then slow for 4 minutes. If four minutes is too long you can shorten those intervals to 3 minutes or 2 minutes. You can really mix it up any way you feel that is right for you and your fitness level. Always finish with a 5-10 minute cool down. This will bring your hear rate back to normal so you don’t feel faint. I hope this helps. Let me know how you make out 🙂

      • OH, I’m sooo happy to hear you say I can start revving it up with brisk walking instead of running! haha, that’s something I can definitely handle to start out with!

        I’m very excited to start ramping up my walks. Every morning I take my three dogs for a about 2 mile walk, so I’ll have great opportunity to start doing this. Should be good for my equally pudgy dogs!

        I’ll update you how it goes, thanks for all the info and encouragement! 🙂

      • You’re welcome! Have fun!

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