Endurance versus HIIT training/Paula’s Healthy Living

by Paula | September 21, 2013 1:01 am

Many readers send in questions about the benefits of endurance vs. HIIT (high-intensity interval training).  The basic differences between the two involves energy output and time duration.

Long-effort endurance training is more about training in the fat-burning zone.  This typically requires training longer than 20 minutes at a steady intensity.  It can be done while running, biking, or using standard cardio machines.

HIIT is composed of a series of short, intense cardio intervals giving you the same cardio benefits of endurance training in shorter time periods.

Both training programs are beneficial to cardiac health, which strengthens the heart, and pushes more oxygen-carrying blood to the muscles faster.  Aerobic exercises also strengthen the skeletal muscles that helps return blood to the heart.  So how do you decide which variety of training is best for you.

Low-intensity workouts are the backbone of cardio training.  If you’re just beginning your workout program, or you have been away from a regular workout program for an extended period of time, or you are recovering from a medical situation, then endurance training is where you should begin.  If you have a strong base of training, but feel that you have hit a training plateau or you’re seeking quick weight loss then try HIIT training.  Only perform HIIT 2-3 times per week, and after doing them for several weeks, cycle the two programs to keep your body guessing and your progress improving.

                                                                                                           

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